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Category Archives: Storyteller

Storytellers #29 and #30 – using local contractors


The general trend in the mining industry is to increase the use of contractors in order to be more flexible, adaptable and cost-effective. Whether this is achieved can be debated, but the trend is clear and although the markets for iron ore (the Kiruna case) and uranium (the McArthur River/Key Lake case) are different, they are both nevertheless highly influenced by ‘boom and bust’, ‘feast and famine’. Walking the fine […]

Storyteller #28 – mining and community


Next storyteller is a man from Saskatchewan, Canada, living in a small town up north called La Ronge. He works at MCA. When reflecting over the challenges for northern communities where a large portion work for the mining industry, he praises Cameco, the company, for its efforts, but also emphasises the many challenges still to deal with. This quote about La Ronge comes to mind as we’re daily seeing pictures […]

Storyteller #26 – balancing between own people and contractors


Next storyteller is a contractor who (just as many of the other contractors we’ve talked) used to work for LKAB. The quotes below are from the part of our conversation where this person reflects on how a shifting balance between using the mining company’s own employees and contractors impact LKAB’s performance. – I think the easiest way for LKAB is to cut away more parts (of the operations), to sell out parts and place […]

Storyteller #25 – an indigenous voice


Talking to an indigenous man from one of the Same villages in the Kiruna area, we ask: In your village, with reindeer herding and such, is it okay to work in the mine? Yes, it is. It must be up to each one of us because we live in a society that looks the way it does. With the economic values we have, I completely understand a young person growing up […]

Storyteller #24 – the work rotation vs. the local community


Last year we met a local politician in Kiruna. One theme in our conversation was how different work rotation schedules related to the local community, since workers who work in Kiruna but don’t live in Kiruna also don’t pay taxes in the municipality. The politician said: When we discussed about there being a lot of people commuting [from outside the municipality to work in the mine], they have these work […]

Storyteller #23 – if I was the CEO…


Next storyteller is a man from Kiruna who have worked a long time above ground for the company, LKAB. During our conversation, the new CEO, Jan Moström, is brought up. It’s turbulent because Moström, here he comes and, listen now, this is brilliant, because Moström is known as “The Butcher”, but no one has felt any butchering. I use to say in the sauna after [work], I use to say that […]

Storyteller #22 – young people with money


Part of our research strategy and ideas on where a labor process begins and ends, is that we cannot only talk to people in the core of the process, as in workers, managers and suppliers. Other people and other places might also be relevant. Our next storyteller is an example of this. She is a young woman, who has grown up in Kiruna and now works in town for a […]

Storyteller #21 – mine and society


Our next storyteller is a woman, grown up in the Kiruna area and now working for a supplier to the Kiruna mine. During our conversation we discussed all kinds of topics related to the mine and to work. Below, we’ve selected two quotes from her thoughts on the mine and society: If you would put words on the relation between you and the mine? What does it [the mine] do to […]

Storyteller #20 – they say fly-in/fly-out


Next storyteller, a young man, works for a contractor to the Kiruna mine. – I’m from [Nn], about 300 km from Kiruna. I’ve been working in Kiruna for almost four years. Fly in, fly out. – Do you say that? Fly in, fly out? – Well that’s how others say it so… – Who others? – Who look at us, who don’t live here, where I work. Or, how to put […]

Storyteller #19 – youth and work-life career in rural communities


Next storyteller, from the Swedish case, on living in a remote, small community and finding work in the mine: Where are you born? 40 kilometres from Karesuando and 220 kilometres from Kiruna. How did you end up here? I had to start the gymnasium and, well, then you automatically end up here. A lot of commuting, from the village to the town, to the village again. You lived here [in […]

Storyteller #18 – from Canada, on having two families


Next storyteller is a woman, an aboriginal, working at the mill at Key Lake. She talks about the strong social bonds created at work and therefore about having two families, one at home and one at work: Actually, if you talk with anyone here who has been long term they’re going to tell you that ‘this is my family’. We live with them, we work with them over the years. […]

Storyteller #17 – from Canada, life on- and off-site


Next storyteller from Canada, a woman, working above ground, 7/7, here on the social life on- and off-site, and on why she couldn’t see herself returning to a normal 9-5 job: Well here is very social, you are always around people, you are always interacting with people. […] At home it’s a little bit more quiet. You usually just see you family, your immediate family and then go back to work […]

Storyteller #16 – from Canada, on the relation between company and community


Our next storyteller is an aboriginal man, working as a manager at the mine and as a representative of his local community in the north. Mining companies, including their contractors, operating in the north have to hire Residents of Saskatchewan North (RSN) as labor (see previous blogposts on this, just search for the category “Canada” or “Aboriginals”). Below is an extract from our conversation about this: So in Canada you have that […]

Storyteller #15 – from Canada, about social life on-site


Time to introduce some storytellers from the McArthur River uranium mine in Saskatchewan, Canada. This person, a man, a white-collar with Cameco, working 7/7 (seven days on-site, seven days off-site), talks about the social life on-site: The social life here compared to the one back home? Here it’s a… there is more visiting, like I communicate a lot more with people up here. At home I sit and recluse, just […]