Teck Corporation Threatens Punitive Action Against United Steelworkers for Support of Kamloops Food Bank

KAMLOOPS, BC, Oct. 6, 2016 /CNW/ - United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7619 is calling out the management of Teck Resources in response to its mean-spirited threat to discipline USW members for stepping up on behalf of their community.

USW Local 7619 members are being threatened with discipline by Teck Highland Valley management for using union book-off time to assist the Kamloops food bank.

"This bullying may be effective in threatening workers in developing countries where Teck operates copper mines, but it won't work here. Teck may believe this is the way big global corporations are supposed to act, but it's fundamentally un-Canadian," said USW Local 7619 President Kyle Wolff.

Teck bears no financial costs for any hours the union schedules its members for union service and business. Teck's threat to punish Steelworkers for volunteering for the Kamloops food bank on union time is an attempt by the company to intimidate USW members as bargaining between the two parties gets underway.

"If Teck believes our members' resolve for a fair contract will be broken by their threats, they are out of touch with their workforce and out of touch with our community," Wolff added.

USW Area Supervisor Randy Gatzka, leading collective bargaining with Teck, said, "In my 30 years of representing workers, I have never seen an employer sink so low as to threaten discipline of workers for supporting their local food bank."

"Whether it's through our contributions to local food banks, the United Way or through our Steelworkers Humanity Fund, our commitment to our neighbours is steadfast and unwavering," noted Wolff. "It's sad we can't say the same for Teck Corporation."

The local challenged Teck Corporation management to meet and exceed their hours of service to local food banks. In addition to above-mentioned community groups, USW Local 7619 supports The Kamloops and Logan Lake WHY, Boys and Girls, Big Brothers and Sisters, CMHA, New Life Mission, Family Tree, ASK Wellness Centre, Merritt Fireside, Logan Lake Seniors Centre, Kamloops and Logan Lake Literary, Soups On in Ashcroft, MADD, Royal Canadians Veterans Society, BC Cancer Foundation, Royal Inland Hospital, as well as numerous local charities, fundraisers and community groups from the Logan Lake, Ashcroft, Merritt and Kamloops areas.

To learn of opportunities to join USW members in community service please visit www.usw7619.com.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: Kyle Wolff, USW Local 7619 President, 250-828-2860; Randy Gatzka, USW Area Supervisor, 604-683-1117

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