12/19/2013 07:40 EST | Updated 02/18/2014 05:59 EST

Temporary Foreign Workers: Chinese Mining Company Faces Another Legal Challenge

VANCOUVER - A Chinese-owned mining firm that is using temporary foreign workers at an underground coal project in northern B.C. is facing yet another union legal challenge.

HD Mining's plan to hire up to 201 temporary workers from China for its Murray River project, near Tumbler Ridge, was revealed last year.

The plan prompted federal politicians to suggest the permits shouldn't have been granted and led to a legal challenge from two unions, which ultimately ended in the company's favour.

Now, the United Steelworkers union has filed an application with B.C. Supreme Court asking that HD Mining's exploration permit be revoked.

The union's petition says the province's chief inspector of mines was wrong to issue permits in the face of concerns that the workers didn't speak English.

The notice says the provincial permitting process did not adequately address potential safety issues that would arise if workers did not speak English.

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