TORONTO, Jan. 6 /CNW/ - Vale expressed extreme 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, ended quickly without a settlement. "Once again our
efforts to advance negotiations were rejected by USW," said Tom Paddon,
General Manager of Vale's operations in Newfoundland and Labrador. Our talks in this round of negotiations consisted of two half hour
meetings and no progress was made despite the fact that Vale stated it
was willing to be flexible on the outstanding issues.
The Union showed no desire to negotiate in a constructive manner and
address the issues that Vale requires for insuring future business
success. It insists on having a contract expiry date that would allow
the USW to manipulate our next contract negotiations at Voisey's Bay so
that they align with a potential strike in Sudbury, just as the Union
did in 2009 - thus prompting the current protracted dispute. We are
not going to have our people and our business go through a prolonged
strike all over again and we will not agree to the union's proposed
expiry date. In this latest round of negotiations Vale offered a five
year contract which matched USW's request to the Industrial Inquiry
Commission, with a commitment that it would include a wage increase
greater than USW's proposal to the Commission and that recommended by
the Commission. Vale has reiterated that it is also willing to be
flexible in negotiating a settlement on the other outstanding items.
Yet USW flatly rejected this offer.
USW is willing to accept less money for their members - our employees -
to secure a common contract expiry with Ontario. Already they are
planning for the next strike - rather than our future shared success.
For the USW, this is about driving changes in legislation and forcing
government intervention far more than it is about the members they are
supposed to represent.
The Union's combative behaviour is nothing new. We have been trying to
bridge the gap with USW for more than two years and every time we
believe we've made some progress, the Union finds new ways to frustrate
forward progress being made. Vale entered these negotiations with the
objective of reaching a deal that meets the needs of our employees and
our operations in Labrador. Since negotiations began in 2009 Vale has
tabled numerous proposals containing monetary improvements which exceed
other company settlements.
SOURCE Vale Limited
For further information:
Vice-President, Corporate Affairs
Manager, Corporate Affairs
Vale, Newfoundland and Labrador