On Friday the union representing CityWest workers in Prince Rupert served 72 hour strike notice, only to have the Canadian Industrial Relations board rule that no strike could occur without an agreement to cover essential services.
The union says the strike notice was needed because of CityWest’s lack of desire to bargain, something CityWest denies.
“It is really unfortunate that despite working all week with a Federal Mediator to create conditions that could have moved us to a settlement, CityWest has refused to come back to the table, ready to bargain.” said Lucy Zroback, President of IBEW Local 337, adding that the union was moving in the direction suggested by the mediator.
“We agreed to go back to the table April 10-12 2012, agreed to no strike or lockout provisions and to extend the expired collective agreement for talks to take place. CityWest insisted on coming back to the table with all of their outstanding concessionary demands still in place.”
Currently both sides are awaiting dates with the Canada Industrial Relations Board, Zroback says she also takes issue with CityWest releasing bargaining points to the public.
“It’s simply not productive to try to negotiate a collective agreement through the press. We recognize CityWest already struggles with customer opinion, and we would like to change that, not make it worse,” she said.