Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sudbury Ontario (population 165,000 2009 est) has always punched above its weight in the Canadian political scene. Its cache as the quintessential mining town of Canada, as well as its long standing reputation as one of the worst places to live in the country (apparently outdated) have given it a place in Canadian mythology. Think Stoppin' Tom Conners. Labour disputes there have always been militant and bitter, but the recent strike, now in its eighth month looks set to outlast the nine month strike in 1978. It is also different because it pits the striking Steelworkers against an international conglomerate Vale Inco as opposed to a Canadian corporation. As such the strike has attracted worldwide attention that previous strikes in Sudbury have not. Solidarity actions have been worldwide. Tomorrow there will be an "international rally" in Sudbury attended by speakers from other countries where Vale operates, as well as unionists from across Ontario. To say the least this strike has become an emblematic test of strength for labour versus international capital. Here's the story from the USW website. To follow events in this strike see not just this website but also the Local 6500 website and the strike support site Fair Deal Now.
Union Support to Converge at Sudbury Rally
SUDBURY, 19 March 2010 – Union representatives from Brazil and a number of countries will converge on Sudbury this Monday, March 22nd to demonstrate solidarity and support of the Vale Inco strikers.
Many of the union leaders coming to Canada have experience in their own country with the strong-arm anti-union tactics of Vale, one of the most profitable multinational corporations in the world.
As the eight month strike continues, Vale’s aggressive tactics in Sudbury have increased. The most recent is Vale Inco’s CEO publicly accusing the union of spreading “racism, intolerance and xenophobia.” This verbal attack follows Vale’s use of replacement workers and a security company to start-up production for the first time in Sudbury’s history.
"Bridging the Gap" Rally
International Support Rally for Striking Steelworkers
International Union Leaders, including from:
**Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, Germany, Switzerland
**The International Federation of Unions (ICEM)
**The International Metalworkers Federation (IMF)
Candian Union Leaders, including:
Ken Georgetti, Sid Ryan, Leo Gerard, Ken Neumann, Wayne Fraser, John Fera, Wayne Rae
Political Leaders (ichh-Molly ), including:
Andrea Horwath, Leader, Ontario NDP
Glenn Thibeault and Claude Gravelle, Area MPs
Busloads of everyday workers from across the province, organized by:
the OFL, CUPE, CAW, CEP, Amalgamated Transit Union, LIUNA and the Society of Professional Engineers
Monday, March 22nd, 4:30 pm
Sudbury ON, USW Union Hall (66 Brady Street)March to proceed to Sudbury Arena
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Contacts: Myles Sullivan, 675 2461 x224,
Jamie West, 705-562-8060,

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