Western Forest Products Inc. says negotiations with the United Steelworkers union representing workers in a long-running coastal B.C. strike ended without resolution on the weekend.

The company says no active negotiations are occurring and no future mediation dates have been scheduled after 14 hours of bargaining occurred on Saturday and Sunday supervised by two independent mediators.

According to a bargaining update from the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937, it passed a unanimous motion directing the bargaining committee to reject Western Forest Products’ proposal in its entirety. It also urged the company to stop the delaying tactics and return to the mediation table.

Read: Western Forest Products to cut health benefits for striking staff

Don Demens, chief executive officer at Western Forest Products, says the mediators informed the company talks were over after it presented a contract offer. He also says the company agreed to drop proposals to modernize agreements, as well as pension plan alternatives opposed by the union, but didn’t go along with Steelworker demands for a shorter-term agreement, bigger wage hikes and less shift flexibility.

The union said the company hasn’t addressed numerous member proposals, one example of which is around long-term disability benefits. Western Forest Products said its LTD proposal will allow for the benefits to be extended past age 60. “Nowhere in the proposal is a statement of this assurance,” said the union update. “The union has a proposal to extend LTD coverage past age 60 for members, but WFP has refused to accept it.”

The strike, which began July 1, affects about 3,000 coastal forest workers employed in the company’s sawmills and timberlands operations.

Read: Health benefits a sticking point in contract talks between GM, union

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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