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USW mill workers in Northern B.C. vote in favour of striking

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Members of the United Steelworkers Local 1-2017, which represents workers at the Canfor lumber mill in Fort St. John, have completed a strike vote for operations affiliated with the Council of Northern Interior Forest Industry Relations.

Local 1-2017 president Brian O’Rourke said that 1,629 of its members cast ballots during the strike vote, which took place from August 3rd – 11th.

He said that 1,509 workers voted in favour of strike action, or 93 percent of those who cast ballots.

The workers who held the strike vote are employed at CONIFER member operations in Houston, Burns Lake, Fort St. James, Prince George, Mackenzie, Fort St. John, Quesnel and Williams Lake.

“This represents a 93% overall strike mandate for our bargaining committee,” said O’Rourke. “Committee members will be meeting within the next week. We will also be discussing dates with the Employer Association to return to the bargaining table for meaningful negotiations.”

“The membership has given a clear message – they want a fair negotiated agreement and they have given the bargaining committee the mandate to achieve this,” added the union in a statement.

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