There is a rumour circulating that suggests that the
membership can avoid all of the serious side effects of a strike by the
following plan, which usually takes the following form:
1.Don’t give the Union a Strike mandate if
2.Work as usual until the Contract deadline
3.Then slow down until the Company gives in or
locks us out.
4.When the Company locks us out, then we can
collect E.I. from the government.
Unfortunately, a number of our members are buying into this
The first incorrect assumption here is that it is the Union that
will put the workers out on strike. We do not negotiate strikes. The
negotiating team you elected last spring is dedicated to getting you a
contract, not a strike. We have been working for the past two and a half years
getting ready for the upcoming set of negotiations. Our goal is to negotiate a
contract that is fair and just; a contract that will provide for the security,
and financial well being, of the workforce we represent.
The second major assumption that is wrong is the idea that
we continue to work but would slow down after the contract is over. Under the
Labour Relations Act a slow down is the same as a strike, and almost certainly
this sort of activity would harm our bargaining position, and leave the Union
open to legal retaliation by the Company.
CHAPTER 1 Schedule A
Amended by: 1997, c. 4, s. 83; 1997, c. 31,
s. 151; 1998, c. 8, ss. 1-23; 2000, c. 24; 2000, c.
38, ss. 1-38; 2002, c. 16, s.
As of November 19, 2002.
1.(1) In this Act, …
includes a cessation of work, a refusal to work or to continue to work by
employees in combination or in concert or in accordance with a common
understanding, or a slow-down or other concerted activity on the part of
employees designed to restrict or limit output; (“grève”)
Finally, no one may collect Employment Insurance benefits
while they are involved in a labour dispute. The following was copied from the
HRDC websiteand it is very clear on the
issue of EI benefits and strikes.
a strike, a lockout or other form of labour dispute where you work causes you
to lose your job or prevents you from going to work, you will generally not
be paid EI benefits. The following conditions apply whether you are a union
member or not and whether your job is part or full-time.
may, however, be eligible to receive benefits if:
You are not taking part in the
You are not giving money directly to support
the dispute; and
You are not directly interested in the dispute
(i.e. your wages or working conditions, etc., are not affected by the
outcome of the dispute).
you are taking part in a labour dispute, you are not eligible for
·The strike or
lockout is over; or
·You have found
another regular job where you pay EI premiums.
If you had already arranged for an
approved absence from work before the work stoppage started, such as sick
leave, maternity leave, parental leave or authorized training, you may
still be eligible for EI benefits.
three conditions above are not going to provide any escape from the situation
for unionized workers as long as they remain employees of Falconbridge.The
only power that the workforce has is the power they generate by acting together
for their common good.
What must be done is to
support the Bargaining Team you elected in May. We work for Xstrata Nickel and
we have your best interests at heart. It is our intention to negotiate a
contract. No other outcome is acceptable. If we are unable to negotiate a deal,
it will not be because your team is at fault. We will use every tool at our
disposal to prevent a strike.
You, the membership will have a number of opportunities to make your opinions
known over the coming three months:
A short while ago
everyone was sent a survey which would allow you to make known to the
Negotiating Team, your feeling on the issues at the work-site.
membership meetings are held at the Hall on Regent Street at on the second Wednesday of every month. If you
cannot attend this meeting a second meeting will be held at the next day, (Thursday).
Contact a Steward,
or the Chief Steward at your operation to voice your concerns, or to get
answers to your questions.
newsletters that we will be trying to put out bi-weekly.
Remember, rumours are a tool
that the Company will use to divide the workforce in hopes of spooking them
into accepting an inferior contract
Fear is a tool that
prevents people from acting in their own self-interest.