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Falconbridge Norway starts five-day strike

Reuters, Wednesday 15 November 2000, 6:00 am Eastern Time

OSLO, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Workers at Falconbridge Nikkelverk, the Norwegian unit of Canadian miner Falconbridge, started a planned five-day strike early on Wednesday in sympathy with their striking Canadian colleagues.

"The strike has started, as planned," Leif Gusland, president of the local chemical workers' union, told Reuters.

About 330 of 360 production and maintenance workers at the refinery in Kristiansand, south Norway, had announced earlier this month that would stop work for five days, joining their colleagues at the Sudbury, Ontario nickel operations in Canada.

Gusland said Norwegian workers had decided to go ahead with the strike despite efforts by Canadian union officials to resume talks with Falconbridge leaders to end the 16-week Sudbury strike.

"Talks still seem so far off that we consider it very unlikely that the strike will end in the coming days," Gusland said.

He said production of nickel, copper and cobalt at Falconbridge Nikkelverk would remain shut until early on Monday, but that an increase in output before and after the strike would compensate for lost output.

"We are not striking to affect markets, but to warn the management in Canada that we don't like their methods and the way they treat their workers," Gusland said.