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Category Archives: Storyteller

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 […]

Storyteller #14 – on unions and strikes


Storyteller #14 is a man working above ground for over twenty years at LKAB in Kiruna. Below is an extract from our conversation where we talk about the worker collective and the role of the union. – That time, around 1969/70 (the time of the big strike, spontaneously started by a worker in Svappavaara, not a strike organised by the union), when they began getting power over the workers, and when […]

Storyteller #13 – smoke and sustainability


Storyteller #13 is a woman, working in a white-collar position. We asked: – When you look at the mine, what kind of images do you get (in your head)? – When you come back from the mountains, we’re very often in the mountains to ski, so when we drive back into town, then you have the view of the (the old) open pit and the backside of the works, which […]

Storyteller #12 – “when the company sneezes…


…the whole town gets a cold.” This is an old saying, repeated to us by storyteller #12, working for a contractor to the Company, LKAB. – You use to say that when LKAB sneezes, the whole town gets a cold, so in these more difficult times we’re also influenced. We’ve had to lower our prices and all contractors have been summoned to LKAB to lower their prices. – Yes, we’ve […]

Storyteller #11 – having to move


Storyteller #11 is a local person, working for a contractor to LKAB and the Kiruna mine. This story is about having to move because of the expansion of the mine. The conversation takes place at a local restaurant. – Because we live in this area that will be teared down. All these houses are affected. [detailing where exactly this area is]   – How do you think about this? – […]

Storyteller #10 – education and a good salary


Storyteller #10 is a young person working under ground, educated through the LKAB program at the gymnasial level. – How did you get into the mine? – I went to the LKAB gymnasium (a specific program at the local gymnasium in Kiruna) and then you automatically get an internship during Summer, and sometimes I continued (working) during Summers. When I graduated I ended up under ground. [talk about the content […]

Storyteller #9 – first line managers


Storyteller #9, a man, started working for the company before the famous worker collective strike in 1969/70. Working in a variety of positions, he reflects on the current, tough requirements on the first line managers in the company. – …the first line managers have, first of all, upper management who pressures them from above. Then they have coworkers who pressure them as well. They are placed between two fires. […] […]

Storyteller #8 – contractors


Storyteller #8 is a man, working above ground, a white collar. This story is about the role of contractors. – I’d say that the majority of the jobs (done by contractors) are done by local companies. If you look at international companies, they have a relatively small share, particularly if you compare with geographical areas that are closer to the rest of Europe. It’s pretty far up to Kiruna or Malmberget, […]