A strike vote will be underway in Trail next week, after talks between the bargaining committees from the Steelworker unions and Teck Trail Operations came to stalemate. View of Teck Trail from the city’s downtown on Wednesday. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Steelworker unions call for strike vote

USW locals 480 & 9705 plan a strike vote next week after bargaining ended with Teck Trail Ops.

A strike vote will be underway in Trail next week, after recent talks between unions and Teck Trail Operations came to stalemate.

“Talks have been progressing through monetary issues over the last week, with both sides trying to work towards an agreement, ” stated United Steelworker (USW) locals 480 and 9705 in a June 7 bulletin.

“On Monday (June 5), the company informed us that the Trail Operations Bargaining Committee had reached the end of their mandate,” the unions said.

“Your bargaining committee believes that this offer fell short of what is needed to achieve a fair collective agreement.”

As a next step, the locals are asking their combined 1,000+ members to show support in the form of a strong strike vote.

“Your bargaining committee has discussed all of our options and are confident the best course of action moving forward is to go to mediation,” the union stated. “Presenting our case to the mediator will give us the best opportunity to encourage the company to move off of their position.”

A special membership meeting for both locals will be held in the Bailey Theatre on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The strike vote will take place immediately following those sessions, and will close at 8 p.m. that night.

Voting will continue in the Local 480 hall on June 14 and June 15 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

“In order to put forth the strongest possible argument to the mediator we need to show that we have full support of our membership,” the union emphasized. “This is an extremely important meeting and we strongly encourage every member to attend.”

The five-year collective agreement between Teck Trail and the USW locals expired May 31, affecting over 900 Local 480 production and maintenance workers and approximately 160 office/technical employees from Local 9705.

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