Rio Tinto workers in Kitimat and Kemano vote 100% in favour of strike action.

rio tinto workers image 2

Rio Tinto workers at the company’s smelter in Kitimat and power operations in Kemano have unanimously voted in favour of a strike mandate.

According to a news bulletin released today by Unifor Local 2301, which represents the workers, it’s the first 100 per sent strike vote in the history of the union.

Unifor Local 2301 and Rio Tinto have been in negotiations for a new collective agreement since June 7th, and the union’s current collective agreement expires this Friday. The union’s negotiations committee had determined that a strike vote would help them pressure the company into addressing their demands before their current agreement expires.

“Since the strike vote, the company has shown little interest in addressing our issues,” reads the news bulletin.

“Our philosophy for 2021 bargaining remains the same, ‘We aren’t necessarily married to our demands as they are written, but we are married to resolving the issues that they represent.’ After six weeks of bargaining and your support, we are more driven than ever.”

CFTK has reached out to Unifor Local 2301 for further comment.

In a written statement, a spokesperson from Rio Tinto said the company remains focused on working with the union to reach a mutually beneficial agreement without a labour dispute.

“We remain focused on working with the union to reach a mutually beneficial agreement without a labour dispute. These negotiations are an opportunity for us to demonstrate we can work together to achieve an agreement that provides a platform for a sustainable business for decades to come – this is in everyone’s best interest.”