December 21, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Piccadilly, UK – The five-week lockout at the Atlantic Minerals Ltd. quarry on Newfoundland’s west coast ended Dec. 15, when International Union of Operating Engineers Local 904 members voted 90-19 to ratify a contract offer.
The company had locked out 130 truck drivers and heavy-equipment operators at the Lower Cove quarry on Nov. 11, claiming that it had “no choice” because of a threatened strike. Local 904 President John Flaherty told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that the union had “at no time threatened strike action.” The three-year deal will give workers a 7% raise, including about C$6 an hour ($4.50) for the janitorial staff, said Roger LaSaga, a member of the union’s negotiating committee. The agreement contains no concessions, he added, and will enable the 70 to 80 employees who don’t work year-round to draw unemployment benefits during the off-season. “It will take the stress off all the workers over the holidays,” LaSaga said. Read more