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REPORTING · 14th August 2015
Walter McFarlane
Boycotting the Unifor Labour Day Picnic, this is what a number of people in Kitimat are calling for following a letter to Council which was posted by Councillor Mary Murphy on her public figure Face Book Page earlier today.

The letter, which appears in the For Information Only package for the Council Meeting on Monday, August 17th was sent to Mayor and Council by Martin McIlwrath, representing Unifor, 2301, the union which represents the Kitimat Smelter and Kemano Power Operations Workers.

The letter is to ask Mayor and Council not to be in attendance at the Labour Day Picnic on September 7th, 2015, following the labour dispute which began on February 28th and lasted until early June.

“In previous years, we have welcomed politicians from our region (including the local politicians) to take part in our event where we showcase all of the benefits that organized labour brings to our community and society in general,” wrote McIlwrath. “In light of the recent labour dispute between the District of Kitimat and Unifor Local 2300, our Unifor Local 2301 Executive motioned to not allow Mayor and Council to attend our 2015 Labour day Picnic.”

“To insure that our event is successful and to be pro-active, we will inform the RCMP of our decision,” wrote McIlwrath.

According to Don Schaffer at the District of Kitimat, the letter was made public because it was not marked personal or confidential and was sent to Council in Advance of the meeting of the meeting agenda. While it is in the FIO Package, it could be brought forward for discussion at Monday Night’s meeting.

While it is possible for the Mayor and Council to check their titles at the door and present on behalf of themselves, Schaffer told us this could not be the case for the event as the letter states that members of Mayor and Council are not invited to attend.

“That would be up to each member of Council,” said Schaffer.

At this time, whether or not there will be a second event going on in the community has not been discussed.

We contacted McIlwrath for further information. As of publication, we have not heard back from him.
Comment by jrs on 18th August 2015
Now I think understand why there was so many problems in reaching a contract this spring.
Comment by PG on 18th August 2015
Well said LP, its their party and they'll cry if they want to...
Their $$
Comment by LP on 17th August 2015
Unifor members are footing the bill for this event with their own $$. Who do we think we are to tell them who they must invite to their party?
let bygones be bygones
Comment by Disgusted on 17th August 2015
Talk about children, what is this doing for the community? Just making the gap wider, let's show some maturity.
Comment by Joe on 17th August 2015
It's hard to believe unifor members would sanction this decision in a vote . I think it's only the bitter Mr Mcllwrath that continues to have hard feelings and doesn't care what the union membership thinks . I know my family won't be going to the picnic this year and I urge others to also boycott this event . Perhaps it's time for unifor members to toss out their radical executive
and start over this would go a long way to mend feelings.
I do not get it?
Comment by Molly K on 17th August 2015
That's soooo right folks - let's bury the hatchet. I totally would want to buy these guys lunch after they wouldn't talk for over three months, and I used any savings that I had to feed my children and pay my mortgage. Get a grip. Good on you Unifor!
Gimme a break.
Comment by Beneficiary. on 17th August 2015
I read with interest the part of the article that claims - 'all of the benefits that organized labour brings to our community', and can only wonder why I see so many Kitimat benefitters spending their dollars in Terrace. It is benefits like this that are causing a long-standing store like Home Hardware to close.
Comment by BusRider on 17th August 2015
seems kind of a double standard to me that the Mayor and Council are excluded for their "crimes" against the union and yet the company local 2301 represents is much more abusive to the union locals membership than the District of Kitimat ever was, and still are abusing the membership with arbitrary and excessive 'discipline' for the most trivial infractions, but the union president will go and pose for pictures with the company's staff at the company's photo op... all buddy-buddy like
who is in charge?
Comment by H.Sanou on 17th August 2015
There was a time that the business agent would take his orders from the executive and not the other way around.
Seems that the business agent now claims that he owns Labour Day and can actually tell people to stay away or he will call the RCMP.
I cannot believe that the executive en masse would endorse the letter that was sent to the District Council.
Comment by Pinnwheel on 17th August 2015
An open wound takes time to heel, and the Council is the salt....keep it away from open wounds.......If I aggreed with Discusted Citizen and PG then we'd ALL be wrong.....
Comment by PG on 16th August 2015
While I'm disappointed that McIlwrath continues to behave as though the strike is still on...I find it refreshing to see he has a new working relationship with the RCMP.
And this is the way for reconciliation?
Comment by Disgusted Citizen on 16th August 2015
How can people that are supposedly trying to work together, mend discordance, and start fresh in an new era think that this kind of pettiness is the way to bridge gaps and mend fences?

Enough is enough of this foolishness.....