Emterra strike averted, for now

KAMLOOPS – Workers at the Emterra Environmental recycling plant have avoided strike for at least another week.

The Steelworkers union, local 1-417, gave strike notice to its employer Friday, June 5, after almost three months of fruitless negotiations. Minutes after notice was served, Emterra agreed to come back to the table.

According to union president Marty Gibbons, the company is looking for sources of revenue, both internally and externally, to allow for wage increases. The company, which employs 10 full-time workers, will also look to the City of Kamloops to re-evaluate the current recycling contract.

Gibbons says the union has given Emterra numerous solutions to its revenue problems, including the elimination of one manager, but the company has been unwilling to utilize those solutions. Gibbons says while he’s glad to have avoided strike, he doesn’t believe Emterra is yet taking its workers seriously.

The union is expecting a resolution, either way, late this week. Since strike notice has already been given, the mandatory 72-hour waiting period is not necessary. If mediation ceases the union can legally strike at any time.

City officials have said a strike would not affect recycling pick-up in Kamloops. If employees do strike, the company will have to provide an alternate facility at their own expense.

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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