Vale's Arrogance and Intransigence Require Government Action

GOOSE BAY, NL, Jan. 14 /CNW/ - There is overwhelming need and responsibility for the Newfoundland and Labrador government to end the 18-month Voisey's Bay mine strike, the United Steelworkers (USW) says.

"The need for government action is now undeniable," USW staff representative Boyd Bussey said after striking Voisey's Bay workers voted in favour of a settlement proposed by the province's Industrial Inquiry Commission.

"Our government appointed this Commission to try to help resolve the dispute," Bussey noted.

"The Commission's experts did all they could to assist the Steelworkers and Vale in reaching a settlement. The Commission's detailed report to the government clearly explains why this labour dispute continues after nearly 18 months.

"The Commission confirmed the Steelworkers made repeated, 'significant' compromises to try to reach a settlement," Bussey said.

"The Commission also stated clearly that Vale maintained 'an approach that does not contemplate compromise on any basis.'

"Vale's contention that it wants to settle the strike has clearly been refuted by the Commission, which states: '(Vale) maintains that it has a desire to conclude a collective agreement, but its actions and reactions send the opposite message.'

"The Commission also stated there is no pressing 'need' for Vale to settle, since it has recruited scabs to work at Voisey's Bay," Bussey added.

"It is now clear that Vale is the impediment to a fair settlement. It also is clear that, unless our government takes action to bring about a settlement, Vale will continue to use its scab workforce and prolong the hardship for our working families and communities."

The USW has placed a full-page ad in Saturday's St. John's Telegram to highlight the need for government action.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information:

Boyd Bussey, USW, 709-727-8632, bbussey@usw.ca; /
Wayne Fraser, USW District 6 Director, 416-243-8792, 416-577-4045 /


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