Stephen Boon, CEP national rep in Dryden, confirmed conciliated negotiations were held last week in Fort Frances and a final offer put forward by Ainsworth Engineered LP in Barwick was overwhelmingly rejected by more than 97 percent of CEP members at meetings held this past Tuesday (July 20).
The 130 members of CEP Local 324-99 then voted 97 percent in favour of approving strike action, if necessary, at the same meeting.
“Despite the membership’s overwhelming rejection of Ainsworth’s final offer, we will continue to work towards reaching a fair settlement while the threat of a mid-August labour dispute looms,” said Boon.
“We are well aware of the current economic environment facing much of the forest industry,” he noted.
“But I think it is important to stress that other than a small handful of monetary issues, most of the major roadblocks threatening to derail this set of negotiations actually centre more around non-monetary issues related to things such as contract language, contracting out, call-ins, term, seniority, and scheduling changes,” Boon added.