South Slocan Fortis workers involved in labour dispute

A union representing eight employees at FortisBC in South Slocan has served 72-hour strike notice.

Eight employees at FortisBC in South Slocan are among workers represented by COPE 378 who have voted to strike.

Eight employees at FortisBC in South Slocan are among workers represented by COPE 378 who have voted to strike.

A union representing eight employees at FortisBC in South Slocan served 72-hour strike notice Tuesday.

Members of Canadian Office and Professional Employees union local 378 voted 88 per cent in favour of job action.

“The strength of this vote is because of the employer’s attempt to attack our benefits,” COPE 378 senior representative Brad Bastien said in a news release. “They’ve put forward packages for employees and retirees that are significantly worse than what we have now.”

FortisBC said in a release that it will apply to the BC Labour Relations Board to have some work designated essential. No job action can take place until that order is in place.

“The company looks forward to resuming negotiations with the union on October 3 and working to reach an agreement through dialogue,” communications director Joyce Wagenaar said.

Overall the union local represents 145 members in the Okanagan and Kootenays, including 81 in Trail. The rest are in Kelowna, Penticton, and Oliver.

Members perform inside work including office administration, information technology, design, planning and project coordination.