ROCANVILLE, SK, Jan. 28, 2016 /CNW/ - Members of the Rocanville Potash Employees' Association (RPEA) have voted to join the United Steelworkers (USW).
"We welcome the membership of the RPEA to the United Steelworkers," said Stephen Hunt, USW District 3 Director.
The 568 members of the RPEA work at Rocanville Potash, owned by the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PCS). Over four days of voting, RPEA members voted 70% to join the USW.
"The RPEA served us well, but as PCS grew into a larger global corporation, we wanted a stronger voice for our members, and we looked to the Steelworkers," said Jeremy Wray, RPEA President.
RPEA signed an affiliation agreement with USW in 2013 and formalized that into a merger agreement in early 2016.
The new union will be USW Local 7916, honouring the founding of RPEA in 1979 and 2016, the year of its merger with USW.
"We are truly stronger together. As USW members, the RPEA will combine our history and experience with the professional depth of an international union with extensive membership in our sector, including USW members at other PCS operations," said Wray.
"We are all extremely happy with the merger," said Mike Pulak, USW Saskatoon-area staff representative.
"It has been terrific working with the members at RPEA over the past three-plus years and we are looking forward to having a boost to our collective bargaining. We know we can have a better future for our members by building an even stronger union with the new USW Local 7916," Pulak said.
The United Steelworkers is the dominant mining union in Canada, particularly in Western Canada. The USW represents workers at five other potash mines in Saskatchewan including three other PCS mines.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: Mike Pulak, USW Staff Representative, 306-717-9210, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jeremy Wray, USW Local 7916 (RPEA), 306-434-9874, email@example.com; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, firstname.lastname@example.org