Lodge 451 is the most northern Lodge in the Brotherhood in the town of Flin Flon, with a population of 6,000. Lodge 451 was chartered on September 15th, 1944 and has a membership of 49. 451’s membership work for the Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting Company Ltd which produces zinc, copper, gold and silver. These Boilermakers work on the mining equipment, structural steel, and overhauling trucks, may it be under or above ground. The qualifications these members possess are Boilermaker Red Seal, CWB and pressure welding tickets. There is an apprenticeship with the theory training taking place at Red River College in Winnipeg.
Local 451 was formerly a rail road Lodge in Winnipeg, disbanded in 1922 when changes were made by government action in the Industry. It was re-charted in Calgary, 1941, for the purpose of organizing and servicing contract shops but disbanded again in 1943 after an unfavourable ruling from an appointed government committee, which created a drop in morale of these members.
Construction of a mine, smelter, hydro electric dam and railway started in the late 1920’s in Flin Flon and was in full operation by 1930. Many of the tradesmen who built the operation stayed on for the operations and maintenance moving their families to the city.
During the first three years the mine made a profit, but the company saw fit to reduce the wages of the employees. Employees dropped the tools in 1934 for a one month strike. The government agreed with the company and sent in the RCMP – arrests was made and the strike was over.
The Lodge received its charter on September 15th 1944, at Flin Flon, as the result of an organizing campaign among the employees of the Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting Company Ltd.
In 1971, there was a long strike by the Trade Association that started on a cold bleak morning with a light wind blowing, giving the sub-zero temperature a chill factor reading beyond 50 degrees below zero. The strike pay for the members of 451 was $30.00 per week, and sister-lodges from Western Canada sent donations almost immediately. After the 15th week, the International sent out an appeal to all lodges across the Brotherhood – over eighty lodges responded. In April of that year, a shareholders meeting in Toronto received a report by one of the striking members of the Trade Association who was given 150 proxy votes by strikers who owned shares in Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting Company Ltd. This strike gained national attention and the Federal government appointed a troubleshooter to look into the dispute. A memorandum was worked out by the two parties and ratified by the membership.
In the mid 1970’s there was a major expansion by the company to its operation.
In the 1990’s there was a $750 million revamp of the mine.
Creighton, SK S0P 0A0
Jim Quinn, President
Joseph Lavoie, Secretary-Treasurer