July 15, 2024

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All eyes on looming strike that could hit BC’s construction sector

2 min read

The clock is ticking on a looming strike between the union representing concrete workers in the Vancouver area and its employer, Heidelberg Materials, one of the world’s largest building materials companies.

A recent post on social media by an unofficial spokesperson for the Teamsters Local 213 threatened that they have given the company until Friday to come to their terms on pensions and other measures.

“Heidelberg Materials has 48 HOURS to accept our proposals, before they #STRIKE themselves and plunge the #Vancouver construction industry and all their #Vancouver customers into chaos,” the post on X Wednesday reads in part.

The company has provided a different version of how talks are going. It says that the ongoing labour negotiations have been “productive” and that they have included support from the Government Mediation Services.

Heidelberg Materials

Heidelberg Materials/Submitted

Heidelberg Materials

Heidelberg Materials/granvilleisland.com

“The Company continues to discuss open items with the Union. Mediator Schaub is working toward a resolution with the current negotiations that will benefit both parties and allow us to move forward,” David Perkins, VP of government affairs and communications with the company, said Wednesday.

Many will likely remember the impacts that the previous strike two years ago had on the construction sector. The five-week stoppage at a dozen plants, including the site on Granville Island, led to significant delays on major taxpayer-funded projects like the Broadway Subway line, which also saw costs associated with it increase.

arbutus station broadway subway tunnel boring april 18 2024

Tunnel boring and construction on Arbutus Station at Cypress Street, as of April 18, 2024. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

“Tunnelling, which included boring under the Canada Line, and station excavation also took longer. This was in part due to a five-week concrete strike in 2022 that delayed construction of the launch pad for the tunnel-boring machines. Despite making significant progress so far, the new line is expected to go into service in fall 2027,” the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure wrote in its project update in May.

The strike also decreased the region’s concrete supply by a third, as well as hit asphalt and cement supply, which led to lengthy issues long after the union and the employer came to a deal.


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