CAW Members on Strike at Xstrata Copper

October 1, 2008, 1:38 PM EST

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CAW Local 599 members at Xstrata's Copper Kidd Metallurgical facility near Timmins Ontario are on strike over the company's refusal to adequately address workers concerns in bargaining.

In a statement released to Local 599 members, the union said the company fell short in addressing many of the workers concerns in the areas of wages, benefits and contract language, which includes seniority and skilled trades related issues.

"We are hopeful that Xstrata will reconsider its position and return to the negotiating table in order to bring an end to this dispute," said Ben Lefebvre, Chairperson of the Metallurgical site representing 675 CAW members.

"Our members understand that Xstrata is benefiting from Canada's very profitable metals sector and are demanding a fair deal," said Hemi Mitic, assistant to CAW National President Ken Lewenza.

Mitic said the two sides are not far apart on the issues and believes that an agreement is within reach.

Swiss-based Xstrata acquired the northern Ontario metallurgical complex when it took over Canadian-mining giant Falconbridge in 2006. The Kidd metallurgical site is located 30 kilometres from the Kidd Creek mine and includes a concentrator, copper smelter and refinery, as well as zinc, cadmium, indium and sulphuric acid plant.

The collective agreement expired at midnight on October 1. No further contract talks have been scheduled.

For more information, visit the CAW Local 599 website at:

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