The City of Kimberley put out a brief press release this afternoon stating that they and the United Steelworkers Local I-405 have now completed 10 days of bargaining and have reached a standstill in the negotiation process.
The City has applied to the Labour Relations Board for the assistance of a Board appointed Mediator and are hopeful of reaching a settlement that supports the City of Kimberley’s sustainability goals, the release says.
Jeff Bromley, lead negotiator for the United Steelworkers, says this leaves the USW Bargaining Committee with no choice but to seek a mandate in the form of a Strike Vote from the unionized workforce.
“We will be beginning that process over the next week,” Bromley said.
Bromley says that bargaining broke off due to the employer’s insistence that the unionized workforce accept concessions as part of any negotiated settlement.
“It’s extremely disappointing,” said Bromley. “The employer came to the table with a concessionary bargaining stance from the very beginning and thus far we have been unable to completely persuade them to change that stance.
“Our members, the unionized workforce of the City of Kimberley, are not interested in losing negotiated vacation provisions, nor are they interested in any provisions that threaten the wage parity provisions, fair and equitable training and a job evaluation program that’s been in place for over a decade.”