SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A labor agreement has been reached between Rio Tinto and Kennecott Utah Copper employees.

Rio Tinto says the new agreement was voted through by union members on Thursday. The five-year agreement will affect around 1,300 employees.

Going into effect on April 1, 2022, the new contract aims to deliver “fair and competitive wages and enhanced benefits for all represented Rio Tinto Kennecott employees, and new pathways to career progression,” the company says.

Earlier this month, workers held a rally outside Rio Tinto’s headquarters in Daybreak over the stalled labor negotiations.

At the time, rally members said if an agreement was not reached by the end of March, workers would likely hold a strike.

The Kennecott Copper Mine employs over 2,000 workers and contributes $1.6 billion annually to Utah’s economy.

“We are very pleased that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement has been ratified by Rio Tinto Kennecott’s union members,” says Rio Tinto Kennecott managing director Gaby Poirier said. “We have worked closely and productively with the unions to reach this agreement, which is fair and competitive, benefits our employees and their families, and enables us to grow as a business. The agreement will ensure that we can continue to provide competitive wages and benefits for all roles, and will allow Kennecott to pursue an exciting future as a leading domestic copper supplier in the United States.”