More than a week after their employer locked them out, employees of I.G. Machine & Fibers near Ashcroft remain off the job, with no negotiations scheduled.
The employees had been served with a lockout notice the week of July 5. On July 12 the company gave notice that they were locking workers out as of 7 p.m. that day.
The worksite at the northern end of Barnes Lake has been one of the properties under evacuation order because of the Tremont Creek wildfire. The order was put into effect on July 14, and an employee who spoke with the Journal on condition of anonymity said that the only contact the company has made with the union is to let them know that the plant is still under evacuation order.
“There has been no negotiation and no offers,” the employee said. “Both sides are waiting for the other.”
I.G. put forward a “best and final” offer in April, after more than a year of negotiations, which the union turned down twice. Negotiations resumed in mid-June, with the union then taking a strike vote.
They also asked the Labour Relations Board to become involved following a hiring dispute. The employee says that management has failed to respond to the Board, and that no meetings are currently planned between the two sides.
Some 40 people are employed at the site, where rock is crushed and coloured, then shipped to other divisions to create roofing shingles. There are 100 companies in the I.G. Machine & Fibers Ltd. corporate family.