Unionized employees at the Mount Polley mine have now ratified a new contract with the company.
Brian O’Rourke is the President of the United Steelworkers Local 1-2017….
“The ratification vote that took place over Tuesday and yesterday, there were four meetings in total and we ended up with a 79 percent in favour from the members to accept the contract and go back to work.”
O’Rourke says it is a three year deal retroactive to January 1st so it will expire in January of 2021.
As for wages, he says the workers will get a 2 1/2 percent increase at the start of the third year.
He says the strike, that lasted almost nine weeks, was never about money…
“Originally the union was proposing a two year with zero percent in each year because we know the difficult times Imperial Metals is having after the breach and still trying to get back up to speed there. So we didn’t end up with a two, but we got a three and with 2 1/2 percent so hopefully that will ease the pain a little ways down the road.”
O’Rourke says the big issue involved temporary workers in terms of numbers and areas that they would be employed at Mount Polley to do certain tasks.
He hopes that the more than 200 workers can be back on the job as early as next week.
A deal was reached last week with the help of a mediator.