Nfld. & Labrador

IOC burying 2,000 workplace complaints, union alleges

The president of the union representing Iron Ore Co. workers in Labrador City is accusing the company of being disrespectful in not addressing outstanding issues.
Rio Tinto operates the Iron Ore Co. of Canada mine in Labrador City. (CBC)

The president of the union representing Iron Ore Co. workers in Labrador City is accusing the company of being disrespectful in not addressing outstanding issues.

More than 2,000 workplace complaints and issues have been detailed in grievances filed over work-related issues at the Rio Tinto-owned IOC mine, says Ron Thomas, president of the United Steelworkers local in Labrador City. 

Steelworkers local president Ron Thomas says IOC is not dealing with a large number of grievances. (CBC )
Thomas thinks it is time that provincial labour relations officials get involved.

"I think my next step is getting a hold of the labour board," Thomas told CBC News.

"I've talked to our MHA [to] see if we can get an inquiry done in this area," he said, adding that he thought that IOC is not doing enough to settle employee issues.

"The disrespect shown to the leaders of the union reflects back on the disrespect that's being shown on the floor. So, I mean something needs to change," he said.

Thomas said he has not been able to get a meeting with IOC's new CEO, Kelly Sanders, since Sanders took over in July.

"I've asked for meetings and yet haven't had a response," Thomas said.

"He is not willing to work with us as a union and not willing to meet with us."

Meanwhile, an official with IOC said the company does not discuss contract grievances in public.

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