Workers at Heritage Credit Union and HG Insurance in Castlegar and Slocan Park cast their ballot on Friday and firmly rejected the employer’s last offer by a 76 per cent margin.
The employer had applied for and been granted a Last Offer Vote under the BC Labour Code last week. The vote was conducted by an Industrial Relations Officer from the Employment Standards Branch Friday at the Credit Union and offices of HG Insurance in Castlegar and Slocan Park.
“This result qualifies our position that the most important issue – the pension shortfall – still hasn’t been dealt with sufficiently,” said USW Local 1-405 Financial Secretary Jeff Bromley, bargaining agent for the employees of the Credit Union and Insurance Agency. “If the employer was unsure of where we stand on the issue, they surely know now.”
The workers remain in a legal strike position after the 72-hour strike notice issued last week expired Monday at noon.
“We’re currently evaluating our next course of action but we’re running out of options,” continued Bromley. “We remain committed to get a deal and it is our hope that the strong rejection displayed by the vote spurs the employer to come back to the bargaining table. If not, the final option will be job action.”
The Bargaining Committee with Heritage Credit Union and HG Insurance remains committed to return to the bargaining table at any time to get a deal that meets the needs of the workers.
The United Steelworkers Local 1-405 is a diverse union representing over 1100 workers in Sawmills, Credit Unions, Insurance Services, Hotels, Ski Resorts and Municipal workers in the East and West Kootenays.