2400 outstanding grievances at IOC mine, says Michael: Labour Relations Act amendment needed

NDP Labour Relations Critic Lorraine Michael

NDP Labour Critic Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) says government must step in to alleviate the toxic work environment at the IOC mine in Labrador City. Michael adds that a change to the Labour Relations Act, if government were willing to make it, would work to prevent similar future situations.

“There are currently 2400 outstanding grievances from the Steelworkers Local 5975 that IOC is ignoring, thereby creating a toxic work environment at the mine in Labrador City,” Michael said in the House of Assembly today.

“I ask the Premier, how can he sit by and let this multinational company ignore the positive labour relations culture that these 1400 workers have been used to in our province?”

Because of a strike at the Voisey’s Bay mine which dragged on for a year and a half because of the company’s unwillingness to negotiate with the union, government instituted an industrial inquiry in 2010. A key recommendation in that report was for the creation of a “Labour-Management Cooperation Committee, meeting periodically to discuss matters of mutual interest” in unionized workplaces.

“Words from the Premier are not enough; a labour management committee as recommended by the Voisey’s Bay industrial inquiry would have been a useful tool before relations got this bad,” Michael said in the House.

“I ask the Premier, will he amend the Labour Relations Act to require that parties to a collective agreement establish a labour management committee where one of the parties makes a written request?”

Associated Caucus Members: 

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