VSA highways maintenance workers walk off the job

April 23, 2007

Highways maintenance workers employed by VSA Highways Maintenance Ltd. who are members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) went on strike today at a number of locations in the company's service area.

VSA operations in Lytton, the Lytton Ferry and Logan Lake are behind picket lines.

"Our members are sending a strong message to this employer that they must come to the bargaining table with a far better offer than a .27 percent wage increase," said George Heyman, BCGEU president. "The offer on the table from the employer is an insult. Our members are fed up and angry with the VSA's foot dragging and refusal to take this bargaining seriously."

"With the growing need to ensure we have trained staff to help maintain our highways, VSA is off the mark when it comes to any reasonable discussions about wages," he said.

"We are prepared to go back to the table when the employer comes to us with an offer that would help us reach a fair collective agreement," said Heyman.

Employees set up picket lines at the highways yard in Lytton, the Lytton ferry and at the VSA yard in Logan Lake. The walkouts involve just over 26 staff so far.

The union has negotiated essential services and will respond to any emergencies.

Highways maintenance workers repair highways and signage and respond to washouts and other issues on the highways.

VSA maintains highways on the Coquihalla Highway from Merritt to the toll booth, highways in the Logan Lake area and Highway 1 around Lytton. The BCGEU represents 120 employees at VSA.

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Contact: Evan Stewart, BCGEU Communications (604) 291-9611

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