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From the Desk of Xstrata Nickel's Unit Chair - April 2011
Published: April 26, 2011

Brothers and Sisters:

Summer is approaching quickly and the heat will be upon us soon. Health and safety is our #1 concern. We are currently undergoing difficulties with vacations, since most sites are under-staffed by P&M employees. It is a real struggle trying to resolve this.

The other big issue is the 2009 Nickel Bonus arbitration, which was started on April 12th, 2011. The opening statements have been made by the Union and the Company. Our National Staff representative has requested more information from the Company and this will shed further light on the facts. Both lawyers will communicate in the near future to agree on how the process will continue and to set up dates going forward. I will keep you posted on upcoming events regarding the Nickel Bonus.

Nickel Rim South has become very discontent because of the way we treat recalled employees. The Company has to follow the collective agreement going forward regarding postings and transfers. We have some grievances on these issues, but to no resolve. If you see contractors on the property doing our work, please report this to a Union Steward so we can grieve for our laid-off workers.

Fraser Mine is still on the Swedish Schedule and this is causing grave concern regarding health and safety. The Union has approached the Company on this schedule. The workers need a family life and this affects everyone, including the children.

We are still waiting for financial approval for Fraser Morgan. Hopefully the Company will re-open Morgan soon.

Strathcona Mill CCR arbitration is coming up on May 11th, 2011. We lost four jobs to supervision in June of 2008 and these jobs have been in P&M for the last 40 years, so we think these jobs belong to us. Marcel Charron and I have met with management to discuss all the issues at the Mill.

With the restructuring in the warehouse, we hope this will improve the situation regarding the way we handle the loading and unloading of material.

One of our member's daughter's is gravely ill with a rare form of cancer. As members, we organized a plant gate collection, which the Company approved. The generosity has been overwhelming. We also got a commitment from the Company to match the donations dollar for dollar. We can't thank everyone enough for their generosity. This family will appreciate the helping hand we are trying to give them. Our prayers go out to this family's daughter. The final total of donations by all was $11,695.68.

In closing, this is an on-going battle with these global companies and has become a deep struggle since our governments are not helping us in these matters. The general election is a major concern. If we get a majority Conservative government, Harper will dictate to us how we can live and breathe.

Our CAW National Office has a new slogan – A B C – Anything But Conservative. So please, remember this on May 2nd.


In Solidarity,
Guy Desloges, Xstrata Nickel Unit Chair

P.S. Don't forget to bring your families to vote on May 2nd.

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