Labour unrest looms

City and union head to mediation; mediation fails for Kootenay Savings Credit Union and union employees; Postal strike imminent

The city of  Kimberley and Steelworkers Local I-405 will be meeting with a mediator from the BC Labour Relations Board on July 11 and 12, rather than the 13 as originally announced.

Both sides are hopeful an agreement can be reached through mediation. Trevor Sonnes, who assisted the two in finalizing the last collective agreement between the Steelworkers and the Cty of Kimberley is the mediator appointed by the Labour Board.

Meanwhile, union employees of Kootenay Savings Credit Union are pondering their next move after mediation in late June failed.

The USW Locals 1-405 and 9705 representing 110 unionized staff at Kootenay Savings Credit Union at branches in the East and West Kootenay, participated in mediation with provincial mediator Dave Schaub from the BC Labour Relations Board and KSCU on June 20 and 21. Dean Lott, USW Staff Rep and lead negotiator said there was some progress on Day 2 but it still came down to the employer including concessions on pension protection language and zero pay increases in the first two years.

Unionized staff previously voted 94 per cent in favour of strike action.

A union press release said the next steps are being evaluated and could include 72-hour strike notice.

And Canada Post regular  service and parcel delivery could be suspended as early as Friday, as the corporation issued 72-hour lockout notice to its unionized workforce on Tuesday.