Tentative Agreement reached between Hecla and the USW, update November 22, 2019
Tentative Agreement between Hecla and the USW
Letter of Understanding between Hecla and the USW
Strike Settlement Agreement between Hecla and the USW
Tentative Agreement Q&A
Can you explain how a Tentative Agreement is different from a Final Offer?

A Tentative Agreement is a written agreement among the negotiating parties.

A Final Offer only contains terms offered by one party, but not necessarily accepted by the other party.

On September 30, 2019, the Union negotiating committee and the Hecla negotiating committee reached agreement on all articles of a new labor contract. A representative of each negotiating committee signed off on the terms of the agreement, and therefore a Tentative Agreement became complete.

What is the purpose of the Strike Settlement Agreement?

The Strike Settlement Agreement covers many subjects relating to the return to work process. The Agreement addresses topics such as:

  • Process of notifying employees to return to work
  • Amount of time an employee is allowed to return to work following notification from the Company
  • Drug testing and physical
  • Seniority accrual during the strike period
  • Mine inspection following a positive ratification vote
  • Ratification bonus

Can you provide a copy of the Strike Settlement Agreement?

A link to a copy of the Agreement is available on Hecla’s website.

How much time would an employee have to return to work following the strike?

After being notified to return, an employee would have 31 days to report for work. Additional language was included to address employees who have an illness or injury preventing them from returning to work within 31 days.

Would drug testing and physicals be required?

The standard pre-employment drug screen and physical would be required.

Would an employee be given seniority credit for the time on strike?

Yes. Seniority would continue to accrue from March 13, 2017 through the ratification date.

Who would perform a mine inspection and when would it take place?

The Company and the Union would each designate three qualified individuals to conduct an inspection of the operation. The inspection would take place following a positive ratification vote.

I have heard rumors of a ratification bonus. Is a ratification bonus part of the Strike Settlement Agreement?

Yes.  All employees will receive the bonus.

What is the amount of the bonus?

$1,000

Who would be eligible for the bonus?

All employees on the employment roster as of the date of ratification.

Will I receive the bonus money only after I return to work at the mine?

No.  The bonus will be paid after the strike ends and before most employees return to work.

Will I be paid only after I am notified to return to work?

No.  All employees will all be paid after the strike ends, regardless of their return to work date.

What if an employee decides not to return to the Lucky Friday? Would that employee still receive the ratification bonus?

Yes.  Any employee on the employment roster as of the date of ratification would receive the $1,000 bonus, regardless of whether they return or not.

How will I be paid for the bonus?

Employees will be paid based on the payroll instructions Hecla has on file at the Lucky Friday Mine.  For those employees who have automatic deposit, the funds will be deposited into the accounts the employees have on file.

My banking information has changed during the strike. Who do I contact with the correct banking information?

Employees should contact the HR office at the Lucky Friday Mine in order to update their banking information.

Would all employees receive a return to work notice immediately following a positive ratification vote?

The return to work process will not take place at the same time for everyone. In order to facilitate a safe and orderly return process, employees will return in stages.

How many employees are on the current employment roster?

Approximately 200.

Do you expect to need 200 employees when the mine is running at full production?

We expect to need more than 200 employees to achieve full production.

Which employees would return to work first?

The process would likely involve the maintenance and electrical groups, hoist operators, and some mine and mill personnel in the first group.

Do you expect most striking employees to return to the Lucky Friday?

We expect most employees to return to the mine following a positive ratification vote. As with any operation there is a certain amount of attrition that takes place over time, so we do not expect all of the employees to return.

I do not recall what Tech Level I was assigned. How can I confirm my wage under the Tech Level system?

An updated mapping document was provided to the Union on November 20, 2019. This document lists every employee on the roster and includes each employee’s wage under the 2010 contract and their wage under the 2019 contract. The document also shows the Adjustment Payment for eligible employees. Hecla and the Union signed a Letter of Understanding (LOU) regarding the assigned Tech Levels, and the LOU is available on Hecla’s website. Employees can call the Lucky Friday HR Manager, or the Union, in order to confirm their Tech Levels.

Can you explain how the Adjustment Payment works?

The Adjustment Payment is a way to assure that employees will not earn lower wages under the new wage format than they did under the 2010 format. Under the 2019 contract, if an employee earns a lower hourly wage under the new pay scale than he or she would have earned in both wages and silver price premium under the 2010 agreement, the employee will be paid an additional amount to make up the difference.