Thirty Boilermakers from Local 146 (Edmonton, Alberta) have been locked out of their jobs at CESSCO Fabrication and Engineering Ltd., since June 28 and are going without paychecks and other benefits after the company served up “last, best and final” contract demands that reduce wages and pension contributions and gut critical seniority language. The Boilermakers had been bargaining with the company for over two and a half years and had not seen increases in wages or benefits in over five years. They had hoped to continue bargaining until a satisfactory compromise could be reached, but CESSCO locked them out.
Boilermakers are manning a picket line in front of CESSCO, where their families, along with members of the community, have joined and participated daily since the lock out began.
“We’d rather keep working and honor our commitments while we continue the bargaining process with CESSCO,” said L-146 steward Jeff Burns. “We’re just asking for fair wages for an honest day of work. We’ve been locked out because of corporate greed, pure and simple.”
CESSCO, which is part of Ontario-based Canerector Inc. (formerly Canadian Erectors Ltd.), presented its last, best and final contract demands on June 25, along with a threat to lock out workers. The CESSCO contract called for a 10% wage decrease, as well as decreases in pension contributions. Additionally, it removed seniority language that sets specific rules for worker layoffs—language that protects workers against favoritism or bias and cements clear practices based on seniority.
“This is yet another case of a large multi-affiliate company looking to increase its profits on the backs of local workers who are responsible for the products and productivity that have made the company successful in the first place,” said IVP-Canada Arnie Stadnick, who lives in Edmonton. “It seems CESSCO would rather pad its own pockets than do what’s right: continue bargaining towards a contract that provides fair wages and pensions and protects the union workers who have dedicated decades of their best work to this company.
“What CESSCO has done is harsh and unfair—especially amid a global pandemic.”
Local 146 has set up a link for contributions to support the locked-out workers: https://boilermakers.ca/please-support-our-locked-out-boilermakers-from-cessco-2/