Heffley Creek Tolko workers on strike

By Ashley Legassic
December 3, 2018 - 11:35am Updated: December 3, 2018 - 5:36pm

KAMLOOPS — More than 200 workers at the Heffley Creek Tolko Mill are on strike today (Dec. 3) while the union and employer are at odds at the bargaining table.

Marty Gibbons is the president for the United Steelworkers Local 1-417. He says several Tolko locations across the province are out today due to the labour action.

"Tolko Heffley Creek is probably the biggest with about 220 workers on strike today... and a couple other Tolko operations in the Okanagan," Gibbons says. "In the Southern Interior — which is basically Kamloops, Kelowna, and Cranbrook areas — there are approximately 3,000 workers affected."

Gibbons says the union has been attempting to renew the collective agreement since last spring, after a profitable time for the industry. He says corporate profits are in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and the union believes those profits should be reflected in employee wages.

"We want a contract that reflects profits," he says. "We're not saying that we expect all the profits, but we expect a fair contract that actually sees the workers who earn those profits benefit from the profits they earn. Now, we have a very reasonable offer in front of the employers, and we've had nothing but difficulty bargaining with them. They've taken a very aggressive approach, and our members have basically had enough."

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