23 members of a union working at Ocean Concrete in Victoria have been locked out of their workplace since 6 p.m. on April 30th.
Workers have been without a contract since January 2020, and according to a Unifor representative, Ocean Concrete is demanding concessions in the next contract with rollbacks and a three-year deal with no wage increase in the first year, a one percent hike in year two, and 1.5 percent in year three.
Unifor members have had a picket line outside the Ocean Concrete workplace site on Bay Street since May 3rd.
Victoria Buzz spoke to local spokesperson for Unifor, Jim Sadlemyer.
“We’re concentrating on getting these men back to work,” Sadlemyer said.
“Ocean concrete has locked these workers out. The company is not bargaining, not coming to the table, they won’t let them work, and we’re just waiting for the company to make a move.All they are hurting is their own bottom line. We won’t be intimidated by companies that can get the rush on working men.”
Throughout the week, workers have put working hours outside the gates at Ocean Concrete and Sadlemyer said they’ve been getting a wealth of community support.
“We’ve gotten fantastic community support from everyone driving by, horns have been honking, we’re getting coffee and donuts on a regular basis,” Sadlemyer said.
“The community is really supporting these workers. Eventually the company will come to realize we’re not going anywhere, we’re waiting, and we’re not going to cave.”
Unifor is one of Canada’s largest unions in the private sector and Jerry Dias, Unifor’s National President has weighed in on the lock out.
“Shame on Ocean Concrete for locking out workers during a pandemic,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.
“Ocean Concrete has no excuse for these aggressive tactics.”
Victoria Buzz has reached out to Ocean Concrete for comment but have not heard back as of this publication.