"It's another provocation by this company, which has been trying to provoke our members and divide our community for months."
SUDBURY, ON, Nov. 27 /CNW/ - A scab-recruitment campaign is the latest example of Vale Inco's ill-advised, divide-and-conquer agenda and its alarming indifference to the damage it is inflicting on Canadian communities, the USW says.
"It's another provocation by this company, which has been trying to provoke our members and divide our community for months," said John Fera, president of USW Local 6500, which represents about 3,000 of the 3,500 Vale Inco employees on strike in Canada.
Despite its massive profitability, Brazil-based Vale provoked a strike in Canada this summer by demanding deep, unwarranted concessions from workers. Now the company is using a corporate website and media publicity to try to recruit scabs from the ranks of strikers. (The corporate website fails to mention that strikers who go to work as scabs will be dictated terms of employment by Vale and will not have rights such as union representation, seniority, access to arbitration, and just cause for discharge provisions of a collective agreement).
"It represents the worst of labour relations," said Fera. "It's unprecedented, it's un-Canadian and it shows how unreasonable Vale is, how they're trying to bust the union and how little they care for working families and the communities in which they operate.
"Even during our most-bitter battles with Inco, we were at least able to sit down and have civil discussions with the company. But Vale wants to impose their agenda, which is to take more and more profit from our mineral wealth and give back less and less to our workers and our community. That's unacceptable."
Vale's attempt to divide the community and lure strikers to become scabs, particularly as Christmas approaches, "is despicable," Fera said. Union solidarity and the rejection of Vale's scab recruitment efforts remain "overwhelming," he said.
"It's another desperate tactic that will not succeed. The overwhelming, vast majority of the membership will not cross the picket line because we are a strong and united local union.
"Instead of recruiting scabs, Vale should negotiate an acceptable settlement to end the strike, to the benefit of its employees, their families, the community, the company and its shareholders."
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: For further information: John Fera, (705) 675-3381