Mine Mill & Smelter Workers - Local 598 / C.A.W.

   19 Regent Street South,

Sudbury, Ontario  P3C 4B7



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To All Mine Mill and Smelter Workers and Families of Local 598

 

Everyone is welcome to email his or her thoughts and feelings about the strike. Especially the spouses of the workers-

Lets give them the voice they have never really had when it comes down to theyíre lives and their childrenís well being.

So please pass along the email addresses and website so we can hear from as many people as possible on what they think and feel about what this company has done to them and their home life. Their feelings are just as important as anyone in this community, but they seem to be left on the sidelines.

If you donít have a computer at home the public library has one and if you want to hand write them please leave them at the Hall with Marianne in care of Joanne Beck - Familiy Auxiliary or email us by clicking on the following link:

 

Keep checking this website.It always has the lastest news from the Bargaining committee and articles to help us understand what is really happening out there in the world of commerce.  

Thank you,  

In Soldidarity,

One Big Union

Joanne Beck

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Family Auxiliary Pages. . .

Open Letter to Spouse's attending the February 09 Meeting sponsored by the Mine Mill / CAW - Local 598 Women's Committee

 

The Reason for the Family Auxiliary at Mine Mill 598/CAW

Hello to all Family Members from the Family Aux.

 

I do apologize for not being there, but I am afraid I had to attend another meeting.

 

This meeting is to introduce you to the women of Mine Mill, because as we all know that through the years a womanís way of life has changed dramatically.  Most of us now longer can stay home with our children we have to work and donít have the time to belong to anything other then our families. We donít live the way they did even 10 years ago. So we have to change with the times. And this is when the Family Auxiliary comes into play along with the Womenís Committee.

 

We need to be there for our mates, which means finding out everything we can about their job, the contract and any other thing that could educate others and ourselves.

  • We canít do picket duty or vote, but we can go out and visit.

  • Family Auxiliary also includes any member of your family not belonging to the union. Such as, my daughter Kaili and her husband Paul are members. Even though they do not live in the same house they are apart of our family and therefore recognized as active members. So that if you have a family member that would like to participate in anything they are welcome also.

  • We can go to all membership meetings including during a strike.

  • We can ask questions and state our opinions.

  • We can help each other out by communicating.

  • We can use the website to get our feelings across, and to show we are behind this fight.

If you donít have a computer and want to have a thought, poem, or a letter with your ideas put on the website, you can send them into the hall and Marianne at the front desk will make sure I get them. Also donít forget if you are near a library, they have computers. Your children can send in pictures they draw, colour or stories they want to write. This might not seem like much, but it puts us in a position of power. Women from the Family Auxiliary can sit on committees, if you are interested ask Carol to find out where you might be needed.

If you go out to the lines think about writing something of what you have seen and heard. These things are important; we need to stand behind the Union 100%. I know some of you are probably angry with the union, but remember the union didnít put us out on strike Noranda/Falconbridge has done that. And the only reason it seems that they have is because they no longer want union employees. The big stumbling block in these talks is about contracting out all jobs in the Mines, the Mill and the Smelter. If that happens, we will have all set history back 100 years. We will make history, and I know that sounds trite, but we are fighting not just for us but also for our community and in the end our province. If we allow some company yahooís to break the union, we are allowing everyone to lower not just our standard of living but also everyoneís. That includes your children, because if this happens there will be even less here for them, than there is now.

 

So Carol can get on with the meeting I will close by saying the Family Auxiliary in the end are the people who prop up, support and stand behind the workers in the unions time of need. We will win.

 

Please send any emails to me; the address is on the site. www.minemill598.com

It is on the Family Auxiliary page, you will see an envelope there just click and either attach a word doc. Or just write the email I will make sure it gets up on the site and we will try and get some of your articles into the newsletters that go out to the sites. The more information the workers have the stronger they feel. Lets keep it strong, letís show them what the women of Mine Mill can do.

 

I am sure Carol has thoughts on more active and productive things that you can do, if you are able. And it you have a project you would like to do on your own, or need some help, we are here.

 

I will end by saying be strong, donít listen to rumours and if you hear one try to stop it. Tell who ever is spreading rumours to read our website.

 

Thank you for your attention,

In Solidarity

One Big Union

Joanne Beck, Family Auxiliary Chair.

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Hi,

A question:

Could Falconbridge close down all existing operations, and open Nickel Rim under Noranda?

Besides the fact this would be inhuman, could the government save our jobs, meaning could they make Noranda hire the men they laid off to work in their new mine.

Thank You.

Lorraine

 

Lorraine,

 

Your question is fairly complicated but the short answer is no. Mine Mill is the exclusive bargaining agent for all of the mines Falconbridge operates in the Sudbury District. That is called the "scope" clause in our contract. The union has under Ontario law what is called successor rights. If they closed everything and reopened under another name that would be illegal and the new operation would be deemed to be operating under our scope clause, and therefore we would be the union certified at that operation.

 

What Falconbridge is doing now, is going after what is called letter 4 and letter 11 in our collective agreement, which would allow them to contract out. They have agreed that we will eventually be able to have our employees mine in Nickel Rim. The question is when? They are saying that in 2009 or 2010 they may commission the mine. If they get their way, by then the contractors would outnumber the unionized employees, much like what has occurred in Timmins. They are also going after our layoff and recall language. This would allow them to have contractors on site while we have people on layoff. The recall language they are proposing would allow them to temporarily recall for up to 26 weeks with no buildup of seniority or extension of recall privileges.  So if someone is laid off with say 25 years they have 60 months of recall. The company would then recall for 25-week periods until your rights have been used up. You are then gone with no pension or benefits. Naturally the younger guys would be gone first. That in a nutshell is why we are on strike.

 

The company has taken a long-term view on this. They want to break the union but know that it will take a few years to do it. They are patient. They will come back at us again. We can't afford to lose this fight. The miners in Timmins didn't organize into CAW 599 when they had the opportunity. When the organizing drive was made they had 600 employees and 200 contractors. Now they have about 500 contractors and 200 employees. On any given day an employee can go to work and be told his job is gone, but the contractor at the end of the hall will hire him to do his old job. Unfortunately at about half the wages, no pension and no benefits, and he won't be able to collect a Falco pension until he is 65. We see that as economic slavery and we will fight for our jobs and security.

 

The whole thing also boils down to credibility. The company has said we can have our people in Nickel Rim when they commission the mine. The problem is that exactly when they decide to commission the mine is totally up to them.Those are what we call "weasel words" in the collective agreement. In point of fact they would not have to "Commission" the mine until it was ready for closure.

 

I hope this answers your question, if you need more information please ask.

 

in solidarity

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Feb. 05/04.

 

Hello I'm the son of a former employee who has now passed away but still has
a brother who works for this company. I was with him on the pick line last
night. I found that it is very hard on the people that work for this
community when there is a strike. My job cuts us back but that donít matter
you all need to make sure you have many more years. The hardship is felt by every one in the town. But without this the profits may go out of the region by contracting out. Which would mean less work for the town. But donít let them win.

Solidarity to the end, 

K.N.

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Hello spouses,

 

I am Elizabeth Mullaly, my husband is a worker at the Craig Mine, in Onaping.  We are one of the families that transferred from the Timmins.   

I am very disappointed with Noranda at this moment. 

They make how many millions in profits but don't want to share with the actual workers.   

The people that produce the product they are profiting on.  My husband has been with the company for long enough that I don't believe he should have to get down on his knees and thank them for employing him.  

I just wish the company would put the families and the communities that they work out of before earnings.  Right now I have an 8 and 10 year old that do not really understand what is going on and are worried that we might have to move again. 

I don't think that is fair to them and I really don't know how to explain it to them either.  Which makes it worse, cause Mom is suppose to know everything.  I agree that a business needs to make money but I would like some consideration for us before they put all our lives on hold with a strike.

 

Well that is all I have to say on this subject.

 

E. Mullaly  

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The Company is hiring a security firm!

 January 20, 2004

I feel like Iíve been taken back in time about a 100 years, it seems to me that my great father and my grandfather in Wales and here fought for the same things that we are asking to be put back in our collective agreement.

One of the things the Union wants is a promise of Employment Equity. Now tell me why the company can get away with saying this is not needed. Even the government, has to hire women and people of colour in proportion to the percentage in the community. Falconbridge hasnít hired a woman in at least the past 3 years. Excuse me, but shouldnít we at least have a chance to prove we can do the job before someone makes a decision about us because of our sex.

As if this isnít bad enough they also refused to put anything in the contract about violence against women. If they think this isnít necessary, can someone tell me what century they are living in?

 It also shows how much they think of the men, if our Union thinks this is important, for the few women that are working at Falconbridge, and are members of Mine Mill, what can it hurt. Come to think of it why donít they care about Violence Against Women?

It seems almost draconian, almost like we are still living in the era when the company owned everything in the town including the people.I donít think we need any more songs about owing my soul to the company store.

They just donít understand, they are supposed to bargain for a contract that will help them produce more and make more money. When so much of their money is made here in Sudbury.

Our partners are not asking much from this company, it basically comes down to being treated like human beings and not their personal whipping boys.

This type of behaviour has been coming from this company for about the past 6 years. The men worked with this kind of treatment for 3 years and then the strike of 2000 happened. It got worse when they went back to work. And now they are fighting for theyíre lives and ours, and the children of this community.

If Falconbridge wonít hire and train what is going to happen to the mines. We know they have ore, we know about the find at Nickel Rim South. After they have worked this workforce to death who will be left to take over.

If they donít train them where are they going to find them? Who will produce? Right now they seem to think the men do nothing and should be punished, like errant little children. Where do they think the ore comes from that allows them to make their large salaries?

It sure isnít little people going down and doing it while everyone sleeps. That happens in fairy tales but not in real life guysÖ Someone has to break this news to them.

 So I guess even though it is frightening, that we all may lose our homes, our children might have to leave school all because the Companies that own Falconbridge are responsible for a whole communityís life or death because they are greedy and the government has allowed this greed to go on this far. The only people we can depend on is ourselves, we will fight the fight not just for ourselves but also for our families past, present and future.

Just a Thought

In Solidarity

One Big Union

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