According to a recent Mining Journal article, local contractor A. Lindberg and Sons and Kennecott were unable to, “come to terms on a contract for continues ground work”. According to the article, Kennecott’s spokesperson, Deb Muchmore said Kennecott made a business decision to go with another local contractor for that aspect of the project.
Also according to the Journal, the reason for the disagreement has not been released.
According to A. Lindberg and Sons representative Brad Crimmins, “Right now, we’re considering this a private matter between us and Kennecott and we’re not going to be making any comments.”
Locals speculate it has something to do with liability issues, that Kennecott wanted Lindberg to provide its own insurance on its portion of the project.
The article also states that according to Kennecott, of 76 of its local contractors and workers, 69 have a Marquette address. They may reside in Marquette now, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t originally from elsewhere. Where do we expect their employees to get their mail – Arizona? And is this starting a trend of Kennecott saying workers are “local” just because they have a local address or have lived here for a year? If Kennecott’s Flambeau Mine is any indication, where even at peak operation, the Flambeau mine only employed about 40 “local” residents, some were actually long-term Kennecott employees only brought into the area early enough to establish local residency.
I think Rio Tinto’s poor worker rights record around the globe speaks for itself. We already know what to expect this company.
Sources: Mining Journal article, “Kennecott makes mine site changes” Thursday, July 8 2010 by John Pepin
“Citizen letter about Kennecott’s Flambeau mine” by Merril Horswill