Five-year-old Kyle Dhillon was one of about 70 people who showed up to rally support for locked out Qualicum Beach town workers Friday afternoon.

Lockout of Qualicum Beach workers reaches its fourth day

Town says the labour disruption will significantly impact municipal operations; town plans to use managers to pick up garbage

Locked out Qualicum Beach town employee Ben Miller, a father of two, is calling on council to “get back to the table and figure it out” so he can get back to work.

“I’m here today to get parity,” a frustrated Miller told The NEWS Friday afternoon outside Qualicum Beach town hall just after being locked out. “We just want to be treated fairly like every other municipality.”

Last week, Qualicum council issued a 72-hour lockout notice to staff effective 3 p.m. Friday.

This comes after the union issued a ‘Notice of Overtime Ban’ and voted to issue a strike notice.

Just after 3 p.m. about 70 people showed up to rally support for the 66 municipal workers who were locked out right before the long weekend.

CUPE Local 401 vice president Laurence Amy said the only outstanding issue is wages.

“The current mayor and council have refused to give their public employees the same modest two per-cent per-year wage settlement just like surrounding municipalities,” Amy said, adding the lockout is a first in Qualicum Beach.

Eighteen-year-old Ellen Munroe, a summer student working in the town’s parks yard, attended Friday’s rally because “we’re locked out and I want to work.”

Munroe, a Kwalikum Secondary graduate, is saving up this summer to go to UBC in the fall for her first year of university. She said if she knew there was going to be a lockout, she would have found a different summer job to save up for school.

“It’s totally frustrating,” she said with a sign draped around her neck reading: ‘Kicked out of our job site, we just want to work.’

CUPE B.C. secretary-treasurer Paul Faoro was quick to blame Qualicum Beach mayor Teunis Westbroek for the labour disruption.

“This is on his lap, this is on his watch,” Faoro told the crowd passionately. “This is one of the first lockouts on this Island and it’s under his watch — this is ridiculous.”

According to a council news release, “the town made genuine attempts to come to a negotiated resolution,” including mediation, increasing the offer and adding an $1,800 signing bonus, but said “the union is fixated on getting a minimum of two per cent a year as well as other concessions.”

The Town issued a news release confirming the labour disruption will significantly impact municipal operations. Municipal washrooms except on Beach and Veteran’s Way will be closed and the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre and Community Hall will be closed except for existing bookings. Residential/commercial garbage pickup, town services,  playgrounds, trails and the Qualicum Beach cemetery will remain open, some in reduced capacity. Due to an essential service order fire, police, airport and key water services will be unaffected. The RDN issued a release confirming Ravensong Aquatic Centre will continue to operate on schedule and transit will be unaffected. For more updates visit www.qualicumbeach.com.

Just Posted

RCMP make arrest following break-in at Parksville’s Log Cabin General Store

Police credit tips from public for helping with case

Qualicum Beach craft beer festival to showcase local brews, spirits

Event will feature 20 Vancouver Island breweries and distilleries

Vandals wreak havoc on Parksville flower beds

‘Senseless’ act causes thousands of dollars in damage

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Foot ferry service in Nanaimo won’t happen this summer

Island Ferries says it still needs to secure funding

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Most Read