Steelworkers File Bad-Faith Bargaining Complaint Against Vale Inco

Jan 12, 2010, 09:00 ET from United Steelworkers (USW)

"Vale Inco's behaviour indicates it is not interested in meaningful negotiations. It is using its massive wealth to try to bring Canadian workers and communities to their knees."

TORONTO, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers union is filing a bad-faith bargaining complaint against Vale Inco, challenging the company's refusal to engage in genuine, good-faith negotiations to end the six-month strike by 3,500 Canadian workers.


WHAT: United Steelworkers file bad-faith bargaining complaint against Vale Inco.

WHO: Lawyer and spokesperson for United Steelworkers.

Two Sudbury Miners (in full miner's outfits).


Wednesday, January 13th, 9:15 am

Ontario Labour Relations Board

505 University Avenue, 2nd Floor, Toronto


Wednesday, January 13th, 10:45 am

Queen's Park, main building room 463

Phone-in Scrum: request call-in # in advance at 416-544-5990

USW officials will file the complaint Wednesday morning at the Ontario Labour Relations Board in Toronto. The filing will coincide with the strike's six-month anniversary, which will be marked in Sudbury by a rally attended by labour leaders including Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard, USW National Director for Canada Ken Neumann, Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti, and all USW Canadian Directors.

"The Ontario Labour Relations Act requires that employers and unions make every reasonable effort to reach a collective agreement," said United Steelworkers lawyer Brian Shell. "At the minimum that means meeting with a union committed to a full exploration of all issues and together endeavouring to find an acceptable way forward."

"Vale Inco's behaviour indicates it is not interested in any meaningful negotiations," said John Fera, President of USW Local 6500 in Sudbury. "It is using its massive wealth to try to bring Canadian workers and our communities to their knees."

"As we mark the sixth month of this labour dispute, it is unconscionable for Vale Inco to stick to its present obstructionist tactics," said Wayne Rae, President of USW Local 6200 in Port Colborne. "It is unacceptable for Vale to reject Canadian labour-relations traditions in its attempt to impose its will on our working families and communities."

"To any objective observer, it is apparent that Vale is not looking for a settlement that would benefit workers and communities as well as the company," Shell said. "As a result, we are compelled to pursue legal avenues, such as this application to the Ontario Labour Relations Board, and seek the Board's intervention to restore meaningful, good-faith negotiations."

"Vale's disingenuous attempt to portray the Steelworkers as unwilling to negotiate has clearly been discredited," said Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada. "Vale continues to reject our unconditional requests to get to the bargaining table to bargain."

"We have made it abundantly clear that we want to return to bargaining, unconditionally. We are not dictating that the company must accept any terms or conditions before resuming negotiations. We have also called for the assistance of a provincial mediator to eliminate the posturing and help both sides find solutions."

"The Steelworkers' history shows we are willing and able to confront workplace challenges and to negotiate 'changes' that are good for the company, workers and the community," Fera said. "It's time for Vale to start building a similar track record."

For daily updates on the USW's strike against Vale Inco, visit:


Carolyn Kazdin 55-11- 380 42630

John Fera, USW Local 6500 President, 705-675-3381 /

Myles Sullivan, USW Staff Rep, / 705-675-2461, ext. 224 /

Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-434-2221, 416-544-5966 / /

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)