Potash workers wrap up strategy session
January 15, 2018
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The United Steelworkers Potash Locals have concluded two days of successful and productive meetings in Saskatoon, Sask., where local unions came together recently to discuss a number of issues important to Steelworkers who work in potash mines in the province.
“The importance of standing together, shoulder to shoulder, was recognized by the leadership of all USW locals,” says Darrin Kruger, President of USW Local 7552. “We know that by co-ordinating our efforts like never before we can ensure Steelworkers are treated with the respect and fairness they deserve.”
USW Locals 189, 7458, 7689, 7656, 7552 and 7916 were joined by District 3 Director Stephen Hunt, Assistant to the Director Scott Lunny, Staff Representatives Mike Pulak, Phil Hayden and MC Breadner to take part in the strategic discussions.
The meeting follows on the heels of the merger between employers Agrium and Potash Corp. The new employer is Nutrien and the USW sees the merger as an opportunity to strengthen the collaboration between all potash locals.
As USW members employed by Nutrien and Mosaic prepare to go into bargaining, the meeting was an opportunity to build power and create even greater synergy among potash workers. USW locals at Nutrien let the Mosaic locals know in no uncertain terms that they have their backs and vice-versa.
That unwavering, mutual support will help all locals achieve good things for members over the coming years, says Kim Wehner, President of USW Local 7689.
“When we stand united,” says Wehner, “we can achieve tremendous things for our members.”
A key discussion during the meetings was the rise in potash prices and the positive outlook for the industry.
USW District 3 Director Stephen Hunt congratulated the locals on their commitment to working together and says it’s how workers will continue to make progress at the bargaining table.
“From stem to stern, in every one of our potash locals and in every facet of our union, there is a strong commitment to speak with one voice and to stand united and together,” says Hunt. “I’m very proud that the leaders of all of our potash locals are working in solidarity to co-ordinate their efforts. It means good things ahead for our members.”
The USW Potash locals represent 2,500 potash workers in Saskatchewan.