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Don’t play politics with our livelihood, workers tell BC Liberal candidate

Campbell River—Workers at the Myra Falls mine were surprised to learn that an area BC Liberal candidate was taking credit for the mine’s re-opening.

“Workers don’t appreciate being used as pawns in the election,” said Joie Warnock, Unifor Western Director. “Wearing a hard hat at a photo op is not the same thing as negotiating the re-opening of a mine.”

Unifor’s members at the mine are glad to be back at work and appreciate the steps taken by the company to make that happen, but they didn’t welcome the questionable claims being circulated by BC Liberal candidate Dallas Smith.

Smith has been boasting on social media that he has “been working with all stakeholders to get Myra Falls restarted,” a claim that those working at the mine were puzzled to hear.

“I’ve been involved in negotiations for two years and I’ve never once seen Dallas Smith at the table,” said Bill Garton, Unifor Local 3019 President. “If Dallas needs to pad his resume to get elected, he should leave us out of it.”

Local 3019 represents 270 workers at the copper mine. Miners say that a combination of factors, especially global commodity prices, lead to the cyclical employment patterns at the mine.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.