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Steelworkers ratify new contract at Teck’s Highland Valley Copper

Members of the United Steelworkers union (USW) Local 7619 at Teck’s Highland Valley Copper (HVC) Operations ratified a five-year collective agreement late Friday night after an 81.2% vote in favour of the new contract. The union had filed strike notice on January 10.

Ratification of the agreement comes following 42 days of discussions at the table, along with six days of mediated talks. On January 16, the parties had bargained to an impasse, and mediators Vince Ready and Corinn Bell made non-binding recommendations to take to the membership for a vote. 

“We gained a significant amount of new language to improve the lives of our members, and while we were apart on wages, the membership accepted the recommendations from the mediators,” said Kyle Wolff, USW Local 7619 President. “We have worked through floods, fires, and the pandemic like all others in the province, and the lack of recognition was evident during ratification talks. Accepting this deal was a tough decision, but the majority of our members have agreed to accept the contract, so we move on.”

“I want to thank the bargaining committee for their hard work, dedication and sacrifice during this round of bargaining, and I extend a big thank you to the members for standing by the committee every step of the way,” said Wolff.

The new contract has secured an Employment Insurance top-up for 17 weeks for birth mothers on parental leave, multiple Indigenous rights, improved safety and time-off language, along with increases in wages and benefits.

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For further information:

Kyle Wolff, USW Local 7619 President, 250-851-1278, president@usw7619.com
Brett Barden, USW Communications, 604-445-6956, bbarden@usw.ca

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