Goderich, Ont., workers locked out of jobs

Comes after union applied for first-contract arbitration: USW
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 12/12/2017
Labour relations
After the union files its application at the beginning of January, an arbitrated, first-contract settlement could be reached within a few weeks. SHUTTERSTOCK

Thirteen Goderich, Ont., workers were locked out by ASAP Secured on Dec. 9.

The employees — members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9597 — reported to work and discovered they were locked out of their jobs, said the union.

“The workers were given no warning that they were being locked out. The union was informed by the employer after the lockout began,” said Marty Warren, USW Ontario Director. “This is an unnecessary move by a company that for months has refused to negotiate a fair collective agreement with its employees.”

The workers are employed by ASAP Secured, which has a contract to provide security services at the Compass Minerals operation.

After joining the USW in 2016, the workers have been trying to negotiate their first collective agreement for several months. In June, they voted 100 per cent to reject a contract offer from the company, according to USW.

The major issue in the negotiations is wages.

The company decided to lock out the employees after the union advised that it would be applying for first-contract arbitration as a result of changes made to Ontario’s labour laws under Bill 148, said the union.

After the union files its application at the beginning of January, an arbitrated, first-contract settlement could be reached within a few weeks.

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