Tuesday, April 12, 2011  
   Volume 81 - Issue 15 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“The talent in this community is unbelievable.”
- Michele Dobek-Koinberg  
Production at Teck’s Elkview mine outside of Sparwood resumed last Friday, April 8th, after 59 per cent of the United Steelworkers union workforce voted in favour of a settlement between the union and company.
“We’re very happy that people are back to work,” said Marcia Smith, Teck’s Vice President of Corporate Affairs of approximately 70 per cent of the mine’s workforce resuming production. “It’s very good news.”
The settlement was reached during talks between the United Steelworkers Local 9346 union bargaining committee and Teck, officiated by Vince Ready, at the company’s headquarters in Vancouver on Saturday, April 2nd.
The agreement was subject to a ratification vote by union members, which took place from Tuesday, April 5th to Thursday, April 7th.
Information meetings regarding the settlement agreement were held on Tuesday and Wednesday, for union members who had any questions or concerns regarding the agreement, and ballots were counted on Thursday after 4 p.m.
Of the 689 eligible voters, 612 cast their votes, with 359 (58.7%) in favour of settling, 252(41.1%) opposed, and one spoiled.
“The two key issues that our membership brought to us were addressed,” said Union President Chris Nand of the settlement.
The terms of agreement will be retroactive to Nov. 1, 2010, employee RRSP contributions will remain at four per cent per year for the next five years while company contributions to employee RRSPs will increase, and medical benefits will be extended to retirees.
“We’re very happy about the retiree benefits,” said Nand. “We’ve never had that before.”
“We still have a few members that are not too happy about the settlement,” he said. “But we live in a democracy, and that’s the way it went.”
The settlement put an end to the mine’s 68-day strike, which began on January 30th after contract negotiations broke down regarding the new proposed five-year contract retroactive to Oct. 31, 2010, when the last contract expired.
The company has no official estimate as to the total loss of revenue generated from the strike, but Smith said overall coal production and sales did decrease from 24.5-25.5 million tonnes to 23.5-24.5 million tonnes.
“This was a result of not only the labour dispute, but also due to unusually difficult winter weather conditions this year,” said Smith.
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   Volume 81 - Issue 15 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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