Province Must Intervene in Vale's 'Second-Class' Treatment of N.L. Workers

GOOSE BAY, NL, July 22 /CNW/ - Premier Danny Williams and the government of Newfoundland and Labrador must stand up for working families being subjected to second-class treatment by Brazil-based Vale.

The United Steelworkers union (USW) is calling on the Premier and his government to immediately intervene in Vale's refusal to negotiate a fair deal to end a yearlong strike at its Voisey's Bay operations.

"It is indisputable that our union and its members at Voisey's Bay - like their colleagues in Ontario who recently ended their yearlong strike - have shown flexibility and a willingness to compromise to achieve a fair collective agreement with Vale," USW District 6 Director Wayne Fraser states in a letter to Premier Williams.

"But Vale is taking a more heavy-handed approach in Newfoundland and Labrador. Vale is demanding workers in this province accept an inferior bonus and collective agreement than the one negotiated with 3,000 workers in Ontario."

"Mr. Premier, we trust you and your Government will agree it is unacceptable that a massively profitable foreign corporation such as Vale would treat Newfoundland and Labrador workers as second-class employees," Fraser states in the letter.

"We also trust you will use every means at your disposal to ensure Vale treats the working families of Newfoundland and Labrador with the respect and dignity they deserve."

The strike at Voisey's Bay began Aug. 1, 2009. Negotiations broke off Tuesday (July 20) after Vale refused to offer the strikers the same bonus system it negotiated in Ontario. Vale also refused to discuss other outstanding issues unless the strikers agreed to the inferior bonus.

To read the USW letter to Premier Williams, visit www.FairDealNow.ca.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: For further information: Wayne Fraser, USW District 6 Director, 416-243-8792, 416-577-4045; Boyd Bussey, USW Staff Representative, 709-753-0864, 709-727-8632


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