Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 10, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
OWHOMt MUM 10, If 71 Belt of hardship being cinched around economic waist Flin Flon has escaped strikes since 1934 FLIN FLON, Man. (CP) bdt of hardship slowly being cinched around the eco- nomic waist of this northern community. In a one-industry mining town this means only one thing: Strike. Three weeks ago tradesmen hanging to six craft unions voted to witt out at the Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co., and this town of people was facing its first strike in 37 years. tradesmen number about 750 of the work force but their jobs are essential to the mines and smelters. By the end of that the company bad shut down its op- eration, workers were idle at three different sites and the Elide. economy braced for a Nestled is Muutobt's hinter- land of UK northwest ind spill- ing across the Saskatchewan boundary, Fife it one ft Western Canada's oldest minim communities. A lucky prospec- tor's bonfire melted snow and uncovered a copper ore outcrop- ping in 1914. tod by 1933 the town was incorporated. Two years later town had its first labor strike and has not had one since. BUILT ON ROCK Flin Flon, after a fic- tional character in a long-lost novel, is a rambling coUectioa of buildings and stores perched on barren rock. In many in- stances sewer and water pipes arc boxed in from the cold and run over the rocks. In the present strike, money is not key factor. The trades- VALENTINE SPECIAL ALL Red Dresses CLEANED AND PRESSED TO PERFECTION EACH I 3 DAYS ONIY THURS., FRI. AND SAT. CASH and CARRY PLEASEI SPIC SPAN DRY CLEANERS SPECIAL GOOD AT BOTH LOCATIONS 112 8th Street South and College Mall _________________ that they be pntitttd to bargata tar their ova trades association group. They haw refund to fol- jw the company demand that tradesmen accept the terms of wage and work contract signed last fall by the United jtoehnrktrs ot America. The steelworken represent miners. Chamber of Commerce Pred- ent Fred Howard says: I "We pray R ends soon. This sort of thing has a snowball ef- ect and there are already some ayoffs from the smaller stores." He said there has been a drop in business at many stores. Clerks were being laid off and tore managers and owners were starting to man the cash registers themselves. MONEY STILL AVAILABLE A shortage of cash hasn't really been noticed yet because the strikers are still getting company pay cheques. The last one will come Feb. 11 and that vill be for seven day's pay. "Then, I'm afraid, things win slart to get said Mr. loward. With the mine closed, Vo decision on welfare costs sharing OTTAWA (CP) No federal decision has been made "at this time" to assume a larger per- centage of welfare costs, Fi- nance Minister Edgar Benson said Monday in the Commons. The federal authority now shares welfare costs SO-SO with the provinces. Mr. Benson had been asked by David peg North) whether the cabinet is considering taking on a greater share of these costs. Mr. Orlikow said welfare costs rose 25 to 30 per cent in most provinces and cities last year and are expected to in- crease again in 1971. He asked whether the matter wooM be discussed at the current feder- al-provincial constitutional con- ference. Mr. Benson said he wasn't sure whether the subject would be raised. miners are out and already more than claims have beta filed witt the Uaemploy ment Insurance Conimisstai. Of the strikng tradesmen, many, depending on their union, are already getting strike pay. The maximum, again depending upon the union concerned, is (40 a week. But strike pay and unemploy- ment insurance benefits are not going to match the million monthly payroll that used to pour into the community. Directly, the shutdown has closed the company's mines at Flin Flon and Snow Lake, 75 miles east of the town, as well as the Flin Flon metallurgical plant. The strikers are all part of the building trades unions and are electricians, machinists, boilennakers, carpenters, brick- layers and painters. TALKS STALLED Negotiations between strikers and company have not resumed and Jim Goodison, representing the International Machinists Union, says, the first move is up to the company. The townspeople don't really care who makes the first move, They just want a fast settle- ment. Mayor Ed Yack says tha without one, "I, think Jan. 26 1971, will go down as the black est day in the last 30 years of this town's history." One of the main complaints a the" trades group is that the pact, signed last year by the steelworkers, does not allow for le union to bargain in eouwc- tiw with pension plan. The dispute between the trades association and the corn- way went through a federal conciliation board. The board made no recommendations. And that is where it stands now: A union-management saw- off with apparently no break n sight. New oil spill REVERE, Mass. (AP) The coast guard said Monday abou 20 per cent of a spill of gallons of oil into the Chelsea River has been cleaned up. spokesman said UK oil, spillei into the river Saturday from ar oil company barge, was con tained to the immediate area b; a floating boom and ice. For Your Valentine Choose a Gift from our unique selection VALENTINE CARDS Contemporary Sweetheart n COLLEGE MALL WHEN YOU CARE ENOUGH TO SEND THE BEST HALLMARK CARDS FROM THE neicsman named director OTTAWA (CP) Pierre O'Neil of Montreal La Presse was elected president of the 'arliamentary Press Gallery Saturday. He succeeds Fraser Mac- Dougall of the Canadian Press Directors include Louis Seale, Toronto Globe and Mail and formerly of The Lethbridge Herald. 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