Rogers and Striking Workers in Vancouver Reach Tentative Deal
Rogers has arrived at a tentative agreement with nearly 300 striking workers in Metro Vancouver, represented by United Steelworkers Local 1944 Unit 60.
This development follows a period of heightened tensions, where contract negotiations had stalled, leading Rogers to issue a lock-out notice earlier this month.
“We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement,” said Rogers spokesperson Cam Gordon, according to Global News. Union representatives have not yet confirmed the deal.
The labour dispute escalated when Rogers issued the lock-out notice in response to the union’s announcement of planned rotating strikes. The union had previously rejected a proposal from Rogers, criticizing it as detrimental to its members and the communities served by Rogers.
The company, seeking clarity on the union’s planned job actions and receiving none, proceeded with the lock-out notice and activated contingency plans to maintain uninterrupted service to customers.
Details and timing of the tentative agreement have not been disclosed by the company. The workers involved are former Shaw technicians, who joined Rogers following the merger of the two companies last spring. These technicians provide essential services for internet, phone, and television in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, and Langley, B.C.
Negotiations between the two parties have been ongoing since February, with union members working under the terms of an expired collective agreement since March. In September, workers showed overwhelming support for strike action, voting 99.6 percent in favour, following the initiation of a conciliation process with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
The union has raised concerns about job losses following the merger, especially in light of Rogers’ $26-billion acquisition and its pledge to create 3,000 new jobs in Western Canada over five years, questioning the company’s commitment to this promise amidst the restructuring.