Workers at the Babine Forest Products mill in Burns Lake are represented by the United Steelworkers Local 1-2017 union. (Lakes District News file photo)

Local 1-2017 votes on deal with Conifer

Members of the United Steelworkers local 1-2017 are expected to finish voting on an agreement reached with the Council on Northern Interior Forest Employment Relations (Conifer) by March 11.

The union represents workers at the Babine Forest Products mill in Burns Lake and the Canfor mill in Houston.

The vote is on whether or not to ratify a tentative agreement that the union made with Conifer in Prince George on Feb. 13, following several months of negotiations and strikes.

“We’re recommending that they accept it…We think it’s a fair deal. We wouldn’t have recommended it to the membership if we thought otherwise,” Paul French, vice president of the union, told Lakes District News.

The proposed agreement covers 2018-2023 and provides for wage increases, including a retroactive raise to July 1, 2018.

Upon ratification, a lump sum of $500 would be paid to all active regular employees , as well as another $500 on July 1, 2020.

Other points of the agreement include a shift differential premium increase from 31 cents to 40 cents per hour, and a first aid premium rise from 85 cents to $1.

Steve Zika, chief executive officer of Hampton Lumber, which owns Babine Forest Products, said he’s glad the labour dispute is over.

“While in a negotiation neither side gets everything they want I believe it was a fair settlement.”

The agreement comes after the union went on strike a few times in 2018 amidst negotiations with Confier and the Interior Forest Labour Relations Association.

LOOK BACK: Babine Mill workers, union wait for new talks with management

The Babine and Canfor mills were subject to overtime bans and rotating strikes.

READ MORE: Strike to continue at Babine mill in Burns Lake

READ MORE: Canfor sawmill workers ready to strike in Houston

Local 1-2017 represents more than 1,500 forestry workers in northern British Columbia.


Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
Send Blair an email
Like Lakes District News on Facebook

Just Posted

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Northwest Fire Centre open burn ban lifted

Recent rain, cooler temperatures have lowered the region’s fire risk

Telkwa pot plant application passes review

Cannabis company claims new Health Canada regulations are working in its favour

Cullen demands action on Ecstall River

Failing to penalize parties involved undermines all salmon conservation efforts, MP says

Governments, industry bid on optimism amid timber review

The possibility of reduced forestry activity in the near future is sinking… Continue reading

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read