Labor Board to Prosecute Hecla for Unfair Labor Practices

More information, contact: Tony Montana – (412) 562-2592;

The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that Region 19 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Monday, June 19, 2017, issued a consolidated complaint and set a hearing for Sept. 19, 2017, to prosecute Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) for a series of multiple unfair labor practices before an administrative law judge.

In the complaint, NLRB Region 19 Director Ronald K. Hooks outlines allegations of how Hecla management broke federal labor laws in the months leading up to an unfair labor practice strike by about 250 members of USW Local 5114 at the company’s Lucky Friday mine in Mullan, Idaho, culminating on March 13, 2017, when the strike commenced and the company unlawfully implemented portions of its so-called “last, best and final” contract proposal.

USW District 12 Director Bob LaVenture praised the members of Local 5114 for their solidarity in sustaining the ongoing labor dispute and their diligence in keeping track of management’s misdeeds, which formed the foundation of the USW’s case against Hecla.

“We are strongest when our membership is fully engaged and participating in the process of collective bargaining,” LaVenture said. “Members who are not on the negotiating committee can still play an important role, acting as our virtual eyes and ears by providing vital information.”

The NLRB complaint details how Hecla management began unilaterally changing employment terms and conditions for production and maintenance workers at Lucky Friday beginning with eliminating a repair crew in December 2016, moving sand and batch plants from the mine department to the mill department in January 2017 and forcing hourly workers to take their 2017 vacation as a lump sum payment instead of time off.

The complaint further documents how specific managers threatened adverse consequences for members of the union who participated in activities protected by federal laws.

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in manufacturing, metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.

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