TORONTO, July 30 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) today welcomed the Newfoundland and Labrador government's response to concerns over the treatment of striking Voisey's Bay workers by Brazil-based mining giant Vale.
"We are encouraged by the response from Labour Minister Susan Sullivan," said USW District 6 Director Wayne Fraser.
"Minister Sullivan understands the plight of striking workers at Voisey's Bay, the unconventional nature of this dispute and the need for the province to play a role in achieving a fair resolution for the working families of Newfoundland and Labrador."
Fraser was responding to a letter he received today from Sullivan. The Minister was replying to a request from Fraser last week for Premier Danny Williams and his government to intervene in the Voisey's Bay strike.
The strike, which enters its second year on Sunday, has the dubious distinction of the longest-ever labour dispute in the history of former Inco mining operations in Canada.
"We agree with Minister Sullivan that a negotiated solution would be the best outcome to the strike," Fraser said. "However, as the Minister acknowledges, traditional methods of collective bargaining have been unsuccessful in this dispute.
"We welcome the Minister's pledge that the government 'will review all possible options at our disposal' to achieve a resolution. We look forward to working with the Minister, the Premier and the Newfoundland and Labrador government to get a fair deal for working families in this province."
The USW says Vale is treating Voisey's Bay workers as second-class employees, by demanding they accept an inferior contract and bonus system than the deal Vale reached with its Ontario employees earlier this month.
For more information on the Voisey's Bay strike, visit www.FairDealNow.ca.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: For further information: Contacts: Wayne Fraser, USW District 6 Director, 416-243-8792, 416-577-4045