Important information regarding Interior Roads Limited

February 12, 2006

By now you have heard that Interior Roads Limited (IRL) has advised your Union that they will no longer recognize your right to be represented by the BCGEU. They have denied workers access to the grievance process outlined in your collective agreement, and have withheld dues deducted from your paycheck. IRL has applied to the Labour Relations Board to have the BCGEU's bargaining rights cancelled.

In addition, the BC Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association has expressed concerns to the Ministry of Transportation, that a competitor's bid for Service Area 20 (SA 20) should be eliminated from the tender process.

This has occurred because Robson Highways Services Ltd. responded to the Ministry of Transportation call for bids to provide highways, road, and bridge maintenance services in SA 20 Robson. The Road Builders Association have chosen to try to obstruct Robson Highways Services' bid, and IRL has refused to respect a legally binding collective agreement with their workers.

Despite these actions, the BCGEU remains committed to protecting your rights under the collective agreement, and ensuring that Interior Roads Limited fulfills its obligations to you and your co-workers.

To aid in that effort, we are providing you with the following update:

Information Hotline

To ensure you have access to the most up-to-date information on this dispute, and the steps the Union is taking to force IRL to respect your full collective agreement rights, we have set up a toll-free telephone hotline that you can access 247 to get accurate information: 1-800-335-5665.

Membership Meetings

A successful membership meeting was held recently in SA 20, with strong membership participation. Other membership meetings for SA 16 members has been scheduled:

100 Mile House

Wed., Feb. 15 - 2:30 p.m.

Lodge at the Red Coach Inn


Wed., Feb. 15 - 5:00 p.m.

Basement of the Legion


Feb. 16 - 3:30 p.m.

At the Recreation Centre

All off-shift members are encouraged to attend, to get the straight goods and to have your questions answered by BCGEU representatives.

Voice Broadcasts

The Union may use a telephone broadcasting system to provide members with periodic updates. This automated system calls your home phone, and will provide you with a short recorded update on

breaking news.

LRB Proceedings

IRL has applied under Section 33 of the Labour Code of BC to cancel the right of the BCGEU to represent you. Lawyers for both the BCGEU and Robson Highways Services are responding to this demand from IRL and are and are awaiting a decision.

The Union is seeking the full restoration of your collective agreement, as well as financial damages from IRL for their actions.

"Work now, grieve later"

How many times have you heard the employer say this? Labour law is quite clear. Unless the situation represents a threat to your health and safety, workers are to follow the employer's direction, and file a grievance later if you believe your rights under the collective agreement have been violated.

However, IRL seems to think the rule of law does not apply to them. Despite the absence of an LRB ruling on their application to get rid of your Union, IRL has acted unilaterally to remove your legal rights as employees! The BCGEU will work tirelessly on your behalf, to ensure that your rights are upheld.

Grievance Processing

Your collective agreement remains in full force and effect, including the grievance process. If you have a grievance, contact your Steward, who will set up a meeting with the employer designate. Your Steward will join you to present the issue to the employer, and seek a remedy. If the employer refuses to acknowledge the grievance, simply note this on the grievance and submit to the Area Office.

Pension Funds Used to Bid on SA 20?

IRL management have suggested that Robson Highways Services relied on your pension funds to create their bid for SA 20, and have circulated a convention resolution to try to support their case.

Be assured that not one penny of your pension funds was used for the bid development, or to finance Robson Highways Services. Although that option was identified in the convention resolution, it was quickly ruled out as an option once the planning work for a possible bid began.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact your job steward, who will get the information to us for a reply.