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Home > Sectors > Mining > Xstrata > Xstrata Nickel Unit Chair Report - February 2007

Xstrata Nickel Unit Chair Report - February 2007

Posted: February 7, 2007
By: Richard Paquin

This is a first for us, since 1994, a Collective agreement signed without a labour dispute.

Our membership has remained united throughout this journey and has to be commended for staying strong. This allowed your bargaining committee to remain strong and firm on the main issues that our membership wanted addressed. The Company made their initial offer Thursday January 25th, they expected your Bargaining Committee to drop all the remaining proposals and when we made a counter proposal they withdrew their offer.

The Company made no effort to talk to the Bargaining Committee over the next five days. The Company thought the membership would turn on the Committee and force us to accept their offer, it didn’t happen. The membership supported us and in the end, we were able to make gains and many improvements over their initial offer in areas of contract language, benefits and other economics.

The Bargaining Committee would like to thank our members, the Retirees Chapter of our Local, the community, our CAW sister locals, the brothers and sisters from the other Unions for their support during these negotiations.

Without the tremendous support brought forward by these groups, this settlement would not have been achieved.

This Company never ceases to amaze me. While I remained skeptical, during bargaining, of the Company intentions to actually “turn the corner”, the actions of the Company on many issues since last week seems to indicate to me that “Yes“ this Company does want to forget the past and forge ahead with a new and different visions, than we are used to, and it seems that they believe this will lead to a more prosperous and productive Company to which each employee will benefit from.

The CEO of Xstrata Nickel stated to me that “The signing of the collective agreement without a labour dispute took having focused teams on both sides of the table. I believe it sets the scene and allows us to now turn and focus on making our business case in Sudbury more robust.”

This indicates to me that they are committed to making this place work and ensuring that the past relationship with our employees is a thing of the past and maybe finally we will be coming to work happy and content. Time will tell but all indications are pointing in the right direction.

Looking forward to the future.
Richard Paquin
Xstrata Nickel Unit Chair
Mine Mill 598/CAW

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