United Steelworkers Local 1-2017 continues its strike at Mount Polley Mine east of Williams Lake. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

United Steelworkers Local 1-2017 continues its strike at Mount Polley Mine east of Williams Lake. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Legal strike at Mount Polley continues

A strike at Mount Polley by United Steelworkers Union Local 1-2017 is in its eighth day

A legal strike by United Steelworkers Union Local 1-2017 continues at Mount Polley Mine east of Williams Lake with no end in sight.

Both sides confirmed Wednesday there are no talks scheduled, as of yet.

Dan Wil, the union’s business agent, said the picket line is still in place.

“We are into our eighth day,” he said. “Morale has been good, although people would rather be working than on the picket line.”

Mount Polley Mining Corporation (MPMC) general manager Dale Reimer said the mine is still operating with non-union employees.

“We are pretty well fully operational,” Reimer confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

The union went on a strike in response to a lockout staged by the company in the early hours of Wedneday, May 23.

On the morning of the lockout, Reimer said the labour agreement with the union had expired on Dec. 31, 2017 and the mine was hoping to speed up the collective bargaining.

“That’s the reason for the lockout,” he said.

Read More: Update: Union turns Mount Polley lockout into a strike

Wil, however, said the lockout was unnecessary and the union had told the employer it could meet the following week.

About 200 union employees work at Mount Polley.

In January 2018, the company announced staged layoffs for 2018 that will impact 78 full-time positions.

Read More: Staged layoffs at Mount Polley in 2018 will impact 78 jobs