Potash Corp union to start limited job action

Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:59pm EDT
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By John McCrank

TORONTO (Reuters) - The union representing about 500 workers at three Potash Corp of Saskatchewan mines said on Friday its members will start limited job action to press the company on contract talks.

The United Steelworkers said its members will not work any overtime and will soon start rotating strikes, though they will not shut down production.

Underground and mill workers at the company's Cory, Allan and Patience Lake mines in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan have been without a labor contract since the end of April.

The union is now in a legal position to strike and the company is in a legal position to lock out its employees.

"It's tenuous and, traditionally, a very dangerous time for both parties right now," said Stephen Hunt, Western Canada director for the union.

The company said it has already put its best offer on the table, adding that the offer would make the miners the best-paid in the potash mining industry.

The union rejected the offer, saying its workers' wages will still be lower than those of most workers in the mining industry as a whole. It also said the offer does not adequately address key issues such as contracting out, pensions, vacations, and bonuses.

"The payroll of the top five officers of the company surpasses the entire payroll of our membership," Hunt said.   Continued...