No picket lines yet in Qualicum Beach

Union issued 72-hour strike notice on Thursday; starting with ban on overtime

Qualicum Beach union employees have issued 72-hour strike notice and, while communicating, the two sides are not currently negotiating.

The town’s roughly 50 union employees, members of CUPE Local 401, were in a legal strike position as of 10:25 a.m., Sunday, July 26.

“They have given some notice that there will be a ban on overtime, but they could also do something more major,” Deputy Chief Administrative Officer John Marsh said before the weekend. “From a management standpoint we have to prepare for the worst-case scenario,” he said, adding they could show up with pickets Sunday morning, but as of midday Monday they were not picketing.

“We had a mediator in this morning, but there is no movement yet, no progress,” chief administrative officer Daniel Sailland said Monday afternoon.

He said they hope to have news within 24 hours, “but we’re really just taking it one day at a time.”

Employees voted 94 per cent in favour of strike action in early May, after their contract expired in 2013.

“We have just finalized the essential service order,” Local 401 vice president Laurence Amy said Friday, adding “we won’t shut Qualicum Beach down, we would like to get back to the table.”

But Amy didn’t hide his frustration, explaining that the employer forced a last proposal vote, skipping the bargaining unit and going directly to the members.

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