Deal closed to end Metro Vancouver’s weeklong concrete strike

Members will return to work Saturday morning, said Mike Mayo, IUOE Local 115 business representative

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An agreement has been reached to end the five-week concrete strike in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.

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The strike of concrete truck drivers at Rempel Bros. Concrete Operations began on May 20.

The representatives of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 115 and the negotiators of Rempel Bros. Concrete signed a preliminary deal at the end of Thursday that was ratified by members on Friday evening.

Members will return to work Saturday morning, Mike Mayo, IUOE Local 115 company representative and chief negotiator, said in a press release.

“There will no doubt be some much-needed downpours this weekend, and our members will have peace of mind that their jobs are safe going forward,” Mayo said.

The union initially identified working hours, missed breaks, wages and the right to refuse excessive overtime, asking drivers to work 14-hour days without adequate breaks, as major concerns that led to the dispute.

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The strike initially affected more than 50 percent of construction projects in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, including residential, industrial and public infrastructure projects such as the replacement of the Pattullo Bridge and the Broadway subway project.

The parties worked with a mediator, former Labor Relations Board chairman Jacquie De Aguayo.

“This was a tough negotiation, both sides were very strong in what they wanted and we wouldn’t have found a solution to the strike without the help of mediator De Aguayo,” said Josh Towsley, assistant manager.

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