The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), announced today they have a tentative agreement with Finning Canada. The 1,000 workers at Finning in Alberta have been on strike since October 20 to fight against further contracting out of their jobs.
"The new agreement includes language to protect our jobs and discourage the kind of contracting out Finning has been aggressively pursuing the past few years," says IAM Lodge 99 President Bob MacKinnon. "It is a testament to the determination of our members."
"Going into this strike, Finning said it would never agree to limits on contracting out, and after five weeks, they have done just that," says AFL President Gil McGowan. "I think this is due to the creative way the union approached the strike."
"The company probably heard about the labour movement's plans for the strike, including large actions in Fort McMurray, radio ads, a leaflet and other strategies. The labour movement was mobilizing to support the Finning workers, and it played a role in the settlement."
"I'm convinced that what we were calling 'the Dinning Pursuit' was an effective tool," says McGowan. "The union and the labour movement made a decision to show up at every public event that Jim Dinning attended. That kind of pressure made a difference."
The labour movement set up information pickets everytime Jim Dinning made a public appearance. Dinning is a Conservative leadership hopeful, but also sits on Finning's Board of Directors. His position offered a unique opportunity to IAM to place extra pressure on the company.
"The labour movement was ramping up," says McGowan. "Radio ads targeting Dinning were slated to start running next week in Calgary, a leaflet was being distributed and actions were being planned for Fort McMurray and other key sites in the dispute."
The script of the ads was used at the bargaining table, and the union suspects that Finning caught wind of other labour plans, and this prompted them to give in to the union's key demand.
"This victory is an example of what happens when the labour movements stands together. Employers should take note - this is not an employers market anymore." McGowan concludes.
For more information contact:
Gil McGowan, AFL President at 780.915-4599 (cell) or 780.483-3021 (wk) or
Bob MacKinnon, IAM 99 President at 780.483-4103 (wk)