Essential services outlined in event of Kitimat union strike

The essential services for Kitimat were set out in a document from the Labour Relations Board if the union goes on strike.

With bargaining taking place Wednesday morning it was not immediately known if Unifor 2300, in the midst of collective bargaining with the District of Kitimat, would issue a strike notice.

The union said that following their 95 per cent strike vote last Thursday they would wait for an essential services hearing before issuing a 72-hour strike notice.

Even so, both the union and the District remained committed to working through negotiations to avoid labour disruptions and neither side were immediate available this morning.

Late Tuesday the Labour Relations Board issued their essential services decision, noting that normal snow clearing operations would take place if five inches or more of snow accumulated in Kitimat.

Bargaining unit members would also be deployed in tandem trucks if snow begins accumulating on arterial roads or on hills, the decision also says.

Management staff, however, will be in charge of 24-hour coverage when it’s not snowing, which includes sanding and salting the roads and keeping drains clear.

The essential services order says that the employer will have to use management to the best extent possible but union members could be called in to operate machinery for large snowfalls due to the increase in safety from those employees’ experience.

Sewer and water systems will see crew members called out only for emergencies, qualified employees only for Tamitik Sports Complex will respond to any property alarms, and there is no essential services necessary for Riverlodge, the order states.

For interments at the cemetery, the order states one heavy equipment operator for a back hoe, one labourer and one exempt employee will be called out.

The fire department and police services are all essential, save for the clerks at each department. Prison guards will continue normal operation.

 

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