“World-class” SNOLAB institute doles out substandard final offer to workers

SUDBURY, Ontario, April 19, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Members of the United Steelworkers union (USW) working at the SNOLAB research laboratory have voted unanimously to reject a substandard, “final” contract offer from their employer.

Thursday’s unanimous vote by the workers, members of USW Local 2020-59 in Sudbury, exposes the refusal to date by SNOLAB to negotiate a fair collective agreement that recognizes cost-of-living realities.

Steelworkers who work at SNOLAB facilities, including an underground laboratory deep inside Vale’s Creighton Mine in Greater Sudbury, conduct world class testing, research and experiments that has achieved recognition globally including a Nobel prize.

“SNOLAB bills itself as a ‘world-class science facility,’ but its actions at the bargaining table show that it isn’t too concerned about the retention of world-class employees,” said Tracy Nguyen, a USW staff representative involved in the contract negotiations.

“SNOLAB has had the opportunity to show our members that their unique knowledge and experience is valued. Instead, not only have they offered wages well-below today’s realities, they actually have demanded concessions from workers,” Nguyen said.

In October 2023, SNOLAB received $2 million in public funding, in addition to an initial $12 million in funding from the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities. At the time, SNOLAB’s Executive Director, Dr. Jodi Cooley, stated: “This investment provides opportunity and value to not only Sudbury, but all of Ontario, and will allow SNOLAB to continue creating jobs and attracting the best and brightest minds to Canada.”1

The USW says negotiations have now come to a pivotal moment, when the employer can choose to return to the bargaining table and offer a fair compensation package so workers don’t have to choose between paying rent or buying groceries.

Media contacts:

Tracy Nguyen, USW Staff Representative, 705-675-2461, tnguyen@usw.ca
Pascal Boucher, USW Area Co-ordinator, 705-675-2461 ext. 226 pboucher@usw.ca 
Lorei Leigh De Los Reyes, USW Communications, 416-544-6009, ldelosreyes@usw.ca


1 https://www.snolab.ca/news/snolab-welcomes-funding-boost