To the Editor:
Re: Teck Resources facing calls to shut down coal mines in British Columbia over COVID-19 fears (April 8) This article unfortunately repeats untrue allegations and doesn’t reflect the extensive safeguards in place at Teck’s mines to safeguard the health of employees and communities.
There have been no COVID-19 cases at our mine sites to date, and just this week the Interior Health Authority reviewed Teck’s protocols and conducted an on-site audit. If the reporter had spoken with IHA as we suggested, they would know that the audit confirmed the health authority is “satisfied that Teck has put the recommendations from the Province in place and have strong protocols in place with regards to COVID-19.”
Teck and its primary union the United Steelworkers are also working together with the shared goal of safe operating conditions for workers. Any worker has the right to refuse unsafe work, and we will not hesitate to suspend operations if we cannot operate safely. Our focus is ensuring that all our people are safe and feel safe.
While many companies have had to lay off tens of thousands of workers, Teck is working to have the necessary precautions in place – following guidance from government and public health agencies – to maintain employment for thousands of Canadians. Instead of sharing that story, it is unfortunate the Globe & Mail instead chose to report on fearmongering and rumors.
Senior Vice President, Coal
Director, United Steelworkers (USW), District 3