tommy.jensen@sbs.su.se johan.sandstrom@ltu.se

Category Archives: Supplier

Modular and movable – smart and sustainable?


We’re reading the magazine for the Euro Mine Expo 2018 in Skellefteå, Sweden, a fair and conference for the mining industry that just recently closed (we didn’t participate). It’s always interesting to study what the industry itself considers to be salient issues and themes. The themes of the conference were innovation and business development, sustainability in action, and future outlook. Most of the magazine consists of ads of rather traditional […]

Storyteller #33 – work vs community?


Next storyteller is one of the ombudsmen inside the gates, reflecting on the recurrent theme of people doing work in the Kiruna mine but living (and paying taxes) elsewhere: It would be better if they move up, then there might have been more lively here [as in more pulse in the local community]. And there would also be more tax money in this town. This depletes… But if you get […]

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 #27 – an offer you can resist…


Next storyteller works for an employment agency in the Kiruna region. We talked about how they worked with recruitment for the mining sector in and around Kiruna, and how that oftentimes involves not only a potential miner but also his/her family. – This issue with ”tandem recruitment”, that we work with… – What’s that? – Well, oftentimes you work with, as in Kiruna for example, getting people to move here […]

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 #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 #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 #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, […]

Storyteller #3 – the dream factory


Our third storyteller is a man, born and raised in Kiruna. He has been working under ground since the 1980s. The story is about leaving, arriving and staying at the dream factory, a k a the mine and LKAB. It comes out of a discussion about a mutual friend of ours leaving LKAB. – Yes, sure, there are those who have come and gone, and that have left in other […]

Precarious times


Working life in the mine is not turbulent at the moment, not at all, but due to the current re-organization it’s very precarious, uncertain, insecure, unreliable, unsure, unpredictable… This is not only the case for blue collar workers and white collar workers in service positions who are unsure of where employments will be cut (cause there’ll be cut downs), but also for managers, particularly middle managers. At LKAB in Kiruna, […]

Logbook updated


Waiting at the hotel room in Kiruna before going home, we reflect on our conversations with both old and new acquaintenances. It’s been a very good trip. More blogposts await! We’ve updated the logbook on the Swedish case (click here).

Aboriginals and the labour process (part 4)


Two short questions are still left hanging from my visit to MCA in Saskatchewan and from reading the CVMPP-reports: What about the contractors? In the reports, contractors are not really dealt with, but they still represent a significant part of the labour process. Just as on site, they had their rooms in a building beside the Cameco employees, but they shared the other facilities (restaurant, wellness facilities etc.). Interestingly, most […]