November 17, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Lower Cove, NL – Newfoundland—The Atlantic Minerals Ltd. Company locked out 130 workers at its limestone quarry here Nov. 11, saying it had “no choice” because a strike would make it difficult to get products to its customers on time.
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 9004 official Danny Hann said in a statement Nov. 13 that the union, which has been working without a contract since May 1, had not taken an official strike vote. He added that the workers had “shipped out over two millions tons of product” since then, in order “to ensure AML’s commitments to their customers would be met without disruption.” An AML personnel official said the company is offering a “reasonable” pay increase, but the union wants a bigger raise than comparable workers in the province are getting. Union members say that scheduling, days off, and lunch breaks are also issues. The quarry is the largest employer on the remote Port au Port Peninsula, which juts off the west coast of Newfoundland. “It’s going to make for a long winter. One hell of a long one and a hard one too,” Rick Young, a 59-year-old heavy equipment operator, told the Western Star. Read more