Vale Must Now Get Back to Bargaining with Striking Workers

Settlement with office and technical employees reaffirms need for Vale Inco to negotiate a deal with more than 3,000 production and maintenance workers

SUDBURY, ON, March 31 /CNW/ - Vale Inco has an obligation and responsibility to negotiate a collective agreement with more than 3,000 striking Canadian employees, the USW says.

"Almost nine months ago, Vale forced our members to take a stand to protect our rights under our collective agreement and today workers in Sudbury, Port Colborne and Voisey's Bay remain united," said John Fera, President of United Steelworkers Local 6500.

"Recently, striking workers in these communities overwhelmingly rejected Vale's latest, substandard offer," Fera said. "Instead of arguing bad faith bargaining complaints at the Ontario Labour Relations Board, Vale should now get back to the table and negotiate a fair deal with Locals 6500, 6200 and 9508."

"Vale has done everything but come together with the Union and these locals to bargain in good faith. This is unacceptable and we are repeating our request that Vale negotiate rather than dictate."

The anxiety and hardship caused by Vale's anti-union agenda for the last nine months undoubtedly played a role in the contract ratification vote today by office, technical and professional employees in Sudbury, the USW says.

The 290 OTP employees, members of USW Local 2020, accepted a new contract rather than risk being embroiled in a dispute in which they would be subjected to Vale's aggressive tactics.

"This contract vote does not represent redemption for Vale. It reflects this company's unwillingness to bargain with striking workers in three Canadian communities," Fera said.

"If Vale truly wants to do right by Canadian working families and communities, it will accept its responsibility and obligation to negotiate contracts that are acceptable to the company and to the striking workers in Sudbury, Port Colborne and Voisey's Bay. We care about our jobs and our communities and we need a resolution that protects our rights, makes our workplaces fully operational and benefits our hometowns."

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: For further information: John Fera, President, USW Local 6500, (705) 675-3381, Ext. 232; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, (416) 434-2221, (416) 544-5966,

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