3/2/08

Striking Steelworkers reject another offer

Striking CIBC employees in Sudbury, Ontario rejected the company's latest offer Friday morning by 94 per cent. Union staff representative Jim Kmit said members are not returning to work for what he called nickels and dimes. After seven weeks on the picket line, employees have only become more united, he said.

United Steelworkers Local 2020 represents 66 CIBC employees in Sudbury, mostly women. "These women are much stronger now than they were seven weeks ago," Kmit said. "They are serious. They want a decent wage offer and they want an across-the-board wage offer."

Employees voted 48-3 to reject the latest offer, compared to the narrow margin of 27 to 25 when they rejected the company's first offer Jan. 13.

Key issues are monetary, including wages, pensions and benefits. Union members say the wage structure at the bank must be changed due to inequities.

In the latest offer, the company offered employees increases ranging from zero to a little over $1 an hour over two years, said Kmit.

"The fact of the matter is you go out and strike for seven weeks, you don't go back for nickels and dimes," he said.

Kmit said the latest offer gave 22 workers 15 cents more than the last offer, 30 workers 10 cents more than the last offer, while six workers didn't get any increase.

(thesudburystar.com)

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