Steelworkers, Vale Reach Tentative Deal at Voisey's Bay

ST. JOHN'S, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - Negotiators for the United Steelworkers (USW) and Brazil-based Vale have reached a tentative agreement to end the bitter 18-month strike at the Voisey's Bay nickel mine in Labrador.

The tentative deal was reached Wednesday evening in St. John's, said USW staff representative Boyd Bussey.

Terms of the deal will not be disclosed until union members vote on the proposed collective agreement, Bussey said. The union's negotiating team is unanimously recommending that members ratify the agreement, he said.

Meetings with union members must be held in a number of communities and results of voting likely will not be available until early next week.

"We are relieved to have finally reached a tentative agreement and we are optimistic our members will ratify the deal," Bussey said.

"The last 18 months have been very difficult for our members and their families, as well as for many other working families and communities in our province.

"This labour dispute was needlessly provoked by Vale, then prolonged by its use of scab labour and its refusal to compromise to reach a fair deal - which was confirmed by the provincial commission of inquiry."

"We appreciate the work done by the commission, and the assistance of the mediator appointed by our government. But it is clear that our government must finally enact anti-scab legislation in the best interests of our working families and communities.

"We must no longer be held hostage to the economic and social harm caused by foreign corporations with no qualms about recruiting scabs and provoking and indefinitely prolonging labour disputes in our province."

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information:

Contact: Boyd Bussey, USW, 709-727-8632, 709-753-0864, bbussey@usw.ca


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