Mine Mill Local 598/Unifor's loss is the gain of the union's national office.
Richard Paquin, who has led Local 598 for the last six years, is leaving the position Oct. 19 to work for Unifor Canada's national office.
But he won't be going far. Since the position involves representing the interests of Unifor's union locals in Sudbury and Timmins, he'll still be based out of Local 598's office on Richard Lake, in the city's South End.
“It's basically being the chief negotiator on all bargaining and all the court cases and arbitrations,” he said. “It's a different challenge, and I'm looking forward to it.”
Paquin said the union has accomplished a lot over the last few years. This includes building a new union office at Richard Lake and reopening the union's campground on the same site.
Since 2004, Local 598 has also successfully negotiated collective agreements on behalf of its members without resorting to strike action, he said.
This included a contract with Xstrata in 2010, when Steelworkers Local 6500 members were in the midst of a bitter year-long strike against Vale.
Under the union's bylaws, Local 598's vice-president, Anne-Marie MacInnis, automatically becomes president. An election will be held for the vice-president's position in early November.
MacInnis was not immediately available to comment on her new job, but Paquin said he's happy with the union's new leadership.
“I think the local is in very capable hands,” he said.