Several million dollars could be injected into the regional economy after Teck Trail Operations handed out signing bonuses to over 1,300 employees two weeks ago.
Nelson Chamber of Commerce executive director Tom Thomson expects Nelson businesses will see some benefit from Teck workers having extra money in their pockets.
“We think of Nelson as a regional shopping centre for the smaller communities,” Thomson said.
“There are lots of Castlegar and Trail residents who come here on a fairly consistent basis for restaurants and theatrical performances.”
According to Thomson, around 100 people living in the Nelson area work for Teck on an ongoing basis.
“So even on a month-to-month basis they’re bringing money back into the community,” he said.
Six weeks ago, United Steelworkers Local 480 ratified the first installment of a five-year collective agreement, ensuring “business continuity” and “stability” in Trail with one of the best packages to date.
The first installment was paid out roughly two weeks ago, and Local 480 president Doug Jones said union members have been receiving “very positive feedback” from the community.
“Teck is doing very well right now,” Jones said.
“They’re financially in a good spot and there are a lot of good things happening around here. It’s obvious they’re going to stick around for a while and I think this [deal] stabilizes everything.”
The agreement included the first ever five-year contract with a record-breaking $10,000 signing bonus.
The contract covers 1,180 people in Local 480’s production and maintenance division, and 170 people in Local 9705 for office and technical employees.
— With files from Breanne Massey and Timothy Schafer, Trail Daily Times