“Insulting” severance package results in strike

Union wants government action to protect jobs
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 04/09/2003

The British Columbia Federation of Labour calls the wildcat strike at the Western Star Trucks plant in Kelowna “inevitable”, given the severance package offered to long-service workers.

Western Star’s owner, Freightliner, has taken advantage of incentives offered by Oregon’s state and local governments and is moving the plant south of the border. Freightliner is offering the Kelowna workers one week’s pay for each year of service.

The workers are represented by the International Association of Machinists. In a Nov. 1 letter to Job Protection Commissioner Eric Van Soren, the union and the B.C. Federation of Labour warned that closing the plant will result in the direct loss of 675 jobs. Moreover, the letter goes on to say that 4,000 related jobs in the Okanagan region will be affected as suppliers feel the impact of the closure.