A breakdown in contract negotiations has prompted plans by Rogers Communication Inc. to lock out nearly 300 former Shaw technicians on Monday after the union issued a 72-hour notice of workers’ intent to walk off the job.
United Steelworkers Union Local 1944 Unit 60, which represents the workers in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey and Langley, B.C., says it notified Rogers that it planned to begin a series of rotating strikes at noon on Monday after rejecting a deal from the company.
But Rogers says it will lock the employees out at that time, describing the move as a reluctant step to ensure the company can continue to provide service for its customers without interruption.
The former Shaw technicians, who were absorbed by Rogers when the companies merged earlier this year, support homes and businesses for internet, phone and television services throughout B.C.’s Lower Mainland.
Their concerns largely centre on job security amid accusations the company has been increasing its reliance on contractors to perform their duties.
The two sides had been at the bargaining table since February as the union’s members worked under the terms of their previous collective agreement, and workers voted 99.6 per cent in favour of a strike mandate in September.