Conciliation talks between AEA/GSU Local 8 and Advance Tank Production/Advance Tank Centres Ltd ended abruptly on Feb. 4 after the employer’s representatives rejected a counter proposal from the union and left the hotel where the meetings were taking place.
According to GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner, the conciliator will report out of the process thereby triggering a 14-day cooling off period.
“Under the Saskatchewan Employment Act, when a conciliator in a collective bargaining dispute reports out of the process by informing the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, a so called 14-day cooling off period begins at the end of which the parties are in a legal position to take lockout/strike action,” Wagner said. “The parties are free to continue to attempt to bargain a settlement during the cooling off period and are not required to engage in lockout or strike action, but the legal window to do so opens when the 14 days run out.”
During the next two weeks, AEA/GSU Local 8’s Executive Committee will be consulting members of the bargaining unit as well as making preparations for a strike vote.
“All options are on the table and I will be working with the Executive Committee of the Local on an appropriate course of action,” said Wagner. “I will also be consulting with the Board of Directors of the GSU Defense Fund to make arrangements for strike/lockout pay in the event it is needed.”
The 14-day cooling off period in this bargaining dispute will likely end around Feb. 19, depending on when the conciliator files his report with the Minister.