Negotiations in limbo as Kitimat and union both say it’s up to the other side

Unifor 2300 says the District has refused to come back to the table while the District says they need a response from union.

Unifor 2300 is saying it’s up to the District of Kitimat to get back to the negotiating table to pave the way to getting the strike settled.

The District of Kitimat meanwhile contends that the ball is in the union’s court.

“We have, on numerous occasions now, extended the invitation for the District to come back to bargaining and most recently…[to] the mayor directly to be involved in bargaining. To date they haven’t responded,” said Unifor 2301 Business Agent Martin McIlwrath, who is representing the workers of 2300.

“It’s all we can do, is to request to resume bargaining. They are refusing,” he said. “Pretty much silence.”

McIlwrath said there’s still information the union needs to know from the District, notably the finer details of how their offer could mean a 12 per cent property tax increase, as the District of Kitimat has stated.

“We don’t know where their budget is. So I don’t know if the cost of our contract would increase anything. I don’t even know that because I can’t see their budget,” he said.

Over at the District, Chief Administrative Officer Ron Poole says the town has yet to receive a formal response from the union to the final offer.

“We’re still waiting for them to give us something as to what they don’t like or what they do like in the offer,” said Poole. “We are willing to negotiate but we feel the ball is in their court since we’ve placed the final offer on the table.”

Poole said the last time the two sides met was in regard to the offer but there was no written response from the union.