Mainroad lockout ends

Employees holding ratification vote on new deal this week.

Mainroad East Kootenay staff are back at work this week after the BCGEU bargaining committee reached an agreement with the contracting company.

Late on Wednesday, September 12, the two sides made an agreement, and the lockout ended at midnight. Staff went back to work on Thursday, September 13.

The settlement was reached after a marathon day of bargaining that went over into the wee hours of the next day, according to the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU).

Now BCGEU members are attending a ratification vote on Monday, September 17 and Tuesday, September 18, to formalize the settlement.

It includes a wage increase in each of five years, with retroactive pay for the first year.

Mainroad East Kootenay contracting issued a lockout notice starting August 19 after it failed to reach an agreement with BCGEU members.

The road maintenance company has a head office in Cranbrook and highways maintenance yards in seven locations around the East Kootenay. It employs 95 staff who are members of the BCGEU.