Covered Bridge chips strike concerns Green Party's David Coon

Green Party leader David Coon has asked the provincial government to step in to help resolve the strike at Covered Bridge Potato Chips in Hartland.

Green Party Leader David Coon wants Labour Minister Francine Landry to ask for a mediator to be appointed

The union at Covered Bridge Potato Chips is attempting to negotiate a first contract. (CBC)

Green Party leader David Coon has asked the provincial government to step in to help resolve the strike at Covered Bridge Potato Chips in Hartland.

Coon has sent a letter to Francine Landry, the minister for post-secondary education, training and labour, asking her to request an independent mediator be appointed to get negotiations going again.

Coon is also asking the minister to introduce first contract legislation as soon as possible.

Molly Cormier, a spokesperson for the Department of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour, issued a statement on Wednesday in reaction to Coon's request.

"The minister has appointed a mediation officer who will assist the parties when they are ready to work together to reach a negotiated settlement and end the work stoppage," the statement said.

Some unionized workers at Covered Bridge Potato Chips walked off the job Jan. 5. (CBC)
"The mediation officer can only start the mediation work upon request by parties involved."

The strike started Jan. 5, when about half the company's 32 unionized workers walked off the job.

They are trying to negotiate a first contract with the company, but other unionized staff have been crossing the picket line to work.

The union has been asking the public to boycott Covered Bridge chips, in an attempt to get the company to resume bargaining.

The company lost an application to have the union dismantled in February.

It would be inappropriate to further comment on the ongoing labour dispute.

New Brunswick is one of only three provinces without a first contract arbitration process.

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