TEMISKAMING SHORES – As a province-wide strike by Ontario’s unionized carpenters enters its second week, members say it could have an impact on construction projects in Temiskaming.
The strike began May 9 by members of the Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario, which is made up of affiliated local unions of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and who work in the industrial, commercial and institutional sector.
Fifteen to 20 members are located in the Tri-Town area, said Henry Charette, a Coleman Township member and strike captain, earlier this week.
“Hopefully we get a deal this week,” said Charette as five members of Sudbury Local 2486 picketed in downtown New Liskeard.
He’d been working on the new Temiskaming Lodge under construction in Dymond.
Another member had worked on the recently completed agronomy complex at the Ontario Crops Research Centre-New Liskeard.
Members say they work on construction projects at mines in the Temiskaming area, and in building and repairing infrastructure.
The union’s last strike was 34 years ago.
In the current round of bargaining, member Yvon Maurice said the union and the Carpenters Employer Bargaining Agency had reached agreement on most issues.
But wages remain the sticking point.
Charette said an offer of nine per cent over three years was turned down by three-quarters of members.
“Hopefully we’ll get something a little better this week, because we like the work. We’d rather work than do this,” he said.
No response from the Carpenters Employer Bargaining Agency was received by deadline.