Sunday, February 14, 2010

Last Wednesday striking workers of United Steel Workers Local 6500 temporally blockaded several corporate sites of Vale Inco across the Sudbury region. The strike has now entered its 7th month, and with company efforts to resume production with scab labour it is becoming more apparent to the workers involved that they will have to use more imaginative and militant tactics to force Vale back to serious bargaining. The occupation was only temporary, but it is a sign of what the workers can do if they put their mind to it. Keep up to date on this strike by visiting the strike support site Fair Deal Now. Here's the story of what happened from the Sudbury Star.


About 100 members of USW Local 6500 were on the picket line forming a human barrier to prevent staff, management and hired contractors from entering the Copper Cliff Smelter Complex about 4:30 a.m.

Similar blockades were conducted simultaneously at Coleman Mine, Clarabelle Mill, North Mine and other Vale Inco operations in the city.

Strikers at the smelter complex fought brisk winds and a wind-chill factor of
-24 C. to redirect contractors and other vehicles, many of them containing workers from other trade unions, away from the complex.

Occupants of the vehicles were told they were "scabs" and that they should go home and spend time with their families and stop doing the jobs of the Steelworkers because it is prolonging the strike, now reaching its seventh month.

About 3,000 production and maintenance workers with Local 6500 in Sudbury and 130 with Port Colborne's Local 6200 went on strike July 13 over pensions, nickel bonuses and seniority transfer rights.

Tensions have been escalating on picket lines in the community as the strike nears the seven-month mark Saturday.

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