Rogers, union representing striking workers in Metro Vancouver reach tentative deal

Rogers, union tentative deal

Rogers Communications Inc. has reached a tentative agreement with the union representing nearly 300 striking workers in Metro Vancouver after contract talks broke down and the company issued a lock-out notice earlier this month.

A statement from Rogers spokesman Cam Gordon says the company is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement, adding the goal "has always been to achieve a negotiated settlement that meets the needs of our employees and our customers."

Representatives of United Steelworkers Local 1944 Unit 60 have not responded to multiple requests to confirm the tentative deal this weekend.

Rogers had issued the lock-out notice shortly after the union announced plans for a series of rotating strikes among former Shaw technicians in B.C.'s Lower Mainland.

At the time, the union said it issued the 72-hour strike notice after rejecting a proposal from the company it described as "a shameful attack on our members, their families and the communities Rogers serves."

A statement from Rogers says it asked the union to provide clarity on the planned job action, but "no further details were shared," and the company took what it describes as the reluctant step to issue a lock-out notice and activate contingency plans to ensure it could provide customers with uninterrupted service.

The company did not confirm any details or timing about the tentative deal.

The workers are former Shaw technicians who were absorbed by Rogers when the companies merged last spring. They support homes and businesses for internet, phone and television services in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey and Langley, B.C.

The two sides had been negotiating since February as union members worked under the terms of their previous collective agreement that expired on March 23.

Workers voted 99.6 per cent in favour of a strike mandate in September, after starting a conciliation process with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

The union has said recent job losses associated with the merger, meant to reduce overlap following Rogers' $26-billion takeover, call into question the company's commitment to creating 3,000 new jobs in Western Canada over five years.

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