Tentative agreement in long nickel strike at Sudbury | National Union of Public and General Employees

Tentative agreement in long nickel strike at Sudbury

More than 3,000 workers vote this week on contentious settlement with Brazilian nickel giant Vale.

Sudbury (7 July 2010) - A tentative agreement has been reached in the long and bitter strike by employees of Vale, the powerful, wealthy and callous Brazilian owner of the former INCO nickel mines in Sudbury.

More than 3,000 members of the United Steelworkers (USW Local 6500) have been on strike since since July 13 last year. A ratification vote will be held this week but tensions are bound to remain even if the settlement is approved.

NUPGE president James Clancy (centre) in Sudbury.

USW spokesman Wayne Fraser said the strike demonstrates the need for some action by the federal government to deal with the way heavy-handed foreign owners operate in Canada.

“I just think there needs to be a rethinking of the Canada Investment Act and the rules and regulations about foreign ownership in this country,” he said.

"It's a sad day that workers have to walk the picket line for almost a year to fend off the attack by a company like Vale. It's unconscionable that they have to do that.”

Vale is the world’s largest iron ore producer, with the bulk of its operations in its home country of Brazil.

The Canadian labour movement, including the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), rallied behind the striking Sudbury workers. But because of the remote and uncaring approach by Vale the dispute became one of the longest and most bitter in Canadian labour history.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

More information:
VALE Inco solidarity rally March 22 in Sudbury
Sudbury health care workers back Vale Inco strikers
OPSEU backs striking Vale Inco workers in Sudbury
World unions organize global action against Vale

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