More than 1,000 workers at Highland Valley Copper mine near Logan Lake have avoided a strike, at least in the meantime.
Last week, United Steelworkers 7619 issued a 72-hour strike notice. The union was in a legal position to strike as of noon on Sunday. Mediators Vince Ready and Corinn Bell said on Sunday night they have agreed to provide recommendations for settlement of the collective bargaining dispute. The union and Teck have not come to an agreement but did agree to have the mediators provide recommendations, which will then go to members for a vote.
“The union and employer have agreed to submit the mediators recommendations to a vote of the bargaining unit membership and the executive committee of the company,” reads a statement provided to this newspaper.
No details of the settlement could be provided.
The recommended settlement will go to members of the bargaining unit and executive committee. Should members vote it down, a strike could still occur.
The union represents 1,048 workers at the mine, which is located about 50 minutes southwest of Kamloops. Employees have been without a new contract since Sept. 30, 2021.
Highland Valley produces copper and molybdenum concentrates. Once processed, the metal concentrates are exported overseas, where the majority is sold under long-term sales contracts to smelters. Copper production in 2021 was predicted to be between 128,000 and 133,000 tonnes, while annual copper production from 2022 to 2024 is expected to be between 135,000 and 165,000 tonnes per year.
— This story was updated on Jan. 17 with additional context.