To the Editor:
In 1982, Sherritt announced the cessation of mining at Lynn Lake, Manitoba. After high grading three mines – Farley, EL Mine and A Mine – to death, when nickel was healthy, it was decided to not develop an open pit copper/zinc/gold mine because of low prices on the London Metals Exchange.
Like we saw in Thompson recently, up to the plate stepped some well-meaning union men and our MLA to secure cash to develop a small gold operation to sustain the community.
Similar to our current situation, the town breathed a sigh of relief.
After securing the “bailout” for the operation, Sherritt, like Vale, took the money, investing it in a more lucrative open pit nickel mine in Cuba (Sherritt Energy Incorporated).
In 1988, as Local 5757’s recording secretary, I received a request from SHERGOLD to allow all mining to be “contracted out,” while allocating the surface jobs to our bargaining unit.
The membership was outraged and voted an astounding “No” to the request. Less than a year passed and American Barrack asked for major concessions from our local. We reopened our three-year contract and signed a new two-year deal. Shortly after the ink dried, the company announced the shutdown, just prior to Christmas 1989.
And in 2019 our local men and women head to bargain with this corporate entity. My prediction is that “contracting out” of the local ore bodies is not given the “green light,” the lock will go on the gates, with the taxpayer left out again, after investing hundreds of millions in another Conservative blunder.
Angus Campbell Sr.