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Union preparing another proposal in Rockwool strike

The union for striking Rockwool workers in Grand Forks is getting ready to present another offer to the employer.

Speaking with Vista Radio late Wednesday morning, United Steelworkers Local First Vice President Katie Crane said the most recent offer was rejected by 66 per cent in a weekend vote.

“I’m actually putting a proposal together today to send out to them, so we’ll see how that goes,” Crane said.

She’s been collecting information from employees, through face-to-face conversations and electronically, on what were the standout issues in the rejected contract.

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“I think we’ve got a little bit of an idea of what to propose to the employer,” she said.

Wages are still the “big issue.”

“I think if you look at strikes that are going on in Canada and the U.S. right now, that is kind of the overarching issue with everyone. People just want to see a little bit more in their pocket which is totally understandable,” Crane said.

The most recently rejected contract was put together through a mediator. Crane says the mediator will be informed of what is going on now and the union would use the mediator again if both sides were in agreement.

With the picket lines now approaching six weeks on Friday, Crane is thankful for the community support.

“Even different union members in Grand Forks that have stopped by and spent some time on the picket lines with people and that’s been really appreciated and has meant a lot to the members there,” Crane said.

There are 160 workers on strike.

In an email to Vista Radio, spokeswoman Sarah Sinovic said “we are in contact with the union to move forward with further negotiations and hope to come to (a) resolution soon.”

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