Who will be left?


As word of the IAM strike spreads throughout Canada, employers looking to recruit experienced, seasoned skilled workers have already begun knocking on our members doors. Many of them have already received job offers and some have already accepted new positions elsewhere.

As the strike continues more and more of our skilled workers will leave taking their wealth of experience with them, many never to return. Who will teach the new generation of skilled trades the knowledge they need that only experience in the plant can provide? With the shortage of skilled trades across Western Canada, who will fill their spots ?

Management needs to wake up before they have no one left.

Before everyone leaves, let’s get back to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair agreement for everyone.

In solidarity

Your negotiating team



Effective May 11, 2015

New Edge Auto will be donating 5% of all parts and labor sales to the IAM Union in support of their fellow mechanics during this very difficult process. Blaine Vankoughnett, owner, of New Edge Auto said he will be dropping off a check at the end of each week and will start out by donating a hundred dollars of his own money. The entire membership of the IAM cannot thank you and your entire business for such a gift of generosity. We encourage all members of our community to bring their vehicles to New Edge Auto for affordable, prompt, and professional service.

Insignificant Manitoba?

David Garofolo, CEO, Hudbay Minerals, was quoted in The Daily Reminder saying:


Let’s get the facts straight once again.

It seems management is trying to downplay the significance of their Manitoba Unit in the company’s portfolio. This Manitoba unit has funded a 500 million dollar project at Lalor and Reed Lake Mines.

It has funded a 1.8 BILLION dollar project called Constancia in Peru.

Management claims that their Constancia project will become 40% of the company’s future. They claim that the project is running at full production as of now.

If you have been following the world news, Peru’s largest mining union last Friday approved an indefinite strike beginning on May 18 to demand better working conditions for workers. We say BRAVO!

70 unions representing 20,000 miners nation wide are walking off the job. With no workers, production stops everywhere.

According to our math, 40% production multiplied by 0 workers still equals ZERO.

At the Rosemont project in Arizona even greater obstacles await Hudbay. Major opposition opposes the environmental impact the massive open pit mine will have in the region. The residents of Pima County, government officials and the much more stringent environmental laws in the US may make it an insurmountable obstacle to overcome.

Water availability will be a problem. The region has been in drought conditions for the past several years. They have asked farmers in the region to limit irrigation due to limited water resources. We doubt a massive mine needing massive amounts of water to operate with the risk of contaminating the valuable water table will ever be allowed.

Hudbay has been trying to develop this new mine for several years now and haven’t even broke ground yet. They may never.

This once again leaves the insignificant Manitoba Unit as the only positive cash flow component of Hudbay. Before local management runs this component into the ground, let’s get back to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair contract for everyone.

In solidarity

Your negotiating team

Employee safety always comes first


This morning, there was an incident on the perimeter highway in the first rock cut where a tractor trailer temporarily lost control due to the icy conditions produced from freezing rain accumulating last night. The RCMP made a request to remove vehicles from the highway. A decision was made to open the strike line immediately at the main gate and allow all employees to enter Hudbay’s property without further delay. Safety for everyone is our number one priority. The only way to ensure the safety of everyone was to remove all vehicles from the hazardous road conditions. We are happy to say that all vehicles entered past the strike line without incident.

What we did find alarming was that Hudbay’s security firm was not stopping any of the vehicles for any identification, one of the company’s protocol to ensure the safety of all employees entering the plant. It is now obvious that production once again supersedes any safety of the employees who work for them. I can’t say that we are surprised. To all employees in the plant, keep working safe.

In solidarity

Your negotiating team

What Contingency Plan?

Does the Manitoba Business Unit really have the Hudbay CEO, Board of Directors, and investors bamboozled regarding the effectiveness of their much touted COMPREHENSIVE CONTINGENCY PLAN? Everyone can see that the mines and plant are ramping down. As of day 5 of the IAM strike, workers remaining in the plant and numerous posts from social media indicate that production has almost completely stopped and is now in idle mode. This is nowhere near from full capacity predicted in their contingency plan. Equipment and machinery are breaking down and there is now no one to fix it.

How much more of their investor’s money are they willing to waste before this charade is exposed?

Come back to the bargaining table prepared to enter into honest and sincere negotiations that will result in a fair collective agreement for us all.

In solidarity

Your negotiating team

Health Plan Smokescreen

Our proposal on the health plan was only to create a paper document to update the existing language as it was written in our current CBA. The plan had not been updated since 2006.

Hudbay then took it upon themselves as a crack in the door to delete language and to remove the unions approval on any changes made to it.

There ultimate goal was complete control of it.

Once we went through their proposal and dissected it, we found their real plan.

When Hudbay realized that with the entire workforce, retirees, and the entire community would not stand for it, they abandonded their undefendable position.

They returned the health plan with all the language as it was originally in the CBA.

Let`s not get tricked by the smokescreen Hudbay is trying to fool us with now.

They believed by returning the Health Plan as was, they would be able to buy an agreement with their workforce.

Let`s make it clear, Hudbay gave us nothing on our plan that we didnt already have.

They are trying to get our attention away from the other major issues that must be resolved and must be fixed before we can move forward. We must remain FOCUSED. We must look through the SMOKESCREEN. We must remain STRONG.

In solidarity

Your negotiating team

Why IAM 1848 Members feel that a strike is their only option?


Clearly, the VP, Manitoba Business Unit and the negotiating team put together at the eleventh hour prior to the start of negotiations must take responsibility for this job action.

A bit of background: HudBay has enjoyed 15 years of labour stability through the 2012 agreement, however, management squandered the opportunity to create an effective, efficient workplace based on trust and mutual respect with its workers. Instead management chose an archaic, autocratic management style that has once again proven to be ineffective and inefficient.

Our Members: The majority of IAM 1848’s Members are millwrights, heavy duty mechanics, machinists and pipefitters. These are the employees who maintain all the equipment necessary to keep the mining and surface operations running. These tradespeople are graduates of the Apprenticeship Program, which requires trainees to work with a Journeyperson for 10 months a year to acquire on the job experience in the trade, and attend college for 2 months a year. Most Apprenticeship Programs last 4 years. At the end of the 4 year program apprentices write an Inter-Provincial Exam and must score over 70% to qualify for their Inter-Provincial Ticket. However, at HudBay the majority of our tradespeople are treated with little respect for their years of training, experience and knowledge.

Negotiations 2015: From the very first meeting in November 2014, IAM encountered a hostile HudBay Negotiation Team. In negotiations, the first meeting focuses on discussion to reach an agreement on negotiation protocol (setting down mutually agreeable terms regarding the exchange of proposals, respectful discussion, media blackout, use of social media, etc.). However, this HudBay team wanted IAM’s proposals immediately! They were not open to any discussion and were extremely angry that IAM had not brought our proposal package.

Subsequent meetings have not resulted in any real dialogue or honest discussion. The HudBay Negotiating Team has stuck to its script. They will not admit that the wages they are offering inhibit their ability to attract and maintain skilled tradespeople or that there are problems with the Grievance Procedure. They are caught up in tactics like trying to sneak Health Plan Concessions past the IAM Negotiating Team, and intimidating us by suggesting that the Western Economy is not producing jobs – which was quickly shown to be false.

A “Yes” strike vote is not a decision that is easily made. IAM Members are saying “Enough is Enough” – we want honest and sincere negotiations that will bring about a fair collective agreement. We are willing to take a stand that effects our families and resources in order to make a difference in our workplace and our communities.

Stand Tall – Stay Strong!

In solidarity,

Your negotiating Committee



On Sunday May 10, at noon, on Church Street near the Staff house, The United Brotherhood of Carpenters local 1614 of Flin Flon will be holding a community BBQ in support of the IAM. We must always remember that all union brothers and sisters stand together, along with members of our community in solidarity for the rights of all workers. The IAM would like to thank the UBC 1614 and to our entire community for opening their arms and hearts in support of us. Your generosity cannot be measured and will never be forgotten. We are all lucky to be members of such a caring and wonderful community. Together we will STAND TALL.

The IAM membership

Who is Hudbay?

Flin Flon was founded in 1927 by Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting when a massive copper and zinc deposit was discovered. Through a partnership with the company and the community, Flin Flon thrived and we grew together. They supported the community. They created the beach resort at Phantom Lake. They created a golf course. They built the Whitney Forum. They built houses and apartment complexes for their employees. They continued to support all these investments and together we were a COMMUNITY

Today we are no longer HBM&S, we are now a corporate mining giant called Hudbay. Almost everything HBM&S supported is gone. Their footprint in our community has almost completely vanished. All that can be remembered from those days are stories and myths.

Hudbay has erased the resort at Phantom Lake. They have plowed everything and removed it.

They no longer fund the golf course. They own the land but all maintenance costs are paid by the members of the course.

They no longer fund the Whitney Forum. They have given all care and maintenance to the City of Flin Flon and our tax dollars.

They have plowed under almost all houses and apartment complexes for their employees cause it is no longer feasible to run.

In the community of Snow Lake is where their crown jewel of Lalor Lake mine exists. It has a proven 30+ plus year mine life, yet Hudbay invests very little in their infrastructure.

The only priority to this company now is sending hundreds of millions of dollars down south to their projects in Peru and Arizona.

Unfortunately, our communities and the employees who work for them no longer rank on their priority list.

In solidarity

Your Negotiating Committee

Proud to be a Flin Flonner

With well over 300 members of our community supporting the IAM movement, Rene Beauchamp, President of the IAM 1848, announced at 11:59am on May 02, 2015, “THE IAM 1848 IS OFFICIALLY ON STRIKE”

Men, women, children, politicians and members of other local unions all stood in solidarity.

Everyone enjoyed hotdogs and drinks at our community BBQ and participated in our first official strike since 1971.

Union brothers stood alongside with members of our community, beside local, provincial and federal politicians in the picket line in an unwavering commitment of support.

At 3:22 pm, all supporters marched down Main Street, in a rally to show this company that we all believe in workers rights and we will not back down until we receive what we justly deserve.

All members of the IAM would like to thank everyone who took time out of their day to come support our cause. We are all members of this community and all our invested in it.

We would like to thank everyone for their patience in delays coming to and from work and respecting our picket lines.

We would like to thank Eddie’s Family Foods for supplying the food and drinks for our BBQ.

We would like to thank all other local unions standing beside us on the picket line.

We would like to thank all the politicians who stand up for union rights.

But most important, we want to thank every member of our community who have supplied food, drinks, or donations. The opening of your hearts is overwhelming. At our darkest hour we know we have a community who will always have our backs. Your generosity is unbelievable and will never be forgotten. OUR GAIN IS YOUR GAIN.