Dear Editor:

Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting claims the reason for the lockout was to get the union back to the bargaining table and speed negotiations along. The union had offered Mainroad the week of August 27 back in the first week of June. They did not accept this week until early August.

With these dates scheduled, Mainroad still started the lock-out on August 20th, and on the 27th they only sent one member of their committee to the table. In the past it was at least a four-person committee from their head office. Would you consider this a good way to speed bargaining along?

In my opinion the real reason is that while we are locked out, Mainroad still gets full payment from the provincial government as if we were working. In the East Kootenay area Mainroad gets $1.2 million each month. In other rounds of bargaining, Mainroad has said that 40 per cent of that is the cost of labour. When I do the math, 40 per cent of $1.2 million is $480,000. There are still seven people from management working and four bargaining unit members on essential service. So take that $40,000 from $480,000 and you get $440,000 for Mainroad each month we are locked out, or roughly $110,000 for each week we are locked out into Mainroads pockets. We are now into our third week of being locked out. After reading this, what do you think the real reason for us being locked out is?

If youre having a hard time believing this is true, feel free to contact the Ministry of Highways, Mainroad or your MLA to confirm these facts are correct.

Dave Maki

Area 11 Bargaining Chair