9 March, 2017Members of IndustriALL affiliate United Steelworkers(USW) Local 816, locked out by LafargeHolcim in Canada at the Texada Island limestone mine since 17 October 2016, have reached an agreement.
The agreement concluded on 2 March ended an eighteen week-long lockout and brought hope to 70 USW members and the entire Texada Island community. USW members on 8 March ratified the agreement by a slight majority of one vote.
The details of the contract have not yet been disclosed. However according to information received so far, the USW concluded an agreement with no concessions and most importantly maintained seniority rights for its members. Other results of the negotiations include a secured wage and benefit increases similar to other collective agreements in the sector.
From the very beginning of the conflict IndustriALL and the LafargeHolcim world union committee closely followed the developments at Texada mine through permanent contact with the USW. At every opportunity IndustriALL raised the issue of the Texada lockout with global management of the company. Time and again, the network expressed solidarity with their Canadian colleagues.
Earl Graham, USW staff representative said, “Local 816 thanks community members, other Steelworker locals and unions in the region for their support as well as the important global solidarity from IndustriALL and its allies.”
Matthias Hartwich, IndustriALL director of industrial materials and mechanical engineering, comments: “We congratulate our colleagues in the USW and their families on the agreement they achieved. Your dedication, firmness and courage inspire us in our daily work. We recognize all the difficulties and hardship you and your families faced during the lockout. We are proud of your achievement and honoured that we were able to contribute to this struggle.”