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REPORTING · 25th May 2015
Walter McFarlane
There was Thunder, Lightning and Solidarity, as a storm crashed through Kitimat on Friday, May 22nd. Falling rain did not dampen the spirits of the Municipal workers of Unifor 2300, who were getting together with members of the Building Trades Unions who were working in Kitimat for a Barbecue and money presentation. The other unions presented the striking Municipal Workers with $12,000.

A speaker on behalf of the negotiating committee expressed it was day 84 of the struggle and they were receiving support on behalf of the BC Union of Labour. Member of unions working at the RTA Modernization have been asking what they can do to help out.

“As Unionized workers, we support organized labour and we empathize with the plight you guys are facing at the city. Considering the changing economy here, we’re hopeful you guys will end this strike as soon as possible and everyone knows that in a community where the workers are treated fairly, they give back to the community,” said Samuel Adams, who was with the British Columbia Millwright’s Union, 2736.

Adams stated the Pipefitters, Iron Workers and Electricians at the modernization opened the hearts and wallets to the District of Kitimat workers. They raised $10,000 by that morning, but there was an additional contribution from the electricians bringing the total to $12,000.

“This is day 84 of a very long and very hard strike for us. With people like you behind us, we can stick it out for a while longer, as long as we have to, to get a good, good contract so thank you very much,” said Dorit from Unifor 2300.

Unifor 2300 was told they were being backed by all of Canada as well as union workers from the United States as well. They were wished well.

The workers sang ‘Which Side are you On,’ which was written by Pete Seeger in the 1950s. It was played by Rob Burrows from the Millwright’s Union, 2736. There was an added verse relating to Kitimat. This was followed by ‘Solidarity Forever.’