When a union and an employer cannot reach an agreement, the possibility of employees striking often looms. Recently, a situation of this nature arose in Vancouver. The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District and CUPE Local 118 experienced difficulty with contract negotiations. As a result of those issues, the workers provided the team bargaining for them a 90 percent strike mandate.
In the course of the negotiation, the national servicing representative for CUPE indicated that there had been progress on several issues. The biggest matter that was left unresolved for the 21 workers is wages. While the workers indicated they were willing to strike, they were not planning on doing so immediately. Instead, a mediator was going to be called in to help with the matter. If the employees do ultimately strike, the district would have notice of such action as CUPE Local 118 would first have to file a 72-hour strike notice. As the groups have a history of working things out, it will be a first time it has happened in the district.
In matters of this nature lawyers with experience handling labour relations can be of assistance. Having a trusted legal adviser on one’s side can ensure the best interests of a group are recognized. Ultimately their advice on contract negotiation matters could potentially result in a matter being resolved more quickly and possibly a strike being avoided. This is the best possible outcome and true whether the party represented is the union or employer.