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UMWA on strike at Teck Coal's Coal Mountain mine in British Columbia

August 9, 2010
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(SPARWOOD, B.C.) United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) Local Union 7292, representing employees at Teck Coal Ltd. Coal Mountain Operations, took strike action last Friday, August 6 at 7:00 pm.

“After six months of negotiations with very little success the Union membership made it clear that they are tired of being treated as second-class employees of Teck Coal,” said Bob Burchell, UMWA International Auditor/Teller and chief negotiator.  “All of the mines owned by Teck in the Elk Valley where the Coal Mountain mine is are paid higher than L.U. 7292 members and have a better benefit package.  

“All our members are looking for is fairness,” Burchell said.  “The employees at Coal Mountain do the same work as employees at the other Teck mines and they deserve the same benefits and respect from their employer,” Burchell said.

Burchell noted that the Union bargaining committee was prepared to meet with the company Saturday but those meetings were cancelled by the company. “They basically told us that if we were going to exercise our legal right to strike under B.C. law, then they would not meet to try to settle this dispute,” Burchell said. He said the union remains ready to meet with the company to reach a fair and reasonable agreement at any time.

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