Bob Desjarlais

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Bob Desjarlais
Born Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan
Residence Thompson, Manitoba Canada
Known for President USWA Local 6166
Spouse(s) Bev Desjarlais (divorced)
Christie Desjarlais
Children 4

Bob Desjarlais is a prominent labour leader in Thompson, Manitoba, Canada, having served as president of the United Steelworkers of America Local 6166 since the 1990s.[1]


He represented Inco workers through difficult contract negotiations in 1999, which included an extended lockout and community polarization.[2] Shortly after the contract was settled, Inco announced that it would expand operations, and keep the Birchtree Mine open for at least another fifteen years.[3] Desjarlais negotiated a 4.3% wage increase for workers in 2002, and strongly endorsed a new three-year contract in 2005.[4] He has also been involved in labour activism at the provincial, national and international levels. In 1996, he represented the Steelworkers in merger talks with the United Auto Workers and the International Association of Machinists.[5] Four years later, he was cheered at a meeting of the Canadian Labour Congress for criticizing Buzz Hargrove's suggestion that the CLC consider withdrawing its support from the New Democratic Party.[6] He supported Bill Blaikie for the federal NDP leadership later in the same year.[7] Within the Manitoba New Democratic Party, Desjarlais has been a vocal advocate for anti-scab legislation.[8] He has also been active in aboriginal issues, and promoted an urban reserve for Thompson in 2002.[9]


  1. ^ "Unrest On Its Way To Manitoba If Labour Law Changed - Steelworkers", Canada NewsWire, 29 May 1996, 10:28.
  2. ^ "Inco employees in Ontario solidly behind locked out workers at Inco's Manitoba Division", Canada NewsWire, 16 September 1999, 14:12; Glen MacKenzie, "Inco's lockout chill spreads through Thompson", Winnipeg Free Press, 8 October 1999, A8; "Union cites cost of Inco strike", Globe and Mail, 29 November 1999, B2; Glen MacKenzie, "Thompson upbeat after Inco deal reached", Winnipeg Free Press, 8 December 1999, A3.
  3. ^ Aldo Santin, "Inco digs in for another 15 years", Winnipeg Free Press, 15 February 2000, C9. Another expansion announcement followed in 2005. See "Inco to spend $34-million to prolong Thompson mine", National Post, 30 August 2005, FP4.
  4. ^ "Inco workers get respect, 4.3% wage hike", Winnipeg Free Press, 16 September 2002, A4; Nicole Mordant, "Inco reaches tentative contract in Thompson", Globe and Mail, 13 September 2005, B6.
  5. ^ Paul McKie, "Union leader aids in merger", Winnipeg Free Press, 9 September 1996, A4.
  6. ^ Robert Matas, "Labour Congress boos Hargrove", Globe and Mail, 12 June 2002, A6.
  7. ^ Cross Canada Support for Bill, Bill Blaikie, cached online source. Retrieved 9 December 2006.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Manitoba's governing New Democrats are being urged to bring in new labour laws, including a ban on replacement workers", Broadcast News, 7 March 2004, 15:22.
  9. ^ Bill Redekop, "Union boss outspoken role model", Winnipeg Free Press, 8 July 2002, A3.