Highland Valley Copper employees prepare for strike vote

By James Peters
July 14, 2017 - 11:38am

LOGAN LAKE, B.C. — Members of the United Steelworkers Local 7619, employees at Teck Highland Valley Copper in Logan Lake, will vote on potential strike action this weekend.

Local 7619 President Kyle Wolff says lengthy negotiations on a new contract have reached a standstill.

"We've been at it for seven months now, and we've reached an impasse," said Wolff.

"The company wants major concessions, eliminating jobs from the workforce, replacing them with contract and casual labour; percarious work, as we call it. We're not willing to accept the elimination of our workforce."

"There's no justification for it. They just want to line their pockets with more money. They're currently making record profits. Copper is expected to continually increase over the next several years. The CEO of Teck Corporation is talking about needing 30 more Highland Valley Coppers to support the market load."

The union members, numbering more than 1,000, have been without a contract since last September.

Wolff says voting will take place at the Logan Lake Recreation Centre on Sunday, July 16.

"We're hoping to get the company's attention to show that we mean business and that we can get back to the table and start talking about getting back to work and getting back to normal without the concessions that are there."

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