Potash mine violated contract after contracting out

Company could have consulted union, arbitrator says
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 09/29/2014

A Saskatchewan-based Potash company violated its collective agreement when it failed to notify or consult with the union before it went ahead and contracted out work, an arbitrator has decided.

Agrium, located in Vanscoy, Sask., is an underground potash mine and surface mill that operates 24-seven, 365 days out of the year. There are about 500 union members, with two-thirds working below ground and one-third working on the surface.

According to Darrin Kruger, an 18-year-old heavy-duty mechanic and the president of the United Steelworkers Local 7552 sector who also serves as a member of the "contracting out" committee, the union’s concern was that there was a "lost opportunity" of work, overtime and apprenticeships for the bargaining unit.