Unable to agree with their employer, unionized workers at the Niobec mine officially went on strike Wednesday morning after massively rejecting the latest employer offer.
Met on the picket line, Unifor’s local communications officer, Jacques Doré, blamed the current owner of the mine for the degradation of the working climate.
According to him, Magris Resources, which bought Niobec in the fall of 2014, lacks respect for its employees.
“In the time of Iamgold, we had excellent working relations. There was always a way to find a solution. Today, there is no working relationship. ”
The professional electrician, who has worked for seven years for Niobec, describes the last employer offer as “drastic”, while remaining discreet about its content.
The employer, by way of a press release, talks about a “fair offer … that will allow blue-collar employees to continue to benefit from excellent working conditions”.
Points of contention
At the heart of the conflict is a bonus freeze for union members and the end of the employer’s participation in the pension plan for the duration of the next collective agreement. Some union issues also stumble, such as the decrease in the number of releases, for example.
The ball is now in the hands of the company and the conciliator. “We are ready to return to the negotiating table,” says Jacques Doré.
Magris Resources said it would continue to operate the mine with executives during the conflict.