CAW/Xstrata Deal Unequivocally Discredits Vale

"This agreement clearly demonstrates that if both sides sit down and negotiate in good faith, they can resolve difficult issues."

SUDBURY, ON, Feb. 2 /CNW/ - A tentative agreement negotiated by Mine Mill Local 598/CAW and Xstrata Nickel in Sudbury unequivocally discredits the damaging and unwarranted strategy Vale Inco is inflicting on 3,500 striking Canadian workers and their communities.

"This (Xstrata) agreement clearly demonstrates that if both sides sit down and negotiate in good faith, they can resolve difficult issues," said John Fera, President of United Steelworkers Local 6500.

"The major issues in the CAW/Xstrata negotiations were virtually identical to the outstanding issues in our strike against Vale Inco," Fera said.

"Unlike Vale, however, Xstrata did not insist on dictating and imposing the terms of a collective agreement on its workers," Fera noted. "Unlike Vale, Xstrata respected Canadian labour relations tradition and negotiated resolutions to difficult issues.

"When both sides enter into good-faith bargaining it usually results in a settlement that will benefit the company as well as workers, pensioners and the community for years to come. This is how Vale should be treating its Canadian workforce, rather than provoking and prolonging a dispute that is decimating thousands of working families and their communities."

Both Xstrata and Mine Mill Local 598/CAW say the tentative agreement they negotiated is a "fair and equitable deal" for both parties. The deal does not include any of the major concessions that Vale is demanding from the United Steelworkers, Mine Mill Local 598/CAW reported.

"Vale and Xstrata have similar workforces, with similar collective agreements, operating in the same mining environment," Fera said. "Xstrata has demonstrated it can operate profitably and sustainably in our community while maintaining a 'fair and equitable' collective agreement with its employees."

"This agreement clearly discredits Vale's refusal to negotiate, its deplorable agenda and its unprecedented tactics," said Wayne Rae, President of USW Local 6200 in Port Colborne.

"Our provincial and federal governments must stand up for Canadian working families and denounce this foreign corporation's disrespect for Canadian workers and our communities," Rae said.

Vale Inco and Steelworkers should get back to the table and negotiate a fair deal.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: For further information: John Fera, USW Local 6500 President, (705) 675-3381; Wayne Rae, USW Local 6200 President, (905) 941-6200; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, (416) 434-2221, (416) 544-5966,

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