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Bond: About Lucky Friday Reopening

In his Wallace Street Journal column, Dave Bond offers these observations re: Hecla's reopening of the Lucky Friday Mine:

  • First, that fully 90 percent of the laid-off crew returned to the mine when called back. If there's an historic precedent, I am not aware of it. (The Sunshine Mine, when I worked in the office there in the 1980s, typically would go through three times the number of actual people on the payroll at any given year – a turnover rate of 3-to-1. Hecla has accomplished essentially a zero-to-one ratio: Not many leave.)
  • Second, that Hecla fully covered the medical insurance premiums of its laid-off hourly and salaried workers for the duration of the year-long shutdown. If you have ever been laid off or left work and had to pay your own federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act to keep your family in health insurance (cutely acronymed “COBRA”) you'll understand how vicious and expensive these payments are. Full column here.

Question: Do you have any relatives who work -- or have worked -- in the Lucky Friday?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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