BURNABY, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–United Steelworkers union (USW) Local 1944, Unit 60, representing nearly 300 workers at Rogers Communications Inc. locations across Metro Vancouver, has served 72-hour strike notice to the company. The union intends to initiate a series of rotating strikes after a complete work stoppage on Monday, Nov. 6, at noon.
“We are extremely disappointed and frustrated with Rogers and their actions at the bargaining table. Our members refuse to accept a deal where they will likely lose their jobs while contractors do the work they perform. The latest offer from Rogers is a shameful attack on our members, their families and the communities Rogers serves. We have no choice but to stand up and fight for our jobs,” said Jayson Little, USW Staff Representative.
On Sept. 22, USW members voted 99.6% in favour of going on strike, giving their bargaining committee the right to call for job action, up to and including a full-on strike. Last week the union asked workers to limit overtime and Rogers has retaliated by using scab labour to fill overtime needs.
“Our collective determination hasn’t wavered and in fact, by Rogers using scabs it has grown in its intensity, strength and resolve among the membership. What is also frustrating is the lack of federal anti-scab legislation that the Trudeau government promised. Because of these scabs and the absence of federal anti-scab laws, we are likely to be spending the next few weeks heading into the Christmas holidays on a picket line instead of with our families and doing the jobs we love,” said Little.
The union started conciliation through the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) on Aug. 3, 2023. The two parties have been in negotiations since February and the workers continue to work under the terms of their previous collective agreement that expired on March 23.
“Our members and the Canadian public believed in good faith that Rogers was committed to building their workforce in Western Canada through the Rogers-Shaw merger. As part of a set of guarantees for approval of its takeover, Rogers made commitments to the federal government that it must create 3,000 new jobs in Western Canada,” said Scott Lunny, USW Director for Western Canada.
“What we are seeing now is the complete opposite, with Rogers attempting to replace employees with contractors. That runs counter to those commitments, and our members are not going to stop fighting for better job security and contracting-out language,” said Lunny.
On Oct. 2, the parties entered a 21-day cooling-off period which ended on Oct 23. The primary issues for the union revolve around the contracting out of jobs.
The USW represents 225,000 members in nearly every economic sector across Canada and is the largest private-sector union in North America, with 850,000 members in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean.
Each year, thousands of workers choose to join the USW because of our strong track record in creating healthier, safer and more respectful workplaces and negotiating better working conditions and fairer compensation – including good wages, benefits and pensions.