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UPDATED: Steelworkers, Kootenay Savings Credit Union headed for labour disruption

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
October 18th, 2016

It appears Kootenay Savings Credit Union is headed for a major labour disruption.

United Steelworkers Union 1-404 and 9705 members served 72-hour strike notice on Kootenay Saving Credit Union Monday night in Trail the union said in a media release Tuesday.

Kootenay Savings Credit Union countered by serving the Steelworkers with 72-hour lockout notice.

The strike and lockout notices puts both parties in legal work stoppage position as of 8 a.m. Pacific, (9 a.m. Mountain time) Friday, October 21, 2016.

Earlier Tuesday, the union says their decision comes after talks broke off Monday night and following 12 months of bargaining, including the last four days of mediation with a provincial mediator.

“The employer continued to refuse to remove their concession that eliminates the pension protection language that was bargained into the agreement almost 30 years ago,” said Dean Lott, lead negotiator for the union.  
Lott said Kootenay Savings also continues not come to the table with a fair wage increase and insisting on the pension concession.

“Our membership, with a strike mandate of 96.3%, is not going to waver on this issue,” Lott said.

“The pension protection language is the most important issue on the table and it has to continue to be in the collective agreement.”

USW Locals 9705 and 1-405, represents unionized branches and offices in Trail, Castlegar, Salmo, South Slocan, Kaslo, Fruitvale and Kimberley.

Lott said the membership would be in a legal strike position on Friday, October 21, 2016. 
“The employer has not shown us any model where there is any kind of worst-case scenario for the removal of the language,” Lott said.

“We will not bargain ‘what if’s’”. The Union remains committed to returning the table to bargain a fair collective agreement at any time.”
Lott said unionized employees at Kootenay Savings Credit Union recently renewed its strike mandate with a 96.3% vote. He said this is an increase of 2% of the previous vote in September by USW Locals 1-405 and 9705 members.

Lott said the bargaining committee would communicate the next steps to the membership this week.

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