International Solidarity Delegation Tracks Hecla & CEO Baker to Vancouver

Five members of USW Local 5114 carried the message about our strike against Hecla’s unfair labor practices to Canada on Jan. 22nd and 23rd, blitzing the Association of Mineral Exploration (AME) annual roundtable in Vancouver with information about Hecla’s unfair and unnecessary attack on our contract at Lucky Friday.

USW brothers and sisters from District 3 in British Columbia, District 12 Director Bob LaVenture and members of the staff welcomed the Local 5114 road warriors to the event, which is sponsored in part by Hecla and draws more than 5,000 mining industry insiders to attend.

Steelworkers surrounded every entrance to the convention center, and everyone who entered saw our banners and/or received a leaflet that highlighted how Hecla management’s awful decisions have had disastrous consequences for its shareholders, employees, our families and community.

We also organized a protest at Hecla’s Vancouver office. About 20 USW members entered Hecla’s guarded suite of offices and found CEO Phil Baker conducting a meeting in the conference room.

Baker refused to open the door and dodged the opportunity to talk about the dispute at Lucky Friday. Led by veteran miner Rick Norman, we challenged Baker to do the right thing and bargain in good faith while leaving him with a copy of the recent letter Local 5114 sent to Hecla shareholders and stock analysts.

The event also featured leaders from the Mexican Mineworkers Union, which represents workers at a mill in Durango used by Hecla and other mining companies. The solidarity for our struggle spans the entirety of North America, stretching from Mexico to northwest Canada. The spirited demonstration outside Hecla’s offices further exposed the company’s greed and mismanagement.

The solidarity and support from our USW sisters and brothers in District 3 was outstanding, and with their help, the team from Local 5114 engaged dozens of AME attendees in a dialogue about the strike, including a number of investors.

One Day Longer, One Day Stronger!

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