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From the Desk of Xstrata Nickel's Unit Chair - November 2011
Published: November 8, 2011

Brothers and Sisters:

Winter is approaching quickly. Please be safe at work or at home during the winter months. The Union's goal is to see everyone return home safely to their families.

We have many arbitration dates slated for the near future. The Nickel Bonus for 2009 is coming up in February 2012. The Central Services arbitration is up in January 2012. Hopefully, we see positive results from the arbitrators.

There have been many arbitration hearings this past year and most have been favourable. These cases take a lot of resources and we intend on keeping up the good fight.

Nickel Rim South:
Nickel Rim South has a discontented workforce because of the way the Company treats its’ workers. Discipline to the max and termination – ask questions later. It’s very disturbing for morale.

Employees that are going to staff are leaving vacancies. The question is are these jobs being posted and if not, who is filling the job, meaning that employees are working out of job class. Making sure jobs are posted is a priority. Contracting out our work (buckets, components for re-build) is still a major concern, and if you observe this taking place, try and contact a Union Steward so he can take action.

Disciplines are taking place a lot at Nickel Rim South and make sure you ask for a Steward so he can document what happens.

Fraser Mine:
Fraser Mine has become a going concern with the shift schedule. The Union has asked the Company to review the concerns of employees regarding the schedule. Fraser Mine is also having its fair share of disciplines and terminations.

All of the Union leadership is well aware of the situation at Fraser. The Ministry of Labour has been called in numerous times and the Joint Health & Safety Committee is doing their utmost to keep on top of the issues. Since this is an old mine, all the infrastructure needs major maintenance to the infrastructure.

For the time being, there are many recalls going to Fraser and this makes it a busy place. As Fraser Morgan and the Boundary ore come on stream, many recalls will have a new department.

Strathcona Mill:
The Mill is also a going concern because of the contractors on site. The Union is always challenging the use of contractors. The Central Services arbitration is coming in January 2012 and we are hoping that we can resolve some of the Mill issues.

Skilled Trades at the Mill are working diligently to keep it operational. Marcel, Jake and I would like to welcome Andrew Tricco as Steward. Please support him in any way you can.

Smelter:
The issue of millwright and millwright/welders at the Smelter is still an ongoing problem. The Skilled Trades Committee is putting a lot of effort into this, but the arbitration award on this issue has been very difficult to deal with.

Jan, Jake and I would like to welcome John Baril to the Skilled Trades Committee. John will be a valuable asset going forward. Please help him in his endeavours.

We are having the regular membership meeting on November 9th, 2011 at the Craft Shop at the Mine Mill Campgrounds. There will also be a special Xstrata Nickel only membership meeting at the Trillium Centre in Azilda at 7:30 p.m. on November 16th, 2011. Make sure all members are informed and attend this meeting. The agenda will be whatever concerns you want to discuss.

In closing, remember to follow all safety rules when it comes to performing your daily tasks at work. Personal protective equipment is very important.

You are the Union. The Union is only as strong as its members.

Yours in Solidarity,
Guy Desloges, Xstrata Nickel Unit Chair

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