The Canadian Press – VICTORIA – The United Steelworkers says it has dug up what it calls close ties between the Chinese government and the reportedly privately-run coal mine in northeastern British Columbia embroiled in a foreign-worker controversy.
The union released a report Wednesday that suggests HD Mining International Ltd. — the firm developing the proposed Murray River mine near Tumbler Ridge — has ownership links to the government in China, where workers receive low wages in unsafe conditions.
A union report titled “Who Owns Huiyong Holdings and other Questions on Planned Chinese-Owned Coal Mines in B.C. ” examines the ownership of Huiyong Holdings Group, which owns Huiyong Holdings (BC) Ltd., and holds 55 per cent of HD Mining.
Steve Hunt, Western Canada director for the Steelworkers’ union, said Wednesday the union found little evidence of the company’s mining operations in China.
“We employed an investigator in China who has some knowledge of what goes on in China and we just searched the best we could possibly search and we couldn’t find very much detail on the company at all, other than some of the players,” he said. “We’re trying to find out something about the mines that they have. . .What are they experts in? It’s hard to do because we can’t find anything about them.”