Friday, April 23, 2010


Molly has mentioned the strike against Vale Inco in Sudbury many times before on this blog, and I have also expressed my opinion that this struggle is very crucial insofar as a "victory" on the part of Vale Inco management,will 'set the bar' as to how managerial power will be able to determine both working conditions and compensation for years to come. The Vale Inco strike is important far beyond the immediate disagreements in Sudbury. Others have recognized this. What follows is a pdf available at the Fair Deal Now website about the Sudbury workers are supported by workers across the world.

This is undoubtedly "comforting" to those who are on strike in Sudbury. Yet it has little effect "on the ground". While recognizing that I am not immediately involved in this strike and therefore being somewhat reluctant to offer "advise" what is happening in Sudbury now seems to cry out for an escalation of tactics as production is resumed more and more via scab labour. Perhaps it's time to consider occupying the workplaces in Sudbury. Yeah, I know just how illegal this is, but it is no less illegal than the previous proposal of union leadership to block the 401 in support of their NDP friends in the Legislature.

Occupying the workplace (ie the mines and the processing facilities) brings the whole matter to an "immediate question". Will the corporation be more be reasonable when their plans for hiring scabs become an impossibility ? Can government be better persuaded to come down on the side of the workers when an occupation hits the world news ? All these things are indefinite. Molly, however, says that something new obviously has to be tried. I suggest an occupation of the mines and the processing plants.

Are people will to defy the law that is stacked against them ? The alternative is to see the strike defeated.Think about it,

Here's the story about the international solidarity from the Fair Deal Now website.

Declaration of Solidarity with the USW (Canada)
We the 80 organizations from Brazil and 13 other countries that took part in the North
and South fact-finding tours and attended the FIRST INTERNATIONAL MEETING
OF THOSE AFFECTED BY VALE in Rio de Janeiro, declare our repudiation for
Vale’s aggressive posture toward Canadian workers. They have been on strike for 9
months against the attempt by Vale to dismantle rights fought for and won decades
ago. In order to put pressure on workers, in disloyal and arrogant fashion, Vale has
announced it will restart activities in the mines with replacement workers, i.e., scabs.
We reject this attitude and declare our full support and solidarity for the members of
the USW, on strike for their rights. We demand the immediate re-opening of
negotiations, for bargaining to be conducted in good faith and lead to a fair deal for
Canadian workers!

Vale has used the global economic crisis to put pressure on workers the world over, to
reduce pay, increase hours, fire people and reduce hard-won rights. The strike, begun
by Canadian workers in June 2009, is an important example of struggle and
resistance against the arrogance and intransigence of the company. In Brazil, workers
suffer from unjustified dismissals, lack of workplace safety and pressures of various
kinds, which have often led them to suicide. The high rates of labour outsourcing at
Vale (out of 146,000 jobs, 83,000 are indirect) mean that the company sheds its
responsibility and obligation to provide its employees with better working conditions,
pay, health and lives. It thus makes labour relations more precarious.

More than ever before, we are energized by the fact-finding tours and by the
FIRST INTERNATIONAL MEETING, and identify with and lend our solidarity
to Vale Inco workers in Canada! The fight for dignified and safe work —
whose resulting wealth belongs to all of society — is a fight that belongs to us
One day longer, one day stronger!!!
Globalize the Struggle, Globalize Hope!!!!

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