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B.C.'s Gibraltar mine workers threaten to strike

Union representing more than 500 unionized miners give Taseko Friday deadline
Taseko's Gibraltar copper mine is a major employer for the Cariboo region.

The union representing miners at the Gibraltar copper mine near Quesnel are warning the mine’s owner that workers will go on strike, if a settlement cannot be reached by Friday.

The miners’ collective agreement with Taseko (TSX:TKO) expires May 31. Unifor Local 3018 said Taseko “has failed to make meaningful proposals at the bargaining table.”

Unifor local members have voted 98 per cent in favour of a strike, if an acceptable new collective agreement can’t be reached by Friday midnight, the union said.

"With the rising cost of living it's crucial that our members at Gibraltar receive fair wages, strong safety protocols, and equitable treatment on the job," Unifor national president Lana Payne said in a press release.

The Gibraltar mine, located halfway between Williams Lake to the south and Quesnel to the north, is the Cariboo region’s largest employer. It employs 550 unionized miners.

“Unifor has negotiated in good faith to avoid work stoppage at Taseko's only functioning copper mine," said Unifor western regional director Gavin McGarrigle.

"We need Taseko to get serious about resolving basic issues if we're to avoid job action."