Workers hit the picket line early Sunday morning after contract negotiations between Falconbridge Limited and the Sudbury Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union Local 598 (CAW) reached an impasse.
The unionÂ?s existing collective agreement expired at midnight on Saturday, Jan. 31 and without a new agreement in place, its membership initiated work action against the mining company shortly after the deadline passed.
According to a press release issued by Falconbridge, the company Â?has begun implementing contingency plans at its Sudbury operations. These plans include idling production at its four mines and mill in a safe and orderly manner, as well as operating its Sudbury smelter at a reduced production rate.Â?
As reported earlier in Northern Life, the issue of contracting out workers remained the key stumbling block to reaching a deal. The union wants new hires to be hourly-rated, full-time, unionized employees.
Â?WeÂ?ve told the company point blank to take contracting out and any concessions off the table,Â? said Local 598 president Rick Grylls earlier this week. Â?ThatÂ?s the bottom line.
Grylls said the union simply wonÂ?t listen to any proposal or contract language that will allow the company to hire contractors to do work union members are qualified to perform.
Keep reading northernlife.ca as more information becomes available.