Big Yes Vote at Baffinland

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. mine employees vote in favour of a first collective agreement negotiated by IUOE Local 793

BAFFIN ISLAND, NUNAVUT April 17, 2019 – What started as an organizing drive in May 2017 has culminated in the successful ratification of a first collective agreement with Baffinland Iron Mine Corp. to represent its production employees, that took effect May 1, 2019.

The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793 (“IUOE Local 793”) appreciates Baffinland’s decision to sit down and negotiate a fair and reasonable mutual gains partnership agreement.

With the goal of increasing Union membership, IUOE Local 793 had set as priorities – in their recently concluded Strategic Plan – to augment its organizing with mines and continue its efforts to establish representation rights in Nunavut.

The mine itself is located in Mary River in northwest Baffin Island in the territory of Nunavut. It is an open pit iron mine and is said to be the world’s sixth most northerly mine.

As of the date of closing of the ratification vote there were upward of 800 workers employed in various positions within the bargaining unit, including many ore haul truck drivers, heavy equipment operators, skilled trades, and other workers.

IUOE Local 793’s sister organization, the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (“OETIO”), has offered heavy equipment operator training to the Inuit communities of Nunavut since January 2005. IUOE Local 793 itself was granted a Charter to organize and represent employees in Nunavut on behalf of the International Union of Operating Engineers in 2014. 

On behalf of IUOE Local 793’s Executive Board, Mike Gallagher, business manager of IUOE Local 793 has said “We thank the employees of Baffinland for putting their trust in IUOE Local 793 and having the confidence to vote in favour of the tentative agreement. We are committed to providing them with the quality representation they deserve.” 

“Over the last six months, Baffinland and the Operating Engineers have worked closely based on employee feedback to build a partnership that emphasizes collaboration, fully respects our IIBA, and reflects Baffinland’s core value to engage and develop our employees,” said Brian Penney, President and CEO of Baffinland. “Baffinland will continue to explore partnerships that help our employees continue to be successful at Baffinland, and help our company become the lowest cost-producer of high grade iron ore in the world through the safe and efficient operation and ongoing development of the Mary River Mine.”

About the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793
In 2019, IUOE Local 793 is celebrating its 100thanniversary. IUOE Local 793 represents more than 15,300 crane and heavy equipment operators and industrial and production workers in Ontario and Nunavut. Its members work in all sectors of the construction industry, for municipalities, and in industrial establishments. Local 793 members build the roads and bridges you travel on, the subways you ride in, and the offices you work in. Members also build pipelines, stadiums, refineries, subdivisions, and work in mechanics shops, landfills, quarries, and mines.

The International Union of Operating Engineers is dedicated to serving and protecting the needs and interests of its members and their families through the collective bargaining process, legislative action and extensive training and skills improvement programs. IUOE Local 793 has a head office and training campus in Oakville, Ontario, another training campus in Morrisburg, Ontario and district offices around the province of Ontario. 

For more information about IUOE Local 793, please visit our website at iuoeLocal793.org

Contact: 

IUOE Local 793
Kathryn Peet, communications representative 
+1-905-469-9299 ext. 2219

Baffinland Iron Mine Corp.
Jason Leite, communications specialist
+1-416-529-2624

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