Thirty-four unionized workers, represented by MoveUp, started rotating job action at VantageOne Credit Union’s two Vernon locations Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. Workers are calling for basic job protection and fair security. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)

Thirty-four unionized workers, represented by MoveUp, started rotating job action at VantageOne Credit Union’s two Vernon locations Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. Workers are calling for basic job protection and fair security. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)

Vernon VantageOne pickets call for job protection, fair wages

Thirty-four unionized workers represented by MoveUp raise voices after rejecting credit union’s final offer

Basic job protection and fair compensation is what the 34 unionized employees at Vernon’s two VantageOne Credit Union locations are seeking as they begin rotating job action Monday morning on Dec. 14.

“When the employer is steadfast in their refusal to include even the most basic job protection language, that should be setting off alarm bells in the entire community,” MoveUp vice-president Christy Slusarenko said, representing the unionized workers.

Negotiations on a new collective agreement stalled the employer after refusal to include basic job protection language for bargaining unit work which is standard in most agreements, according to a MoveUp statement.

“We have seen this tactic in the banking sector of employers trying to get away with cutting jobs and opening the door to outsourcing work outside their communities and it is concerning because the people who get hurt are those who work, live and contribute to the community here in Vernon.”

The vote for strike action was unanimous among the 34 unionized employees at VantageOne after unanimously voting to reject the employer’s final offer.

The previous collective agreement between the union and employer expired Nov. 30, 2019.

“They (unionized workers) are also asking for fair improvements to wages and benefits that match their economic reality,” Slusarenko said. “They need good-paying jobs in order to keep up with the cost of living so they can afford to stay here in Vernon.”

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