District says little on union letter, while MLA has spoken with Rio Tinto

Unifor 2301 is seeking support from the government to lobby on their behalf against mandatory overtime at the smelter.

Unifor 2301 has sought support from the various levels of government for issues relating to what it says is mandatory overtime at the Kitimat aluminum smelter.

In a letter released late November the union says they’ll be looking for support from the municipal, provincial and federal level to lobby against Rio Tinto on its workforce practices in Kitimat.

The letter by the union was an item in council’s December 7 meeting package, but when that item came up the council opted to receive for information, but set no discussion or plan to address it.

At the time the letter was first released from the union Mayor Phil Germuth said there had at that time been no formal request for action from the council on the matter.

Skeena MLA Robin Austin meanwhile says he has since been formally contacted to lobby on behalf of the workers at the smelter.

Austin says many workers at the smelter are concerned by the mandatory overtime and the impacts it has on worker safety who may be pushed to exhaustion, and to the impacts to their families as well.

He said he has made contact with Rio Tinto on the matter and while he wouldn’t discuss the specifics of the conversation he said he has said his piece and will see where it goes from there.

The company has previously told the Sentinel that the increase in overtime for employees is relating to the efforts to bring the smelter towards what they call “steady state” as the bulk of construction of the modernized smelter has been complete.

“Health, safety and the environment is our top priority for Rio Tinto. Obviously we don’t want to do anything that risks the safety of our employees, our workers or our contractors on site,” said Rio Tinto spokesperson Kevin Dobbin.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

District looking for public input on cycling plan

Survey is open to the public until May 25

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Flooding highly unlikely this year throughout Skeena watershed

Region’s snowpack among lowest in the province

Cameras and convoys: Graduation in the age of COVID-19

Schools in Terrace and Kitimat are thinking outside the box to give students a graduation ceremony

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read