January 2022 President's Report

Good day Brothers, Sisters and Friends of Steel!

There has been a lot to digest as we wrap up 2021 and head into another year!

It has been over a year since the workforce adjustment had 28 of our members retire early and 75 members laid off. The rapacious experiment by the company has been an abysmal failure and we are in crisis with those workers gone. The attempt to rehire the workforce, especially in the trades, is not working and we are short people. We have filed all the appropriate grievances and will proceeding to arbitration.  The motive for the disparaging changes is still not clear to everyone who works in the operation and understands the negative impact this has had. The act of laying workers off and trying to rehire them within the same year simply defies reason.

We are very concerned with the approach taken on develop miners, with the demise of company training for the job and the changes to the mines incentive system it is apparent development miners are dwindling in numbers. It seems the trend here and in Ontario is to push this off to another contracting body.  Many here would agree this started when Stope school was eliminated and is seems lost on the company how development miners who work at the face of the mine to extract the ore that pays all other bills. Part of our heritage is being slowly ripped away as if we would not notice the intentions.

The challenges all our members face and overcome every day has not let up as Covid, operational confronts, ventilation, organizational changes, frustrating mines incentive, consistent pay stub and pay issues to say the least has many wondering what 2022 will look like. It is our solidarity that is more important now than ever! We all know how it is being tested and as we enter the halfway point of our collective bargaining agreement. We must all stay united for our future here.

As seems to be the norm lately, there has been changes at the top of the company and in our operation here in Manitoba. The trend continues and will likely be a precursor for even more changes as it is also being coupled with a renewed push to lower costs further. To be sure it will make for a very interesting time ahead!

USW 6166 is celebrating 60 years of Solidarity in Thompson! On January 3rd ,1972 we signed our Certificate of Charter of Affiliation with the United Steel Workers of America and began the labour movement in Thompson. We will be recognizing our anniversary throughout 2022 as there are thousands of members who have taken part our history here in Thompson.

I would like to thank the USW 6166 Executive Counsil, our WSR’s, the office staff and all our activist on the floor for their work and dedication to our membership. As we look to take on the challenges in the year ahead know that our goal is to secure our future for our Brothers Sisters and Friends here. I know that our Solidarity will prevail.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

Warren Luky