Northern mine 'losing $1M a day' due to construction strike

Construction workers -- including crane and heavy equipment operators -- are on strike across Ontario.

The walkout is affecting the building industry across the north, including Sudbury.

Members of the International Union of Operating Engineers rejected a tentative provincial collective agreement at the end of April.

About 45 strikers gathered at the intersection of Kingsway Boulevard and Barrydowne Road in the Nickel City on Wednesday.

"For this particular agreement, it encompasses our crane rental divisions as well as steel erection, as well as heavy equipment operation in the industrial construction and institutional sectors. So that’s really what’s at stake right now," said Kirk Fournier, a business representative for the union Local 793 in Sudbury.

From residential to commercial projects, officials said the strike would have a large impact.

"We have certain projects, such as Côté Gold, right now, losing approximately $1 million a day while our operators are not operating," said Fournier.

Denis Deschenes has been a heavy equipment operator for 20 years. He said all workers want is to keep up with the cost of living.

"We’re trying to get a fair deal here," Deschenes said.

"With inflation -- we all know the gas prices are just astronomically crazy -- we’re trying to survive. We’ve got families and stuff at home with the fluctuation of inflation, it's just hard to get by now."

Fournier said workers have strong resolve and he's confident they will hunker down until a deal is reached.

Picket lines are expected across the city all week.

CTV News reached out to the Construction Labour Relations Association of Ontario, which negotiates for the employers, and it would only say talks are continuing.