VAUGHAN, ONT. — The Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario (CDCO) has announced its members in the ICI sector have rejected a contract offer from the employers’ bargaining agency and a strike is imminent effective Monday, May 9.

The Carpenters’ negotiators reached a tentative deal with the employers two weeks ago and members have held ratification votes at locals over that time, with the executive recommending ratification.

CDCO president Mike Yorke announced May 5 that the workers turned down the offer by a “huge margin.”

“Nobody wants to go on strike,” said Yorke in a statement. “Our union hasn’t been on strike in the ICI sector for 34 years but our members, from one side of the province to the other, have now voted overwhelmingly to tell their employers that we want a fair deal.”

The Carpenters’ three-year collective agreement expired April 30.

As a result of the vote more than 15,000 members could be on strike as of one minute past midnight on May 9.

“We are hoping that the employers will return to the bargaining table to try and work out an improved offer before then,” said Yorke, “but nobody should be under any illusion that members of the Carpenters’ union are willing to settle for anything other the fair wage increases which construction workers and their families deserve given everything that they and their families have gone through in the last two-and-a-half years and everything that they and their families are facing now.”

The union did not divulge details of the proposed deal.

Meanwhile ICI plumbers and pipefitters voted yesterday on a proposed settlement with 52.78 per cent of the UA members rejecting the deal. It was undetermined Friday morning whether a strike is imminent or if the parties will return to the table.


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