Local 338 is an amalgamated union representing four separate bargaining units: Kaiser Aluminum - production/maintenance and clerical/technical workers, Kaiser Alutek workers, and LB Foster pre-cast/railroad ties division workers. We number more than 1000 private sector members who work primarily in manufacturing industries in North Eastern Washington.


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Lucky Friday

USW #5114
Lucky Friday Mine

4/12/17 Rally @
Hecla Headquarters

Show Support for our Union Brothers!
Contact: Dominic Dire, 208-755-7222
for picket line locations and times


Letter from USW Local 338 to USW Local 5114 (click to view)




Some of may have already heard what’s going on up at the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan Idaho. As of 5:30 a.m. Monday March 13, members of Local 5114 went on strike. The strike involves 242 members who work both blow ground and above ground.
On Tuesday we met with members of their negotiating committee, Phil Epler who is the President of the Local and Keith Davis who is their Treasurer.


From what I understand here’s the sequence of what has happened up to this point. The United Steelworkers had been in negotiations with Hecla who owns the mine since April 1st of last year with a contract expiration date of April 30. 


During negotiations the miners continued to work under their old contract, but in December Hecla offered the miners what they called their Final Offer. The Union countered the Company’s final offer at a meeting on January 7th. In response on January 11, Hecla made what they termed their Last Best and Final Offer, so on February 19th the Miners held a ratification vote over the Company’s Last Best and Final Offer and voted it down unanimously with a vote of 222 to nothing. 


The Union requested another meeting with Hecla again on March 1st.where the Company said they would not budge from their last proposal.


On March 10th, Hecla sent a letter to the Union stating that it would begin implementing portions of their last offer. Up to this point the miners were willing to take a one year extension on the current agreement but the Company refused. On Sunday the 12th the miners voted to strike, and as of Monday morning they are on strike.


The Union does not believe impasse had been reached before Hecla notified the Union that they would begin implementing portions of their last offer. The Union’s biggest issues are not economic.

The Union’s issues are primarily related to:

  • Health Care, where the Company wants the employees to pay more of their insurance premiums.
  • Wages …have been stagnant for Maintenance Workers.
  • Bidding Rights….Employees would be frozen in the jobs they hired in at and would not be able to bid to other openings.
  • Elimination of Seniority.
  • Discontinuing the Silver Price Escalator and going to a different type of profit sharing plan.

If anyone would like to walk their picket line they would welcome the help. Anyone who wants to help with picketing should check in at their Union Hall first before going to the picket line. Their Union Hall is located in the middle of town. As more information becomes available we will share that information with all of you.


Dan Wilson
President USW Local 338