MAC: Mines and Communities

Unions call for strike against BHPBilliton in Canada

Published by MAC on 2006-01-18

Unions call for strike against BHPBilliton in Canada

18th January 2006

After many months of bargaining for a first collective agreement the PSAC/UNW have decided to ask their members working at BHP Billiton's Ekati Mine for a strong strike vote prior to heading into Mediation in early February of this year.

"This employer (BHP) has been unresponsive, indifferent, and just plain disrespectful when it comes to serious negotiations on wages, seniority, and job security", says Todd Parsons, President of the Union of Northern Workers. "They brag about being in the top 100 companies across Canada but they don't practice what they preach," he goes on to say.

The PSAC/UNW represent approximately 450 workers at this mine and have been strenuously bargaining since early last year to reach an agreement. The Union bargaining team feels it's now time to take off the gloves and show BHP Billiton they mean business. "A strong strike vote sends a message to the federal Mediation Officer and BHP Billiton that our members mean business and they support their bargaining
team" says Jean-François Des Lauriers, PSAC Regional Executive Vice-President - North.

Union staff and senior elected officials will be meeting with members at the mine and in our regional offices in Edmonton and Yellowknife. The strike vote is scheduled to begin January 26, 2006 and run until February 10, 2006.

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