To all members of USW Southern Interior from Local 1-405 Plant Committee at Elko:
As most, if not all, of you know, we have been without a contract since July 1, 2009. As the end of November approaches, this will mark 17 months without a labour agreement. What you may not know is that the forest industry in the Southern Interior (that's us) is the ONLY area of BC without an agreement.
Apparently, the IFLRA (the companies) don't think that we deserve the same agreement that our brothers and sisters in other areas of the province received. We beg to differ. Negotiations are going nowhere. It is time for us to send the IFLRA a message. Our union will likely call a strike vote in the near future. DON'T PANIC! No one wants a strike. However, we do need to support our Negotiating Committee and we do that by returning a very strong strike vote (something in the high 90's). Think of it as a tool to aid the bargaining process and give our Negotiators some leverage.
We, the forest industry workers in Local 1-405, have not had a labour disruption since 1986, so there are a lot of you out there who may be experiencing this type of situation for the first time. We have already heard some concerns at the workplace about not wanting to go on strike. We don't think anybody does. Again, DON'T PANIC! Remember; think of the strike vote as a tool...something our Negotiating team can use as leverage. It will be used ONLY as the last possible resort. There are additional non-strike tactics your union can use if we have a strike mandate.
When the time comes to vote, we urge all members to back our Negotiating Team and vote YES!
The Elko Plant Committee
November 27, 2010