Canadian Manufacturing

Unions fight to represent workers at Saskatchewan potash mine

IBEW, Christian Labour Association of Canada fighting to represent Agrium potash mine workers



VANSCOY, Sask.—A fight to represent workers at Agrium Inc.’s Vault potash mine near Vanscoy, Sask., has led to a subcontractor being taken to the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 529 is accusing Alliance Energy Industrial Inc. of unfair labour practices.

The IBEW is seeking to unseat the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) as the representation for about 700 electrical workers employed by Alliance Energy at the mine.

Paul Janetzki with the IBEW says the CLAC is a “employer-dominated organization.”

He alleges that employees who have openly supported the IBEW’s certification drive have been threatened with dismissal.

Dennis Perrin with CLAC says the labour board case is just the IBEW’s way of trying to circumvent the 45 per cent support they would need to trigger a vote on whether the Alliance employees would switch unions.

Part of the IBEW’s case calls on the labour board to force a vote.

The case goes before the labour board July 18.

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