LONDON, Nov. 9 /CNW/ - Members of Unite the Union picketed today outside a Deutsche Bank metals conference in the City of London. The protest organized by the global union Workers Uniting was in support of striking mineworkers from Vale Inco in Canada.
Two Canadian strikers, members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union, joined the picket to press the case to investors attending the Deutsche Bank meeting where Vale executives were making a presentation.
"The protest is the first of many actions to be organized by Workers Uniting that will confront Vale investors during this dispute," said Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada.
About 3,500 Vale workers in Canada are on indefinite strike to defend their pay and conditions. Vale wants to impose drastic cuts to pensions and other benefits of the Canadian miners.
"The message we are here to deliver to would-be investors is that Vale Inco aren't only fighting their workforce they are fighting the global union too," said Unite Joint General Secretary Derek Simpson.
"Mining natural resources has been a profitable enterprise for generations in Sudbury, Canada for both the company and the workers," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "For a multinational company to now attempt to slash living standards while enjoying sky-rocketing profits is totally unacceptable.
"Workers in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and around the world understand this, and the workers' solidarity and actions send a powerful message."
"Vale's backward, outdated approach to labour relations also is bad for investors," noted Ken Neumann.
"Vale's own reports indicate the Canadian labour dispute that it provoked is costing the company $7 million (US dollars) in lost production each day. We are standing together as Workers Uniting in saying it's time for Vale to get back to the bargaining table and make a fair offer that benefits shareholders, workers and their communities."
For more information on the Vale Inco dispute go to www.fairdealnow.ca.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: For further information: Richard O'Brien, London, +447768 931 320; Saba Mozakka, London, +447768 693 953; Bob Gallagher, Canada, (416) 544-5966, (416) 434-2221