BC Place Workers Issue Strike Notice

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Workers at BC Place have issued a 72-hour strike notice, saying ongoing contract negotiations have gone nowhere.

On Monday, the union representing the workers, the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU), asked the mediator to leave the talks.

"What we're trying to do it to apply pressure to get back to the bargaining table," said BCGEU spokesperson Karen Tankard.

"We have no new talks planned. Our members do not want to strike. Our members want a fair collective agreement."

Tankard said the strike notice is an attempt to pressure the employer, the B.C. Pavilion Corporation, into more productive talks.

The main stumbling block between the union — which represents 3,000 employees at B.C. Place Stadium — and the employer, is job security. The BCGEU says it is concerned with the contracting out of work and cuts to hours for employees.

The earliest workers could walk off the job is Friday afternoon, which could jeopardize a Vancouver Whitecaps FC game scheduled for Saturday.

The affected workers include those who perform maintenance, security, hosting, first aid and other skilled trades at the stadium.

The newly renovated stadium, home to the CFL's B.C. Lions, is scheduled to host the Grey Cup on Nov. 27.

The stadium reopened following a $563-million renovation that included the installation of a new retractable roof and a scoreboard with massive television screens.

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