Western Forest Products says another round of negotiations with the union representing workers in a months-long coastal B.C. strike has ended without a resolution.
The company says talks with the United Steelworkers union broke off after they “reached an impasse” on Tuesday. A brief statement did not say which issues were sticking points, but did say no future mediation dates have been scheduled.
The strike began on July 1. The action affects about 3,000 coastal forest workers employed in Western Forest Products sawmills and timberlands operations in the province.
The union says it’s on strike over the potential loss of pensions, seniority rights and long-term disability benefits.
A previous round of negotiations fell apart at the end of November. At the time, Western Forest Products’ CEO said the mediators informed the company talks were over after it presented a contract offer.
Demens said the company offered a five-year agreement with a $2,000 signing bonus and wage increases of two per cent per year for the first four years and 2.5 per cent in the fifth year.
He said the company also agreed to drop proposals to modernize agreements, as well as pension plan alternatives opposed by the union, but didn’t go along with the union’s demands for a shorter-term agreement, bigger wage hikes and less shift flexibility.