Glencore will have to provide more details on their bid to take over Teck’s coal mines in the Elk Valley to get support from the United Steelworkers union.
USW Western Canada Director Scott Lunny said the union would withhold support of the Swiss company’s purchase until their concerns are addressed.
“While we see a number of good and broad commitments such as job retention, a Vancouver-based head office with offices in Sparwood and Calgary, investments in recycling, water quality, training, development and other community initiatives, the underlying concerns persist regarding Glencore’s role as a corporate entity and the absence of communication from the company to the union gives us pause to fully support the deal,” said Lunny.
“Those issues were raised by Teck itself previously, as well as others in Canada,” added Lunny. “We need to hear from Glencore directly, with enforceable commitments on the future of steelmaking operations in the Elk Valley, their treatment of the workforce and commitment to the communities.”
Union officials say Canadians deserve high standards to protect workers, communities and the environment.
“We believe B.C. mining operations are and need to continue to be ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) leaders. That provides stability and certainty for our members and provides ongoing benefits to First Nations and investment across the province,” said Lunny. “We need specific assurances and details about future plans for the Elk Valley operations from Glencore, including its commitment to the Fording River Expansion (FRX), before we can consider support for this sale.”
Lunny emphasized the importance of taking a close look at the deal.
“We understand mining is a global industry, but we also know the heightened significance of scrutinizing takeovers through a national security lens, especially considering the impact of the loss of Canadian companies. It is crucial to assess these transactions in the context of economic supply chains and national interests,” said Lunny.
USW officials said the union and its members intend to watch and get involved in the required review by the Canadian government.
The union will also urge the B.C. government to be an active participant as well.