Why is IAM&AW 1848 Taking Job Action?

FLIN FLON – JUNE 29, 2015

As the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers  Local 1848 begin week nine of job action while other unions have voted to accept collective agreements, some people are wondering what is keeping IAM on the picket line.

The main issues IAM had been hoping to resolve though negotiations were improving the grievance procedure, concerns around contracting out IAM member’s work, and bringing rates of pay up to industry standards.

  • Grievances:  IAM identifies the grievance procedure as their biggest concern. Union member’s can file grievances when they believe articles within the collective agreement have been breached. This is how a union fights for fairness. IAM has a range of outstanding grievances regarding days off, overtime and stat pay, call outs, transfers, contracting out, and wrongful termination. They report that the current grievance procedure is taking 1-2 years to get a grievance to arbitration.
  • Quote from Rene Beauchamp: “During negotiations, IAM offered up several proposals to shorten the time taken to clear grievances including proposals to streamline the process, having a regular meeting set up with an arbitrator every six months, and we even offered to sit down with the arbitrator for two weeks to help clear out the backlog. Unfortunately, every IAM proposal was turned down and Hudbay made no counter proposals”.
  • Contracting Out: Contracting out is another major concern. Hudbay has previously stated that they contract services because of recruitment issues. However, contractors ARE able to successfully recruit and IAM believes that these contracted workers create division in the workforce as they are paid at higher rates and can be subject to different rules. They also don’t contribute to the community as many just travel to northern Manitoba for work.
  • Quote from Rene Beauchamp: “IAM has around 60 outstanding grievances regarding contracting out services. To repair this problem, we proposed developing a consultation process with the union through the already established monthly contracting out meetings. Again, this proposal was turned down by Hudbay and no counter proposals were offered”
  • Rates of Pay: Trades at Hudbay can expect to be paid at least $6/hour less than comparable companies. These ‘comparable companies’ are the same ones Hudbay looked to when they determined industry standard wages for their staff positions.
  • Quote from Blair Sapergia: The proposed increase of $4 per hour over three years will not even bring us up to industry standards as they stand today. When IAM went on strike, Hudbay had 30 vacant trades’ positions that are normally filled by IAM members. Could Hudbay successfully recruit qualified tradespeople if they were willing to pay the industry standard wage?
  • Quote from Blair Sapergia: We entered into this process with clear and legitimate issues, ready to negotiate a deal. However, based on what we experienced throughout this process, we now believe that Hudbay never had any intention of bargaining in good faith.