BURNABY, BC, Sept. 12, 2014 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) is
providing $2 million in financial assistance to British Columbia
"Teachers have offered to negotiate, mediate - and even binding
arbitration - yet the provincial government still refuses to come to
the table," said Steelworkers Western Canada Director Stephen Hunt.
"It's clear the B.C. Liberals' only plan is to starve teachers off of
picket lines. Together we will ensure that won't happen," said Hunt.
"When employers face our union they know Steelworkers will always last
one day longer. We're committed to ensure teachers and their union, the
B.C. Teachers' Federation, can do the same."
"The United Steelworkers Executive Board has unanimously agreed to
provide our full support to B.C. teachers," said USW National Director
"The Liberal government could end this dispute overnight by joining the
teachers in binding arbitration," Neumann said. "Steelworkers will
stand shoulder to shoulder with the teachers until the government
accepts its obligations."
Hunt also pledged continued solidarity with teachers from Steelworkers
locals throughout the province. Whether in Prince George, Fernie,
Trail, Kamloops or Courtney, USW local unions have been demonstrating
support at picket lines and rallies, hosting barbecues and providing
additional financial assistance and food hampers.
"As much as the B.C. Liberal government would like to drive a wedge
between public-sector unions and private-sector unions like ours, it's
not going to happen," he said. "We all know what the government refuses
to acknowledge: teachers' working conditions are our children's
Hunt noted that despite decades of hard bargaining by Steelworkers,
binding arbitration is a tool unions rarely agree to.
"The measure proposed by the B.C. Teachers' Federation is a clear sign
of their commitment to our classrooms and the students they serve. It's
time for the B.C. Liberals to do the same and agree to binding
"Public education matters to all of us, the teachers' fight is our
fight," declared Hunt.
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951;
Stephen Hunt, USW Western Canada Director, 604-816-2554; Brad West, USW Communications, 604-754-1174, firstname.lastname@example.org