Union issues notice to get back to bargaining

By on June 1, 2017
The three ore stockpile covers at Highland Valley Copper mine near Logan Lake. (Herald file photo).

The union representing workers at Teck’s Highland Valley Copper mine near Logan Lake is giving the company until the end of the month to come back to the bargaining table.

“It’s time to get this deal done,” stated Kyle Wolff, president of United Steelworkers Local 7619, in a union update.

It has been nearly five months since any new contract negotiations have taken place.

He told the Herald he expects the company will agree to restart contract talks and doesn’t foresee a strike vote having to take place.

“Not going back to the table doesn’t help them,” he said.

One of the biggest issues in these contract talks has been contracting out work and using casual labour, he told the Herald.

“They basically want to take everything that’s in our collective agreement and delete it,” Wolff told the Herald.

“They have made nothing but millions from our labour while they continue to redline your collective agreement,” Wolff stated in the union update.

The two sides last met for bargaining in January. The more than 1,000 unionized workers have been without a new contract since September last year.

Vince Ready has been called in to lead the mediation.

Copper prices are currently trading in the $2.50 range, between a peak of $3.75 in 2012 and bottom of $2 in February of last year.

 

-with files from Kamloops This Week

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