Memorial marks 1984 Falconbridge tragedy and all workplace deaths – by Heidi Ulrichsen (Sudbury Northern Life – June 20, 2017)

2015 death of Richard Pigeau at Nickel Rim South especially raw for speakers

On June 20, 1984, a seismic event measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale struck Falconbridge Mine, leading to the deaths of four miners β€” Sulo Korpela, Richard Chenier, Daniel Lavallee and Wayne St. Michel. Every year since the tragedy, Mine Mill Local 598/Unifor has held a Workers’ Memorial Day gathering on June 20.

This year’s service was held at the union’s campground on Richard Lake, and featured a long list of guest speakers, including politicians, union and company officials and labour community representatives.

Although specifically commemorating the 1984 Falconbridge mining disaster, the event also remembers other workers who have died at the company, which, as a result of several buyouts, now goes by the name Glencore. It also honours the lives of all those who have lost their lives due to on-the-job accidents or industrial disease in Sudbury and around the world.

Especially raw for those speaking at the ceremony is the Oct. 20, 2015 death of 54-year-old Richard Pigeau, who was killed at Glencore’s Nickel Rim South Mine after he was struck by a piece of equipment.

β€œIt’s been 20 months since Rick Pigeau’s fatality at Nickel Rim South, and it seems like it was only yesterday,” said Dave Stewart, health and safety co-chair at Nickel Rim South.

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