Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Tarsands workers rally in Fort McMurray

Oilsands workers rally in Fort McMurray
Protesting ongoing labour dispute

FORT MCMURRAY — Hundreds of workers fed up with an ongoing labour dispute in the oilsands rallied in Fort McMurray on Wednesday night.

The workers, many of them from the pipefitters and electrical workers unions, are not happy with a four-year contract offer, and say they’re disappointed in how their union leaders have negotiated.

“My thoughts on a four-year contract is it’s too long,” said worker Shane Brooks. “We don’t know what’s going to happen in four years from now.”

The offer currently on the table includes retroactive pay to Aug. 12 and a 23 per cent wage increase over four years.

The workers in attendance are pushing for a two-year contract with retroactive pay to May 1, when their old contract expired.

Union leaders have said workers are starting to struggle financially during the labour dispute.

Boilermakers, plumbers and pipefitters are among several construction trades yet to ratify agreements with the Construction Labour Relations Association, which represents contractors.

Settlements have been reached with 17 of the 25 trades.

Under the Alberta labour code, if 19 have reached agreement, the remaining unsettled trades lose their right to strike and must also accept a deal.

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