Lafarge Management Offers Insult and Continued Lock Out Of Its Employees

TEXADA ISLAND, BC, Jan. 7, 2017 /CNW/ - USW Local 816 members employed at the Texada Quarrying Ltd. limestone mine are calling out Lafarge management for their insulting actions over the Christmas holiday.

Lafarge management have locked out their own employees since October 17, 2016 after the union refused to accept Lafarge's demand that seniority rights be stripped of every employee.

On Christmas Eve, Andre Balfe, General Manager of Texada Quarrying Ltd. approached USW members whom he has locked out of employment and delivered 65 gift cards for $50 each to Safeway.

"The actions of Lafarge management are insulting and a slap in the face to their own employees. This dispute has been started and prolonged by management. Their attack on their own employees is disgraceful and a token gift card isn't going to make it right," says Earl Graham, USW Staff Representative.

USW Local 816 is seeking a fair and balanced contract that ensures the dignity and respect of every employee. Respect for seniority is a long-standing principle that most companies respect, including Lafarge until now. The union and management had recently returned to the bargaining table and made progress, but management reneged and talks fell apart.

Steelworkers and their families are grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support they have received from other unions, local businesses and the community. They have demonstrated that there is no support for Lafarge's shameful actions.

To show their appreciation for the community's support, members of USW Local 816 have decided to donate the Safeway gift cards to local food banks on Texada Island and Powell River.

"Lafarge is not only attacking the dignity of their employees, they are also attacking the community that depends on the quarry. Steelworkers and their families are Texada. We are the heart and soul of the community. If management wants to respect their employees and the community they should return to the bargaining table to reach a fair settlement," says Graham.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: Brad West, USW Communications, 604-313-9185 bwest@usw.ca

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