FortisBC has applied to the B.C. Labour Relations Board for an essential services plan after Local 213 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) began the process towards a strike.
With the request by the natural gas utility before the Board, the union is precluded from acting on its 72-hour notice, which is the final step before a strike, until the essential services plan is final. A union official did not think a strike could start for at least 10 days.
The 550 employees have been without a contract since March 31, 2011. FirstBC claims that its current offer “is market-competitive and consistent with other compensation and benefits within FortisBC.” The union is reportedly unhappy with the two-tier wage demand in the offer.
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