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Staff at LNG workers’ lodge vote to strike, Kitimat project disruption feared

Mediation underway after vote by 450 hospitality, food and maintenance lodge workers

Employees at a lodge housing workers for LNG Canada’s gas facility in Kitimat, B.C., have authorized strike action, potentially disrupting construction of the massive project.

The unions representing workers at the Cedar Valley Lodge in Kitimat on the central B.C. coast say members were 97 per cent in favour of strike action, in a July 7 vote.

One of the unions, Unite Here Local 40, says Cedar Valley usually accommodates up to 5,000 camp workers for LNG Canada and is “the only accommodation facility in Kitimat large enough” to house so many people.

The 450 lodge workers who voted for strike action are employed by Sodexo, which offers hospitality, food and maintenance services at the lodge.

Unite Here says mediation with the employer began Monday at the BC Labour Board.

The union says lodge employees are “the lowest compensated workers at the LNG Canada construction site” and did not receive a 12.5-per-cent wage increase that some others working on the project received in 2022.

The statement says a strike, if it were to happen, would “cause significant disruption” to work on the $40-billion liquefied natural gas export facility project.

LNG Canada says in a statement it’s not part of the negotiations between the unions and Sodexo, but it is “hopeful” the two sides will reach a “mutually satisfactory solution.”

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