Monday, August 17, 2009

Since the refusal of Vale Inco to meet with the City Council of Sudbury to discuss the implications of the strike as it relates to the city one city councillor, Ted Callaghan, has decided to respond to this stonewalling by an open letter in the Sudbury Star. The following came to Molly's attention via the strike support blog Fair Deal Now, set up by the Vale Inco strikers.
Vale Inco CEO obliged to speak to council:
During the city council meeting of Aug. 12, council unanimously approved a motion that I put forward officially inviting the president and CEO of Vale Inco, Tito Martins, to come before council and speak directly on issues of concern related to its Sudbury operations.

Issues identified in the resolution centered around significant changes that have evolved within Vale Inco's corporate structures in areas of human resources, finance and in particular, procurement; areas that have the potential to negatively affect large segments of our community.

Council also addressed what appears to be the general dismantling of Vale Inco's local corporate divisions during the first-time contract negotiations with United Steelworkers Local 6500/6200.

When CVRD originally purchased Inco, it proudly projected a public message that it wanted to explain the benefits of this transaction to Canada, including Inco employees, the communities in which Inco operated, Industry Canada and all other stakeholders. Council feels it is now time for Vale Inco, through its CEO, to reaffirm these strong public commitments, and further, it is time also to state clearly Vale Inco's desire to be actively involved partners in growing and sustaining our community.

I am sure Vale Inco will not want to be put in a position of being viewed as just another large multi-national company operating within defined rules, regulations and confidentiality provisions as set out in the legislated Investment Canada Act, which is proving, in many cases, to not be in the best interests of Canadians.

Further, would Vale Inco not want to establish that it intends to move beyond that of just another large multi-national intent on purchasing profitable foreign acquisitions only to plunder local community value and goodwill, and concentrate only on a mission of stripping away non-renewable mineral resources for the best price and the least expense.

There are more than 300 companies in the mining supply and service sectors in the region, generating an annual income of approximately half a billion dollars.

One can understand that concern would arise in the community when one of the major mining companies looks to be on a course of creating a corporate structure devoid of meaningful local presence.

Council recognizes that Vale Inco has every right to operate its Sudbury operations as it sees fit. However, council has an obligation to question restructuring efforts to quantify fully their effects.

Council's unanimous vote focused on what eventual management structure will be in place, Vale Inco's vision as it relates to this new decentralized management model, in particular, its ability for allowing local decision making, and further, to discover how and if Vale Inco intends to maintain a constructive relationship with local mining supply and service Sectors, and what this relationship will look like in real terms.

Failure to demonstrate openness in important areas such as these will quell CVRD's original statements pertaining to well publicized displays of confidence that its acquisition of Inco would deliver significant benefits to Canada and Canadian communities in which they are operating.
It will also give credence to a strongly held community belief that Vale's true interests lie only in extracting maximum profits with little thought left over for matters related to our community's short-and long-term prosperity.
Ted Callaghan
Greater Sudbury Councillor
Ward 8

No comments: