World Solidarity Reaches IAM Canadian Miners on Strike for Fairness

IAM Local 1848 members on the picket line outside the Hudbay Minerals facility in Snow Lake, Manitoba.

Global solidarity against a mining giant has stretched all the way from South Africa and Brazil to the IAM picket lines in Flin Flon, Manitoba.

The 180 members of IAM Local 1848 were recently given two surprise boosts not only to their morale, but to their strike fund.

“You just never know who is watching out for you and paying attention to your struggles,” said IAM Grand Lodge Representative Ian Morland.

First, a man who chose to remain anonymous donated $500 to the Local 1848 strike fund.

“He told us our fight with Hudson Bay Minerals is bigger than we could imagine,” said Morland. “He wouldn’t give us his name but he did say he was a former heavy-duty mechanic who worked in the mines of South Africa. He gave us the donation and told us not to give up the fight.”

The members set up picket lines outside Hudbay facilities in Flin Flon and Snow Lake on May 2, 2015. They’re seeking parity with apprentices and certified trades at mine sites in The Pas and Thompson, Manitoba.

The very next day, the strikers received yet another donation.

“A gentleman came through the back door of our strike office to make a donation to our strike fund,” said Morland.

The man said he represented Brazilian miners who make $400 a month. He handed over an envelope and stated there was more where that came from.

“He wouldn’t give his name, he said that wasn’t important, but he said we were in a worldwide fight against the mining conglomerates for miners everywhere,” said Morland. “After he left we opened the envelope and found $1,000 inside.”

‘We were stunned,” said Morland. “This is the kind of thing that makes you realize that we’re fighting not just for ourselves. In all of my years as a trade unionist, I’ve never seen anything like this, it really is special.”