GOOSE BAY, NL, Jan. 31 /CNW/ - Unionized workers at the Voisey's Bay nickel mine in Labrador have
ratified a five-year collective agreement, ending a bitter, 18-month
strike against Brazilian mining giant Vale.
Members of United Steelworkers Local 9508 voted 88% in favour of a
tentative deal reached by their negotiating team and Vale
representatives. Vote results were released today, following balloting
in a number of communities over the last several days.
"Our members are returning to work with their heads held high," said
Steelworkers staff representative Boyd Bussey. "They stood up for their
families and their communities and fought for what they believed in."
"This labour dispute was unnecessarily provoked and prolonged by a giant
multinational corporation," said Wayne Fraser, Steelworkers District
Director for Atlantic Canada and Ontario.
"Our members deserve to be proud for standing up to this foreign
corporation and for finally achieving a fair deal," Fraser said.
The five-year contract takes effect immediately and will expire in
"The company wanted a three-year deal, but we were looking for stability
for our members and our communities and we're happy to have a five-year
agreement," Bussey said.
Union members will be recalled to work within the next few days and it
could take a few weeks before every worker is back on the job, he said.
Following are some of the terms of the new collective agreement, which
includes improvements to several monetary and language provisions of
the former contract:
- A $4,000 return-to-work bonus, with an immediate $2,000 payment and
another $2,000 paid after three full months on the job;
- A $1-per-hour basic wage increase over the term of the contract, plus
annual cost-of-living increases, including an immediate 62-cent COLA
- A new, on-site bonus, worth 10% of a worker's base wage rate;
- An increase in the employer's contribution to the defined-contribution
pension plan, from 6% of base salary to 8% of base salary;
- A two-pronged bonus plan, with a cap of 25% of workers' straight-time
- An additional paid holiday, for the Family Day holiday in February;
- New contracting-out language that precludes layoffs of unionized
workers if the company is using contractors;
- Improved health and safety language.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Contact: Wayne Fraser, USW District 6 Director, 416-577-4045;
Boyd Bussey, USW, 709-727-8632, 709-753-0864, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-434-2221, 416-544-5966,