Chinese miner launches human rights complaint against Steelworkers union

Associated Press

VANCOUVER - A Chinese miner employed to work in a controversial northern British Columbia coal mine has launched a human rights complaint against the United Steelworkers Union.

Huizhi Li, who works at HD Mining's Murray River project in northern B.C., has sent a letter to the Canadian Human Rights Commission that says leaflets and the content on union's website are likely to create contempt for Chinese people.

His letter to the commission says information posted to the union's website alleges Chinese miners will work for reduced wages and in substandard conditions, which denies Canadians opportunity to those jobs.

Steve Hunt, the union's western Canadian director, says the accusation is bizarre, because his union has been fighting for workers rights.

Hunt points out the letter was written on HD Mining letterhead, and he says the union knew it would only be a matter of time before the company made racial accusations.

Two other unions have been in Federal Court challenging the company's plan to bring in 201 Chinese miners as temporary foreign workers to work at the proposed underground coal mine, located near Tumbler Ridge, B.C.

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