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Steelworkers at Texada Limestone Mine Locked Out by Lafarge

TEXADA ISLAND, B.C., 17 October 2016 – United Steelworkers (USW) members employed at the Texada Quarrying Ltd. limestone mine on Texada Island have been locked out by Lafarge/Holcim management as of Monday, Oct. 17 at 8:30 a.m.

After several months of negotiations, the parties had agreed to most monetary and non-monetary items until Lafarge demanded that seniority be stripped of every employee at the quarry.

Members of USW Local 816 are seeking a fair and balanced collective agreement that ensures the dignity and respect of every employee.

“Steelworkers have been working at Texada since 1947 and during that time we have strived to make improvements to the collective agreement every time we have bargained. At the same time, USW members have worked hard each and every day to ensure the quarry is profitable. It’s shocking that after decades of a positive relationship, Lafarge now wants to attack its employees,” said Earl Graham, USW District 3 Staff Representative.

Texada Island has a rich history of mining limestone dating back as early as 1918. The mine is the oldest active mine in the province and produces limestone used to make cement that is critical to so many infrastructure projects.

Limestone mining has been the lifeblood of the Texada Island community, providing employment for generations and resources to provide the public services that the community depends on.

“By locking out its workers, Lafarge is not only attacking the dignity of Steelworkers, they are also attacking the larger community that depends on the quarry. Respect for seniority is a long-standing principle that most companies adhere to, including Lafarge for many years. It’s appalling that Lafarge would choose to go down this reckless and risky path,” said Stephen Hunt, USW Director for District 3 (Western Canada).

The USW is calling on Lafarge to drop its attack on the seniority rights of its employees and return to the bargaining table.

For further information:

Earl Graham, USW Staff Representative, 604-341-6381, egraham@usw.ca
Stephen Hunt, USW District 3 Director, 604-816-2554
Brad West, USW Communications, 604-313-9185, bwest@usw.ca

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