Kelowna employees of GFL Environmental locked out

GFL workers locked out

Employees at GFL Environmental's Kelowna facility have been locked out as contract negotiations continue.

Unionized GFL employees are represented by the Teamsters Canada Local 213 who were informed March 21 that they would be locked out, starting this week.

Teamsters spokesperson Rob Cook tells Castanet this is the first agreement since local GFL employees joined the union, so they are trying to get it right.

"We've been in active negotiations with these guys for quite some time."

Cook says the membership rejected the company's latest offer and is now manning the picket line in front of the GFL facility on McCarthy Road, at the north edge of the city.

"We were very perplexed as to why we were served a lockout notice. So it wasn't by choice for us to go on strike. But we had no real options at that point," Cook added.

GFL Environmental has waste processing facilities and mobile field service operations across the province. They handle household hazardous waste which includes the collecting, processing and recycling of items like motor oil, mining waste, paints, solvents, pesticides, and medical waste. GFL holds numerous other waste management contracts in B.C.

The company is headquartered in Ontario and is the fourth largest "diversified environmental services company in North America," according to their website. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Cook says the unionized GFL employees in Kelowna are looking for wages comparable to other environmental service companies, "we very much appreciate all the support we've been given by people driving by and other Teamsters."

Cook says the union is in active negotiations with the company and they are actively trying to find a resolution.

Castanet reached out to GFL Environmental for comment and will update this story if a response is provided.

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