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Workers at B.C.'s biggest mine ratify agreement ending strike

Workers at Gilbraltar Mine will see a 13 per cent wage increase over 3 years
Taseko Mines Ltd. and Unifor Local 3018, representing workers at Gibraltar Mine have reached an agreement.

Gibraltar Mine workers will see a 13 per cent increase in wages over three years after the union and employer ratified a new collective agreement June 18.

Workers began strike action on June 1, and were most visible along Highway 97 at Macalister. The mine has been on care and maintenance with only essential staff operating and maintaining critical systems since the beginning of the strike.

“Unifor members in Williams Lake have successfully negotiated a collective agreement that reflects their important contribution to the success of Taseko,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne in a news release. “The bargaining committee showed great leadership in demanding new equity practices. The members’ solid support for their committee during this 18-day strike was critical to being successful.”

Along with the wage increase, the union said the contract introduces a women’s advocate in the workplace to champion equity and recognizes the federal labour code’s leave for Indigenous practices. Local 3018 was also successful at adding clarity and fairness to the drug testing incident procedure as well as additional transparency during the discipline process, it noted.

“Gibraltar mine is an economic powerhouse in the region, and the community will realize benefits from this collective agreement for years to come,” said Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle.

Taseko owns and operates the Gibraltar copper-molybdenum mine. It is the second largest open-pit copper mine in Canada and the largest employer in the Cariboo region.

Local 3018 represents 550 workers at the copper mine north of Williams Lake in British Columbia. Unifor is Canada’s largest private sector union.

Angie Mindus

About the Author: Angie Mindus

I began my journalism career in daily and weekly newspapers in Alberta.
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