Company, union talking as strike begins at Vale in Sudbury
Talks are ongoing between the union and Vale, the union's bargaining committee told CTV News on Tuesday. Sudbury mining workers at Vale are on strike for the first time in more than 10 years after workers rejected a five-year contract.
The bargaining committee of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 6500 told CTV it heard the membership loud and clear has brought that message back to the company.
They confirmed talks are ongoing.
Tuesday morning Vale, declined comment on the labour dispute, saying in a statement:
"Our focus is on continuing to explore a path to a settlement with the United Steelworkers while preserving the health and safety of all employees, unionized and non-unionized, as well as the safety and integrity of our operations."
The dispute began when workers rejected a five-year tentative contract in a vote Monday night.
"Vale regrets to inform that employees represented by United Steelworkers (USW) Local 6500, representing production and maintenance employees in Sudbury, voted to reject the company’s offer of a new five-year collective bargaining agreement despite the unanimous endorsement of that deal by the union bargaining committee," the company said in a news release Tuesday morning.
At 12:26 a.m. Tuesday on its website, the union said 87 per cent of its members voted on the new contract and 70 per cent rejected the tentative agreement.
"We are newly energized with this result and are looking forward to bringing your message to the company to let them know our work is not complete," the union's bargaining committee said.
"The company’s offer, and the union bargaining team’s endorsement of that offer, reflected months of hard work and commitment on both sides and a sincere demonstration to favorably conclude negotiations," Vale said. "Vale is committed to the long-term sustainability of its base metals business and its Ontario operations. The Company will continue discussions with USW in the hopes that both sides can find a path towards a ratified agreement in the near-term."
Vale has implemented contingency plans as workers head to the picket lines.