Steel­work­ers vote to cre­ate tem­po­rary work­force

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - FRONT PAGE - BY EVAN CAREEN TC ME­DIA

Ron Thomas, pres­i­dent of the Steel­work­ers Union Lo­cal 5795, said the union voted on July 14 to cre­ate a tem­po­rary work­force. The goal is to cut down on the con­trac­tors used by IOC in po­si­tions the union can man­age.

The Steel­work­ers Union in Labrador City voted on July 14 to cre­ate a tem­po­rary work­force to re­place con­trac­tors be­ing used by the Iron Ore Com­pany of Canada.

“It went through by 60 per cent,” said Ron Thomas, pres­i­dent of lo­cal 5795. “We voted on a let­ter of me­moran­dum on a tem­po­rary work­force

so I guess the next move is the com­pany is go­ing to start look­ing for peo­ple lo­cally to re­place con­trac­tors on site.”

Thomas called the idea the lesser of two evils, since IOC was plan­ning to put con­trac­tors on the equip­ment and job the union feels they have the ex­per­tise to do.

“Since we signed this deal they’re can­celling those con­tract and we’re go­ing to have tem­po­rary work­ers do it,” he said. “The com­pany had planned for a lay­off on Oc­to­ber 2nd and as long as there’s tem­po­rary work­ers on site with this

deal our per­ma­nent mem­bers won’t be laid off.”

The work­ers won’t be hired on a full-time ba­sis but will have ben­e­fits such as den­tal and health cover­age, and fol­low­ing a pro­ba­tion pe­riod they will be cov­ered un­der the col­lec­tive agree­ment.

IOC agreed to the deal be­fore the vote so now that the union has signed on Thomas said he ex­pects the job post­ings will be out in a few days. He rec­om­mended the deal and urged the mem­bers to vote for it but stressed it’s on a trial pe­riod.

“The vot­ing mem­bers ac­cepted it, so that means it’s a go ahead deal,” he said. “It’s a trial pe­riod for six months and at the end of six months if it doesn’t work out we can al­ways squash the deal. IOC and the union will look at it and make sure it’s work­ing out. Time will tell.”

The union and IOC have had a strained re­la­tion­ship for some time, with more than 3,500 griev­ances lodged by the union. Thomas said this could be a step in the right di­rec­tion to help­ing that re­la­tion­ship im­prove.


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