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Steelworkers Ratify Agreement at Highland Valley, Teck Must Rebuild Trust

LOGAN LAKE, B.C. – Members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7619, employed by Teck Resources Inc. at Highland Valley Copper mine, have voted 84.5% in favour of ratifying a new agreement with their employer. 

The agreement comes after a challenging round of bargaining during which Teck management demanded a number of concessions that would have rolled back decades worth of improvements to the collective agreement. In response, USW members returned a 99.8% strike vote and never wavered from their commitment to each other and the community.

“Our members have demonstrated the true meaning of solidarity. Faced with attacks by management, Steelworkers stood together and supported the work of the bargaining committee to achieve a fair deal that respects the work done by every member at Highland Valley,” says Kyle Wolff, President of USW Local 7619.

“Despite the approach taken by management, we never walked away from the table and were bolstered by the strength and support of our local members.”

The new agreement contains no concessions and makes improvements to wages, health and safety language, as well as maintaining the copper bonus to support retirement security. It also includes progressive language that recognizes the rights of First Nations. 

“For decades USW members at Highland Valley have taken great pride in their work and given 100%. Teck management’s attempts to turn the clock back have done tremendous harm to the relationship with their employees as well as the community,” says Stephen Hunt, United Steelworkers Director for Western Canada.

“The ball is now firmly in Teck’s court to rebuild a relationship based on trust and respect.”

Local 7619 thanks the family members of Steelworkers and the many community members and organizations for their support during this extended bargaining period.

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For further information:

Kyle Wolff, USW Local 7619 President, 250-851-1278
Stephen Hunt, USW Director, 604-816-2554
Brad West, USW Communications, 604-313-9185, bwest@usw.ca

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