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CAW wants conditions attached to Inco-Falconbridge merger

(CNW) The Canadian Auto Workers will support the proposed $13 billion merger between Canadian mining giants Inco and Falconbridge - but only if the company negotiates a mutually acceptable merger plan with affected unions, communities, and other stak

(CNW) The Canadian Auto Workers will support the proposed $13 billion merger between Canadian mining giants Inco and Falconbridge - but only if the company negotiates a mutually acceptable merger plan with affected unions, communities, and other stakeholders.

This position is outlined in a detailed joint statement on the proposed merger released by Buzz Hargrove, CAW president, and the presidents of the CAW's two large local unions at Falconbridge operations in Ontario.

The statement outlines an eight-point process which the union proposes to guide the merger of the two companies. The union's plan includes a moratorium on facility closures or layoffs until a merger plan is mutually negotiated between the two companies, their unions, and other affected stakeholders; clear targets for Canadian re-investments and supply purchases by the merged company; downsizing through attrition only; and the full recognition of existing pension and post-retirement benefit commitments by the merged company.

"This is no knee-jerk rejection of change by the union," said Hargrove in releasing the statement. "We clearly recognize there is a potential upside to this merger, as well as a downside."

"What is crucial, however, is that Inco and Falconbridge be required to negotiate with stakeholders to ensure that both the costs and the benefits of the merger are fairly shared."