The articles excerpted on this site report on the state of the industry as seen by mainstream media, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the officers of the ILWU Coast Longshore Division.

PotashCorp stock down 25% after Russian firm reveals plan to sell to China at lower prices

Shares of major North American potash producers fell sharply Tuesday on word that a Russian company is pulling out of a marketing group and is expected to undercut competitors’ prices for the fertilizer.

OAO Uralkali announced Tuesday it was withdrawing from a joint venture with another company from Belarus that set the price for about [...]


Miners union appeals ruling in Patriot bankruptcy case

Patriot declared bankruptcy last year, and is now trying rid itself of one of its most important responsibilities: ensuring that the company’s retirees have are provided with pensions and healthcare. Patriot was created five years ago as a new company, spun off from coal giant Peabody.

BizJournal reported that the United Mine Workers of [...]


Australia: Strikes continue at PWCS

About 80 workers at Newcastle’s main coal loader will strike for eight hours tonight after this week’s negotiations failed to see a resolution to outstanding issues.

The Maritime Union of Australia held talks with Port Waratah Coal Services again yesterday.

It is the latest round of industrial action in a month of disputes involving PWCS.



Russia’s Uralkali to delay potash expansion if BHP mine proceeds

BHP’s not-yet-final plan for a mine near Jansen, Saskatchewan, that would produce 8 million tonnes annually, would change the global supply and demand picture so dramatically that Russia-based Uralkali would rein in its own expansion plans if BHP goes ahead, Chief Executive Vladislav Baumgertner said in an email exchange with Reuters this week.

Uralkali is [...]


Port of Vancouver will let BHP Billiton extend hold on 60 acres

The Port of Vancouver agreed Tuesday to continue a preliminary lease agreement with a global company in hopes of eventually reaching a final deal to build a potash export facility at the port’s Terminal 5.

The port’s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to extend the preliminary lease with Australian mining giant BHP Billiton. Forcing the [...]


Canada: King Coal still reigns despite drop-off in prices

Canada produced 67.3 million of tonnes of coal in 2011 according to the preliminary results of a PwC report on the industry, generating revenues of $6.5 billion. About 40 per cent of that is exported.

Despite a drop in prices in China, Canadian coal companies are not slowing down exploration programs or development of new [...]


Canada to force striking rail workers back to jobs

Major points of contention in the strike are pensions, certain work rules and fatigue management.

Canada introduced legislation Monday to force striking Canadian Pacific Railway workers back to their jobs after talks stalled over the weekend, the country’s labor minister said Monday.

Locomotive engineers and conductors went on strike Wednesday, shutting down freight service [...]


Global unions back Ports of Auckland workers

Workers at the Ports of Auckland have received a major boost with support coming from the global Mining and Maritime Initiative.

A meeting in Sydney of the Mining and Maritime Initiative that brings together some of the world’s largest and most effective trade unions has heard from a delegation of Ports of Auckland workers who [...]


Increasing Reliance on Guest Worker Programs

Excerpts from a David Bacon article called “Displaced, Unequal and Criminalized – Fighting for the Rights of Migrants in the United States:”

The Department of Homeland Security workplace enforcement wave is focusing, not on low-wage employers, but on high-wage, and often unionized ones. There is a long history of anti-union animus among immigration authorities. Agents [...]


Panamá: La represión a los pueblos originarios debe parar

This week’s blockade to prevent corporate mining on indigenous lands in Panama.

English summary: The Association of Public and Private Employees (ANEP) in Costa Rica sent this news release to the ILWU Coast Longshore Division. It says that the Panamanian police and military have killed three people and injured dozens since the beginning of [...]


Bolivia’s Morales hopes to build railway to Peru

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales (left) is shown meeting with China’s President Hu Jintao in August. Morales said after the visit that Chinese officials expressed interest in making the railway project a priority. It’s not immediately clear how much the railway would cost, or how much financial support China might provide. Credit: Xinhua photo by [...]


STX-operated ore carrier may sink at Brazilian port

The 361-metre-long Vale Bejing is loaded with enough high-grade iron ore to make the steel for nearly three-and-a-half Golden Gate bridges. Were it to settle to the bottom at the Ponta da Madeira Port near Sao Luis, Brazil, the carrier could disrupt about a third of Vale’s 300 million tonnes in annual shipments of [...]


Australian company buys stake in coal mines

An Australian company says it is buying an interest in coal mines in Montana and Wyoming as interest increases in shipping the product overseas to feed growing energy demands in Asia.

Ambre Energy Limited announced on Thursday it was buying a 50 percent interest in the Decker Coal Company in southern Montana and the Black [...]


Australian media: ‘Waterfront to be next union battleground’

In the wake of the Qantas battle between management and unions, the country’s waterfront could stand to become the next front in the increasingly tense relationship between employers and their workers’ unions, according to a report by the Australian Financial Review.

With dock worker strikes at three locations and negotiations deadlocked at two others, [...]


Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton in controversial land swap

RIO TINTO STRIKE: In October, security forces opened fire on striking miners at a Freeport McMoRan-Rio Tinto gold and copper mine in Papau, Indonesia, killing 30-year-old Petrus Ayemsekaba and injuring six, the latest episode in decades of alleged human rights abuses and killings linked to the mine. Union leader Manuel Maniambo said thousands of [...]