David vs. Goliath

 

Everyone is likely aware of the legendary biblical tale of David vs. Goliath. Here is a condensed version.

The Philistine army had gathered for war against Israel. The two armies faced each other, camped for battle on opposite sides of a steep valley. Goliath, a Philistine giant who measured over nine feet tall and wore full armor, came out each day for forty days, mocking and challenging the Israelites to fight. Saul, the King of Israel, and the whole army were terrified of Goliath.

One day David was sent to the battle lines by his father to bring back news of his brothers.

While there, David heard Goliath shouting his daily defiance and he saw the great fear it stirred within the men of Israel. So David volunteered to fight Goliath. Carrying only his shepherd’s staff, sling, and a pouch full of stones, David approached Goliath. The giant cursed at him, hurling threats and insults. As Goliath moved in for the kill, David reached into his bag and slung one of his stones at Goliath’s head. Finding a hole on the armor, the stone sank into the giant’s forehead and he fell face down on the ground.

There are many parallels between this story and big corporations and the Unions that must scratch, scrape and claw to receive what is just and fair. This definitely rings true with the Hudbay operations in northern Manitoba.

Hudbay has always dictated to our communities from a position of power and exploited the economic monopoly it holds over our communities. It has repeatedly used the threat of closure as a bargaining tactic. It has unlimited resources for the “contingency plan” (estimated to be over a $1.5M per month), a negotiations “expert”, and lawyers to argue against the rights of its workers. It has the ability to sway the Manitoba government to make an exception for buses supplied by a Saskatchewan company when a local bus company was available to transport workers. It has the ability to pressure workers and contractors into taking on the duties of IAM Members in order to prolong this strike.

The IAM has 180 men and women who believe that RIGHT is greater than might and that they deserve to be bargained with in good faith. IAM will continue to stand up to the Goliath that is Hudbay until our concerns regarding the grievance procedure, contracting out, and a competitive wage rate are addressed.