Machinists Strike Finning for First Time in BC

LL 692's bargaining team members, Phil Miles and Laura Tetreau
IAMAW Local Lodge 692 bargaining team members, Phil Miles of Prince George and Laura Tetreau of Kelowna, hold their picket signs outside the Finning International location in Surrey, BC, minutes after the strike became official. The strike began late Wednesday afternoon when it became clear that Finning was not going to move off its final offer.

Members of IAMAW Local Lodge 692 have gone on strike at 25 locations of Finning International in British Columbia.

“We are working for a fair contract and so far Finning has not given us an offer that will get us a deal,” explained IAMAW District Lodge 250 Directing Business Representative Stan Pickthall. “We have been working hard on these negotiations over the past two days and Finning has moved only marginally from their previous position. Since no reasonable offer has come forward, our 700 members are on picket lines at all Finning locations in British Columbia.”

Wages, benefits, shifts and sub-contracting are the four major issues of concern for the workers who voted by a margin of 89.5 per cent in favor of strike action. “We have represented these workers at Finning since the mid 1960’s and until now we have never had to resort to strike action, but the company has left us with no alternative,” said Pickthall. The 700 mechanics, parts department and support personnel repair and overhaul heavy equipment for mining, forestry and construction industries in British Columbia.

“The bargaining team is available for further meetings with the employer but the strike will continue until Finning brings us a reasonable offer we can recommend to our membership,” added Pickthall.