Falconbridge Strike, Sudbury

Sudbury, Ontario

August 3, 2000

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Falconbridge Strike, Sudbury
dated August 3, 2000

Falconbridge Strike, Sudbury
August 3, 2000
       The 1,250 members of Local 598 Mine Mill CAW in Sudbury sent a message loud and strong to Falconbridge. After hearing what the company was taking away from their union contract in return for a wage hike and a signing bonus, the members voted 97 per cent to reject the offer.

Rolly Gauthier,
President, CAW Local 598

      " There is no question the company tried to drive a wedge in between the leadership of the union and the membership. The one thing we did well was communicated with our membership throughout the whole process."

Ray Rochon
CAW Local 598

      " That fifteen hundred dollar signing bonus. That's more of a severance pay. It's our lay off notice more than anything else. You can't sell your job and we're not about to sell it. We need our seniority and that's the main issue."

       While the union bargaining committee tried for three months to get a fair contract, the company concentrated on dismantling the gains the Union has made in the past.

Hemi Mitic
Assistant to CAW National President

       "We're not looking for a lot more than a status quo collective agreement. We've got a number of areas that need to be addressed and money is not the big issue here. What is the sense of having money if they are going to lay you off got two or three days or a week at a time or two weeks at a time without any pay. What is the sense of doing that?"

       The company's tactics did not fool the members. Solidarity on the picket line reflected the membership's total rejection of the company offer.

David McPhee
CAW Local 598

       "We're going to back our bargaining committee 100 per cent and for as long as it takes. Hopefully it's not long, but we've got to live here and if they take away our contract we've got nothing, no job security."

       The day after voting down the company offer the members of CAW Local 598 settled into the routine of maintaining the picket lines at the Falconbridge mill, smelter and mine sites, controlling access and letting people know what the real issues are.

Guy Sonier
CAW Local 598

       "They should know by now that we are a union and we are a strong union and that is why we have what we have today. And if it wouldn't be for the union we would not have our wages, and the lifestyle that we have today and we're not going to let that go."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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