Steelworkers at Teck Coal Ltd.'s Elkview Operations Support Potential Strike Action to Back Collective Bargaining Demands

SPARWOOD, BC, Jan. 25 /CNW/ - Workers at Teck Coal Ltd.'s Elkview Operations near here have voted 98.2 per cent in favour of taking strike action to back their collective bargaining demands.

Over 700 United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9346 members, employed at the operations, have been without a collective agreement since October 31, 2010. Among outstanding issues that need to be resolved are the employer's contribution levels to the workers' retirement plan and retiree benefits.

Local 9346 president Chris Nand says that the strong strike vote sends a clear message to the employer "that the members' needs have to be addressed."

The local, which represents an assortment of workers including heavy equipment operators, trades and maintenance workers and labourers, has been in negotiations with the company since September of last year.

Negotiations resumed on Monday in nearby Fernie.

Teck Coal's Ltd's open pit operations are a key producer of high grade metallurgical coal, located in the Elk Valley, where five large open pit mines employing over 2,500 workers, are located. Metallurgical coal prices are on the rise.

The company's customers include steel producers in China and Japan.

The Steelworkers represents over 230,000 workers in all sectors of the Canadian economy.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information:

Contact: Chris Nand 250-425-0131 or Dan Will 250-386-9120

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