Ekati Union Runs Ads Against "Dirty Diamonds"

June 13, 2006

Ekati Union Runs Ads Against "Dirty Diamonds"

The union that represents workers on strike at the Ekati diamond mine in Canada's Northwest Territories ran ads in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to dissuade consumers from buying diamonds from the mine.

Calling the mine's product "dirty diamonds," the ads paid for by the Public Service Alliance of Canada urge shoppers to avoid buying diamonds with the Aurias and CanadaMark trademarks.

The ads are the latest move by the union in the strike, which has been going on for 10 weeks. Workers are striking over equality issues involving pay and benefits.

"We believe consumers who care about human rights and fair treatment of workers anywhere in the world will not want to purchase Ekati diamonds until workers there have a fair collective statement," says Jean-Francois Des Lauriers, executive VP-North of the PSAC, in a release. "And we intend to tell the world that (mine owner) BHP Billiton is using strikebreakers to product dirty diamonds at Ekati — diamonds that consumers should not buy because of this labor conflict."

The ads can be seen online at the union's Web site, www.psacnorth.com.

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