SASKATOON, July 28 /CNW/ - Following the first in a possible series of
rotating strikes at three mine sites, the United Steelworkers union (USW) has
accepted an invitation by Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PCS) to get back
to the bargaining table today at 4 p.m. CST.
As a result, the union is suspending its escalating job action as long as
talks continue but will not lift a ban on overtime. Monday morning's first
rotating strike was held at the Cory mine site, 6.4 km. west of Saskatoon on
"This a hopeful sign," says USW Western Canada Director Stephen Hunt.
"But our members are ready to resume their action if there is no progress
toward a settlement."
Last week's members of USW Locals 7458, 189 and 7689 rejected PCS's
contract offer that did not address key issues, including control over
contracting out, pensions, wages, vacation and bonus.
The three locals, representing a total of about 500 workers at three PCS
mine sites - Allan, Cory and Patience Lake - are working in coordination to
achieve a fair settlement during a period of skyrocketing demand for potash.
Record potash prices have resulted in second-quarter figures that are
62 per cent higher than first-quarter earnings of $566-million, the previous
earnings record for the company. The new record is $905-million. Added
together, in the first six months of 2008 PCS collected an after-tax profit of
$1.5-billion, which is $300,000 per employee.
Although PCS is receiving far more profit per worker than most mining
companies, it pays wages lower than many other major Canadian mining
The union has met with PCS about 40 times since April, when the previous
For further information:
For further information: Roger Falconer (USW Head, Strategic Campaigns),
(647) 500-5965; Lee Edwards (USW Staff Representative), (306) 382-2122