Monday, September 29, 2008

Strike at Xstrata looking likely

Xstrata Copper Canada says contract talks have broken down with the bargaining committee for CAW Local 599, the union that represents workers at the Xstrata Kidd Metallurgical Site in Timmins.
"We are very disappointed that the Union Executives have turned down the company's contract offer. We truly believe that we presented a fair, competitive and responsible offer and in fact we were able to agree on many of the demands tabled by the union," stated Thompson Hickey, General Manager of the Kidd Metallurgical site.
The company gave the union a deadline of 10:00 p.m. Monday Sept. 29 to accept a new three-year contract that includes the following:
-- Year 1: 3.5% salary increase
-- Year 2: 3.25%
-- Year 3: 1% plus COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment)
-- Signing bonus $2,000
If the bargaining committee chooses not to accept that offer, it changes by dropping the percentage increases in year-one and year-two, as follows, but it must be signed before 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday Sept. 30, the moment the current contract expires :
-- Year 1: 3% salary increase
-- Year 2: 3%
-- Year 3: 1% plus COLA
-- Signing bonus $2,000
The Canadian Auto Workers say the latest offer did make some movement toward union demands but not near enough to be considered a serious offer. It was late last week that some three-quarters of the union members voted 96 per cent in favour of taking strike action.
The unionized workers will be in a legal strike position at midnight on Tuesday. The company says it is "is finalizing contingency plans in the event the Union decides not to accept the offer."

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