Contract talks between Vale and USW at Voisey's Bay end with no deal

TORONTO, July 20 /CNW/ - Vale expressed its disappointment today that contract talks with United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9508, representing some 130 striking mine and mill employees at the company's operations in Voisey's Bay, have ended with little progress towards a new collective agreement.

"We are very frustrated and extremely disappointed," said Tom Paddon, General Manager of Vale's operations in Newfoundland and Labrador. "It is clear that the USW's bargaining committee is not fully committed to finding a pathway to a new collective agreement. From the outset, we have been fully prepared to engage in collective bargaining, however, it takes the commitment and willingness of both parties to discuss all issues and work towards finding common ground."

Talks aimed at finding a settlement to a strike that began on August 1, 2009 resumed Monday. To date, the USW has rejected three full settlement proposals tabled by the company over the past 12 months of negotiation. At the prompting of the Conciliation Officers, the USW tabled a new counter-proposal that contained no compromise on substantive issues and included financial demands translating into an 8% increase in compensation over their prior proposal. The current USW economic demands would increase labour costs at Vale's operations in Labrador by about 45% over the previous collective agreement.

"We entered this round of talks with the objective of reaching a deal that meets the needs of our employees and our operations in Labrador. Unfortunately, the lack of flexibility being shown by USW at the negotiating table diminishes that possibility," said Paddon.

"We will continue to move forward with our operations at Voisey's Bay."

No further talks are scheduled.

SOURCE VALE LIMITED

For further information: For further information: Contacts: Cory McPhee, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Vale, 416.361.7669, cory.mcphee@vale.com; Bob Carter, Manager, Corporate Affairs, Vale, Newfoundland and Labrador, 709.758.8895, bob.carter@vale.com

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