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International Operating Engineer - Spring 2019

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The quarterly magazine of the International Union of Operating Engineers

Canadian News Big

Canadian News Big ‘YES’ Vote Local 793 is now THE UNION of 800+ in Nunavut at Baffinland, and help our company become the lowest cost-producer of high grade iron ore in the world through the safe and efficient operation and ongoing development of the Mary River Mine.” [opposite page, top] Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s port facility at Milne Inlet, approximately 100 kilometres from the Mary River mine site in the territory of Nunavut, Canada [opposite page, bottom] Local 793 Bargaining Team member Dave Turple meeting with some of the 800+ workers in the bargaining unit. [story by] Kathryn Peet, Local 793 WHAT STARTED AS an organizing drive in May 2017 has culminated in the successful ratification of a first collective agreement with Baffinland Iron Mine Corp. to represent its production employees, that will be effective May 1, 2019. In fact, 79.3% of employees voted overwhelmingly in favour of the agreement, which means they are now represented by Local 793. The agreement was ratified by the employees in a vote supervised by the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB). Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s Mary River mine site on Baffin Island, territory of Nunavut, Canada, is one of the most northern mines in the world. Amongst the richest iron ore deposits ever discovered, the Mary River Property consists of nine-plus high-grade iron ore deposits that can be mined, crushed, and screened into marketable products. Following a certification application filed by Local 793 to the CIRB in May 2018, Baffinland engaged the Local to establish a process together through interest-based bargaining. In November 2018, negotiations between Baffinland and Local 793 began to develop a unique partnership, based on shared values, which puts employees first. Local 793 appreciated Baffinland’s decision to sit down and negotiate a fair and reasonable Mutual Gains Partnership Agreement. The Mutual Gains Partnership Agreement supports the success of the company, doing the right thing for employees, and fully respects Baffinland’s other agreements, including the Mary River Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement (IIBA) signed with Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA). The QIA is a not-for-profit society which represents approximately 15,500 Inuit in the Qikiqtani (Baffin) Region of Nunavut, Canada, which includes 13 communities from Grise Fiord in the High Arctic down to Sanikiluaq (Belcher Island). After knowing the success of the vote, Local 793 started moving immediately to implement the terms on the collective agreement. In Local 793’s recently concluded Strategic Plan, priorities were set to augment its organizing with mines and continue its efforts to establish representation rights in Nunavut. As of the date of closing of the ratification vote there were more than 800 workers employed in various positions within the bargaining unit, including many ore haul truck drivers, heavy equipment operators, skilled trades, and other workers. Local 793’s sister organization, the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (OETIO), has offered heavy equipment operator training to the Inuit communities of Nunavut since January 2005. The Local was granted a Charter to organize and represent employees in Nunavut on behalf of the International Union of Operating Engineers in 2014. In a statement following the successful vote, Mike Gallagher, Local 793 Business Manager and International Vice President said, “We thank the employees of Baffinland for putting their trust in IUOE Local 793 and having the confidence to vote in favour of the tentative agreement. We are committed to providing them with the quality representation they deserve.” “Over the last six months, Baffinland and the Operating Engineers have worked closely based on employee feedback to build a partnership that emphasizes collaboration, fully respects our IIBA, and reflects Baffinland’s core value to engage and develop our employees,” said Brian Penney, President and CEO of Baffinland. “Baffinland will continue to explore partnerships that help our employees continue to be successful 18 INTERNATIONAL OPERATING ENGINEER SPRING 2019 19

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