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Idaho Mine Strike Ends After Almost 3 Years

January 16, 2020

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

MULLAN, Idaho—The strike at the Lucky Friday mine in northern Idaho ended after almost three years Jan. 6, after United Steelworkers Local 5114 members voted 86-78 to approve a deal with Hecla Mining Co. The union said it had been able to reach more favorable terms after the workers, on strike since March 2017, rejected a previous contract proposal in December. “We, the USW and Local 5114, believe the proposed tentative agreement addresses the issues most important to our families and provides long-term security for our earnings, benefits, and retirements that we need,” its negotiating committee wrote in a memo. The agreement gives workers 31 days to complete a physical and drug test. They will receive a $1,000 signing bonus and retain seniority accrued since the strike began. Local 5114 also wanted workers to be provided with “reasonable accommodations” for the positions they held before the strike. If they are not medically capable of returning to the same job, they can discuss other options with Hecla. The deal means that the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3’s strike against the Spectrum cable-TV and Internet company, which began in late March 2017, is now the nation’s longest-running. Read more

January 16, 2020

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