CUPE 1004, representing about 3,700 Pacific National Exhibition workers in Vancouver, is on a strike footing and proceeding with a second strike vote.
If we go on strike it would have the potential to shut down the fair, said Steve Varty, Local 1004s second vice-president and a member of the bargaining committee. The PNE draws a million visitors to its annual 17-day fair which starts August 18.
A strike could also affect other summer activities such as Playland and the increasingly lucrative contracts that allow Hollywood film producers to use the site.
Contract issues include wages, contracting out and job evaluation. Members have not had more than a 1.65 per cent wage increase since 1994. Many of the workers are in low-paying seasonal and part-time jobs, so this represents a tiny annual raise.
Last month, union members voted 87 per cent to strike. They returned to the bargaining table with a mediator, but were forced to take a second strike vote when talks failed again.