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HD Mining asks union to drop foreign workers legal case

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The Chinese-owned company behind a controversial mine in northern British Columbia is pleading with a pair of unions to drop their legal challenge of the project’s temporary foreign worker permits and instead sit down to talk.

HD Mining has issued an open letter to the International Union of Operating Engineers and the Construction and Specialized Workers Union, which launched a case in Federal Court late last year.

The unions want the court to throw out 201 temporary foreign worker permits, arguing the company didn’t take adequate steps to hire Canadians before resorting to flying in Chinese miners.

HD Mining’s letter says the company needs to use the temporary foreign workers for its exploration work, and hopes the unions will consider dropping their court case to allow that work to happen.

The letter says the company wants the unions’ input about how best to train Canadian workers, and it commits to consulting the unions before applying for any additional temporary foreign worker permits.

Mark Olsen, a spokesman for the Construction and Specialized Workers Union, says the letter is a positive sign and his union is always willing to talk, but he says the legal case will continue.