Friday, July 31, 2009


CANADIAN LABOUR-NEWFOUNDLAND:
VOISEY'S BAY WORKERS LIKELY ON STRIKE SOON:

The following item, originally from the CBC News, came to Molly's attention via the strike solidarity site Fair Deal Now set up by the workers on strike in Ontario against Vale Inco. As has been mentioned before on this blog the contract between Vale Inco and workers at Viosey's Bay in Newfoundland is expiring soon (tomorrow actually), and there is little doubt that the Newfie workers will be on strike soon. The more general the strike is, the more likely that the company will be pressured to settle. One can only hope that, as the strike drags on, that workers at other facilities owned by Vale Inco will find ways to put pressure on the company (work to rule ?) even if they are not in a legal strike position. One can also hope that workers employed by Vale Inco in other countries will see fit to carry out such solidarity actions as well.
As the reader can find out from the Fair Deal Now site there is now a court injunction prohibiting more militant picketing in Sudbury and Port Colborne. Just a little word to the wise here. This injunction, in its present form, applies only to the United Steel Workers. It says nothing about what a group of non-union members may undertake on their own initiative. take this as you will.
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Voisey's Bay union in legal strike position:
More than 200 workers at the Voisey's Bay nickel mine in northern Labrador are preparing for a possible strike on Saturday.

Members of the United Steelworkers union are in a legal position to strike as of midnight Saturday. Unionized workers have voted 90 per cent in favor of job action.

Negotiations between the union and Vale Inco, the company that operates the Voisey’s Bay mine, broke off in June. Workers have been without a collective agreement since March.

The United Steelworkers union has said Vale Inco wants to roll back an employee bonus based on the price of nickel. The company also wants to impose a three-year wage freeze.

The union has accused the company of using the global economic slowdown to try to roll back bonuses and freeze wages.

"We do realize that we were in a very bad economic situation," Darren Cove, spokesman for the union local, told CBC News on Friday.

"Right now we’re in recovery mode, and we don't think that we should base a three-year collective agreement on the recession that we’re recovering from right now," he said.

"The only way right now to avert a strike would be for the company Vale Inco to inform us that the concessions that they're asking are off the table and that they are willing to bargain in good faith towards a fair collective agreement for the membership,” Cove said.

The nickel bonus was at the centre of a strike that shut down production at Voisey's Bay for eight weeks in the summer of 2006.

Unionized workers at Vale Inco’s nickel mine operation in Sudbury, Ont., have been on strike since July 13.

No one with Vale Inco was available for comment.(I wonder why-Molly)

2 comments:

Smite Liberalists said...

few who strike as part of a union recover from the financial devastation.. maybe it's time to forge their own union from the ground up and ditch the existing bureaucracy..

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