Campbell River, BC – Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Chair Brad Unger is reminding the community about respectful conduct during the strike action at the Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex.
On November 22, 2021, access to the aquatic facility, fitness area, and programming was suspended indefinitely at the Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex due to strike action taken by United Steelworker (USW) Local 1-1937 employees. The arenas remain open for booked ice user groups.
On the same day, members of the Campbell River Minor Hockey Association gathered for a peaceful rally at SRD’s corporate office at 990 Cedar Street to show support for USW Local 1-1937 employees.
While the event was intended to be peaceful, the following disrespectful behaviours were directed at SRD employees in the building:
- Banging on the windows
- Swearing at employees
- Entering building lobby unmasked
- Chanting at employees in the building through a loudspeaker held against the door
“Peaceful demonstrations are an important part of democratic society,” says SRD Chair Brad Unger. “While much of Tuesday’s demonstration was respectful, some behaviours were out of line and purposefully intimidating to staff and disruptive to neighbouring businesses who have nothing to do with the facility closure or collective bargaining. The Regional District will not tolerate disrespectful or aggressive tactics, nor will these behaviours help the facility reopen any sooner. I know that emotions are high; however, I call on the community to hold themselves to the highest standards of respect as we navigate this closure together.”
The SRD has posted more extensive information about the facility impacts and strike online at www.strathconagardens.com/strike_info
- Bargaining between SRD and USW Local 1-1937 has been underway since December 2020.
- In July 2021, both the SRD bargaining committee and the USW Local 1-1937 bargaining committee agreed to take the tentative agreement to their respective ratification process, recommending approval.
- SRD approved the tentative agreement, but USW Local 1-1937 members did not.
- The SRD has requested that USW Local 1-1937 participate in binding labour arbitration as a method to resolve the dispute. Bargaining towards a new collective agreement began almost a year ago, December 2020 and labour arbitration is a way to move forward from an impasse. In arbitration, an impartial neutral third party is agreed to by both parties and renders a decision that is binding on both parties.
- USW Local 1-1937 has not responded to three requests to return to the bargaining table with a mutually agreed upon arbitrator.
- USW Local 1-1937 employees completed rotating strike action on November 1, November 10 and November 12, 2021. The pool and fitness facilities were closed each day however the ice surfaces remained open.
- On November 22, 2021, USW Local 1-1937 employees commenced strike action with an indefinite end date. Access to the aquatic facility, fitness area, and programming was suspended indefinitely with the exception of arena ice time, which remains available to user groups that are willing to cross the picket line as non-unionized SRD managers at the facility are fully qualified and hold the legally required certification to safely maintain and operate the facility.
David Leitch, Strathcona Regional District CAO | 250.830.6703 | email@example.com