Emterra workers walk off the job in Kamloops; recycling pickup stops

KAMLOOPS – After two weeks of failed of negotiations the workers at the Emterra recycling plant are officially on strike.

Steelworkers Union boss Marty Gibbons says they are prepared for the long-haul, adding they will strike as long as it takes and one day longer than the employer.

“We negotiated every possible angle we could,” Gibbons says.

Original strike notice was given June 5 and after a mandatory 72 hour waiting period, Emterra called the union back to the table.

The union is asking for a wage increase to match current industry standards. According to Gibbons, Emterra is not prepared to negotiate; not even willing to achieve parity over the next three years.

“(Emterra) is not prepared to come to the table with anything other than long term poverty,” Gibbons says.

Originally, mayor Peter Milobar and Streets and Environmental Services manager Glen Farrow indicated the strike would not affect residents.

However, the City now says recycling pick-up will cease until further notice.

In a media release issued today, June 22, Farrow says the City is not equipped to store recyclables in a safe and environmentally sound manner. Residents are being asked to store their recyclables on their property if possible.

If necessary, recycling can be dropped off at one of three city locations:

- Lorne Street Bottle Depot at 270 Halston Ave.

- General Grant's Recycling Centre on the North Shore at 611 Fortune Dr.

- General Grant’s Recycling Centre in Sahali at 963 Camosun Cres.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at dreynolds@infonews.ca or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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