Union Going Global to Track Product and Reach Vale Customers
TORONTO, Oct. 12 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) protested the arrival of a shipment of Vale's copper in the German port of Brunsbüttel yesterday. USW was joined by leaders of mining unions from around the world.
In a show of global organizing, USW Canadian National Director, Ken Neumann, along with two striking Steelworkers from Canada confronted the ship arriving in Germany with Vale content coming from Canada.
3,500 members of the United Steelworkers have been on strike for nearly three months in a growingly bitter confrontation at Vale operations in Sudbury, Ontario, Port Colborne, Ontario and Voisey's Bay, Labrador.
USW along with mining union leaders from Germany, Brazil, South Africa, Japan and elsewhere along with other supporters held a demonstration at the German port of Brunsbüttel as a ship transporting 35,000 tons of Vale copper concentrate from Voisey's Bay was arriving today. A group of the leaders then met with the ship's captain and a ship owners' representative.
"We informed them about the strike and why we were demonstrating. The captain and agent were both supportive and said they would raise the issue directly with Vale and would inform the buyers of the copper about the dispute," said Neumann.
Curtis Saunders and Aaron Beaudry, both Steelworkers on strike at Vale in Canada, joined Neumann for the demonstration and meeting. They are holding meetings with leaders of unions in Germany and other European countries that have members at Vale operations and the operations of Vale's customers.
"Mining and transport workers' unions around the world are offering tremendous support in this dispute," said USW International President Leo Gerard, "and we plan to use it to pressure Vale for fair treatment of workers in Canada, Brazil and everywhere else that Vale operates."
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: For further information: Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, (416) 434-2221; Myles Sullivan, USW 6500 (Sudbury), (705) 675-2461 x224