Hecla miners reject arbitration; opt to continue year-long strike

MULLAN, Idaho - The United Steelworkers said today that the members of Local 5114 in Mullan, Idaho, have overwhelmingly rejected a proposal that would end a year-long strike at Hecla Mining Company's  Lucky Friday mine by submitting the outstanding issues to binding arbitration.

The miners, who began their strike against the company's unfair labor practices almost exactly one year ago, on March 13, 2017, voted to continue the labor dispute rather than risk allowing a panel of arbitrators to impose a contract that would give management unprecedented, unchecked control over who works and the schedule they work, along with who advances through Hecla's job progression system and at what pace.

"Clearly, the members of Local 5114 remain united in solidarity and their determination to fight for the fair contract they have earned and deserve," said USW District 12 Director Robert LaVenture. "On their behalf, and on behalf of their families and the community which has steadfastly supported them, I strongly encourage Hecla management to return to the bargaining table to negotiate in good faith and resolve the remaining issues," he said.

No meetings with Hecla management are reportedly scheduled, currently. Members of Local 5114 will sponsor a rally at Mullan Pavilion and march to the Lucky Friday picket line on Saturday, March 17, to commemorate one year of their strike.