In a resounding show of support members of the United Steelworkers locals 480 and 9705 have backed their bargaining committee with an overwhelming strike vote.
The strike vote concluded Thursday afternoon and showed a “total of 99.5 per cent strike mandate,” according to the Local 480 Facebook post.
The combined two locals, which represent approximately 950 production and maintenance workers from Local 480 and 160 office/technical employees from Local 9705, had a total of 1047 votes cast with 1037 voting “Yes” in support of strike action.
The vote was called after negotiations between the unions and Teck Trail Operations reached a stalemate. The five-year collective agreement between Teck and the two locals expired May 31.
Local 480 president Armindo deMedeiros told the Trail Times prior to the vote tabulation that any strike vote doesn’t mean the members are headed for the picket line immediately.
“The strike vote is part of the process to get a strong mandate of support from the membership,” he explained
The bargaining committee will meet with mediator Vince Ready at the end of June for more talks.