USW members take impromptu job action at Highland Valley Copper

By James Peters
January 17, 2018 - 2:58pm Updated: January 17, 2018 - 4:04pm

LOGAN LAKE, B.C. — UPDATE 4:05 p.m.: Teck Highland Valley has now commented on the disruption today.

Environment and Community Affairs Superintendent Peter Martell says the situation has now been resolved.

"There was a limited interruption in the work today related to the implementation of the new collective agreement. This has now concluded and operations are continuing as normal at HVC. There wasn't any impact to production," said Martell.

"HVC is fully committed to continuing to implement the agreement in cooperation with the union and making sure that we're meeting all the requirements of that agreement."

 

UPDATE: As of 3:10 p.m., employees have returned to performing their regular duties.

CFJC Today is still awaiting comment from Teck Highland Valley

 

EARLIER: Several hundred employees of Teck Highland Valley Copper in Logan Lake are taking job action today, protesting what they feel is the company's effort to circumvent ratified contract language.

The United Steelworkers members began a meeting at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, one that was still underway mid-afternoon.

An employee and USW member spoke to CFJC Today on the condition of anonymity, as speaking to media could have negative consequences for him.

The member said several hundred day shift workers stopped performing their regular duties this morning because they feel the company is conspiring to edge USW members out in favour of sub-contractors.

He added the last straw was when Highland Valley scheduled some normally scheduled daytime maintenance during a night shift, making it difficult for union members to staff and paving the way for the company to look outside the union.

"This isn't about money, so much as it is about our jobs," said the USW member. "We want to make sure that the language is respected."

USW Local 7619 President Kyle Wolff would not comment on the situation.

Teck Highland Valley has yet to return a request for comment.

USW members ratified a new five-year contract with the company last August.

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