The union representing over 1,000 workers at Teck’s Highland Valley Copper mine near Logan Lake have ratified a new collective agreement.

Representatives for United Steelworkers Local 7619 announced on Jan. 22 that 869 employees turned out to vote on the new contract, with 81.2% in agreement.

The union and Teck had been at odds at times since the previous contract expired in Sept. 2021, causing the two sides to meet with mediators at the bargaining table. A strike notice had been given on Jan. 11.

The deal includes a $20,000 signing bonus for all active union members, and those that have retired since Oct. 1, 2021. As well, each member is entitled to a 2% annual wage increase.

“One of the things we spoke about at the meetings was that no matter what, we are in this together,” reads a statement from the United Steelworkers Local 7619 Bargaining Committee. “Just like any vote, what ever the group consensus lands is where we all go.  Be frustrated with the company, but there is no reason to be frustrated with each other.  The majority has spoken, time to move on.  Be proud of the significant language which will improve the lives of workers at HVC.  There are great improvements that will help employees on a wide variety of issues over the next five years.”

Highland Valley Copper mine is the largest open-pit copper mine in the country. Teck, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, is headquartered in Vancouver.