United Steelworkers Union Local 1-2017 strike continues at Mount Polley Mine southeast of Quesnel. Chris Tate photo

Mount Polley Mine strike stretches into third week

No talks scheduled

A legal strike by 200 unionized workers at Mount Polley Mine is now three weeks old.

United Steelworkers Local 1-2017 business manager Dan Wil said Wednesday there have been no changes to the situation and so far no sign of the two sides resuming talks.

“It is a difficult time for everyone as they would much rather be working,” Wil told the Tribune.

There are two picket lines — one at the Bootjack Road entrance to the mine site from the Likely Road and the other at Gavin Lake Road where vehicles can access the mine from a back route.

Wil noted the picket lines are being covered by six to eight people at the Bootjack Road location and two to three people at the Gavin Lake Road location, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The union began its strike on May 23, after the employer held an early-morning lockout in hopes of speeding up collective bargaining.

At the time, Mount Polley Mining Corp. General Manager Dale Reimer said the present collective agreement expired at the end of December.

The Tribune reached out to Reimer for an update on whether operations continue at the mine as he indicated they were at the beginning of the strike, however, he has not responded yet.

In a bulletin to union members dated June 11, the bargaining committee said it continues to be available to meet with the company at any time to possibly conclude negotiations.

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