We've been receiving so many encouraging words from co-workers privately. This person asked us to share their thoughts with everyone. It's a great letter and we are happy to share it unedited, uncensored with you.
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What can the Steel Workers do for you?
For me the union isn’t about a regulated bonus system, or yearly wage increases, and a say in what happens with our benefits, Its about safety and accountability.
In my time at Kirkland Lake Gold, I’ve seen a huge change. What once was a family friendly place that would "pass the pot" around to help someone who was injured to help weather the storm, or an open ear to safety concerns has quickly changed in to an ounce producing machine that will stop at nothing for the increased bottom line.
As an employee I’ve seen the company what once learn from injuries, now ridicule the injured. the employees have turned into to the Nameless. We have shifters, captains, and our super, who put arrogance above safety. A group of people who should be professional harassing, bullying, and ignoring our rights and laws. For them it isn’t about us. it’s about looking good, and putting themselves first.
I've heard the horror stories from every department. Mechanics expected to do three-man jobs by themselves, Construction crews behind walls literally roasting to death. And minErs forced to work in substandard conditions. Who is accountable? When the mechanic comes to surface injured, he's told to take a drug test. When the Construction Worker has heat exhaustion, he's told he has the flu, when the miner comes up he's told he's not cutting it and is demoted. These are not exaggerations these are these are actual stories of the nameless.
I get a union isn’t perfect, I understand the fears that people have. but those fears are nothing when it comes to human life. and if our injury ratio continues its path, a life will be lost. And I guess right now all the accountability on us. We must seize this moment to vote Yes. We must seize this opportunity to gain our rights back. We must seize this opportunity to hold the or shifters, captains, and super accountable.
WE MUST SEIZE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE OUR NAMES BACK.
Big thanks to the anonymous KLG co-worker for writing in to us. A reminder, if you or your fellow employees have any other questions, please feel free to send them to us and we will get back to you quickly.
Text: You can also subscribe to our text message info alert system. If you aren’t on it text KL Gold to the phone number 32323.
KLG is unionized in Australia
We reached out to our sister Union, the Australian Workers Union, who represents the workers at the Kirkland Lake Gold Fosterville mine. They were beyond thrilled to hear of the hundreds of card signers and the upcoming vote. They wished Macassa workers all the best and stressed the positive impact the Unions had on their work environment.
Important message from co-workers about the dues rumour
So it seems KLG and its little puppets are spreading misinformation again. Supervisors are giving out false information and outright lying about the union dues we had to pay. It’s a desperate move and nothing surprises me anymore with these guys. Maybe if they were honest in the first place we wouldn’t have to form a union. Them “smart” folk said dues were $350 a month!! WOW, maybe if those winners were calculating our bonus we’d be making money. Lol
Here’s the truth.
The dues are 1.55% plus 2cents per hour worked. They come off our gross pay (before taxes) and because unions are non-profit, dues are tax deductible and it works out to be a lot less.
There are no initiation fees and we don’t pay any union dues until we have a contract.
As we predicted the company started their dirty tricks. They‘ve been lying to us every step of the way, does that surprise anyone? WE NEED A UNION!
The People who actually care
We are your co-workers, friends and neighbors. There was a time we would have never considered going union but things have changed… and not for the better. If you haven’t signed a card you should consider it.
We care about this place and take pride in the work we do. We have made this company a lot of money, no question about it! What’s ironic is that they are in the media claiming they are making money hand over fist but keep taking from US!
Lets look at the last few weeks:
- Illegally garnishing our bonus (stealing) for a busted monitor
- S**t bonus
- Firing good miners
- B******t discipline when we follow the rules
- B******t discipline when we are told to break the rules
- Losing our best miners because of s**t money and disrespect
- Contractors taking our headings, taking our gear and taking our jobs!
- Targeted for raising safety concerns
Lies and more lies from Duncan King… Is anyone surprised?
Since this guy came in the picture or should we say videos (lol) he’s been gutting us. He’s doesn’t want to hear the truth or answer questions. We totally get it! It’s easier to s***w a family man or woman if you don’t have to look them in the eye.
What’s funny is that now that there is more Union talk, the “King” suddenly cares by sending letters to everyone’s house and giving misleading information. So, let’s clear things up.
When we form our own Union, we pay dues, thats true. What Mr. King failed to mention is that Dues are tax deductible. Union dues are like job insurance and will give us the financial means to protect ourselves legally. With the Steelworkers, we don’t pay any dues until we have voted to accept our new contract. We have nothing to lose! Nothing!
Scare Tactic - Negotiations and Strikes
First off, the Steelworkers do not negotiate for us. We negotiate our own contract, we elect our own committee and we address our own issues and priorities at the table. The USW never tell us to go on strike, they provide us with lawyers and experts during bargaining. 98% of all USW contracts are settled without a strike.
We are not Vale/Inco. We are our own Union, we handle our own money and we make our own decisions as a group. Other local Unions have absolutely nothing to do with us. We have no plans to go on Strike – the ‘KING’ is trying to scare us by threatening to replace us. But In case you haven’t noticed, we are already being replaced and that’s because we don’t have a Union
The King’s ‘direct relationship’ approach isn’t working!
There isn’t one of us who hasn’t tried to deal directly with our shift bosses and upper management. So, to be clear, Mr. King’s “direct relationship theory” has not worked. In fact, most shifters want the Union because they don’t agree with the way we are being treated. Shame on Mr. King for even bringing that up!
The “KING” sent his letter to purposely mislead and interfere with our right to form a Union. In our eyes, it is not only illegal but insulting and disrespectful. The only harassment and bullying taking place here, comes from management.
Despite what the “KING” says, if a union organizer shows up at your house, take a few minutes to talk and ask questions. You don’t get both sides of the story if you just kick them off your property. It’s about making an educated decision, as the “King” says. They are workers just like us, they are good people and they are here to help.
It’s time to stick together!
Sincerely, Employees for a better KL Gold
United Steelworkers organizers have received many complaints in the last two weeks regarding poor air quality in the deeper sections of the mine.
Workers are reporting increases in temperature and humidity and are experiencing symptoms associated with heat exhaustion.
Employees have also reported a rise in the presence of mold. Some workers are experiencing respiratory symptoms associated with mold exposure.
Although those symptoms may or may not be related to mold, there is no arguing KLG has a legal requirement to find out if the substance is harmful.
Hello and Welcome Everyone!
I'm Pascal Boucher and if my name sounds familiar, that's because I'm originally from Kirkland Lake. I'm a Miner by trade and i started my career at Holt-McDermott mine and even worked at Macassa (KLG).
I know first hand the harsh, dusty , bumpy, hot and physical environment under which people are exposed to at K.L. Gold. Truth be told there is no other mine like it in Ontario. The working conditions are harsh and the way employees are being treated is on a different level. I have many friends and family who live in this community and its no secret that things aren't very good at K.L.Gold, one could even say scary... At least for the workers.