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Labour, Others

Two-month Vale strike to end after workers approve five-year collective agreement

The Canadian Press
Two-month Vale strike to end after workers approve five-year collective agreement

SUDBURY, ONT.—The first strike at Vale Canada in more than a decade is ending after unionized workers at the Sudbury, Ont., mine ratified a collective agreement.

The company says members of United Steelworkers Local 6500 voted 85 per cent in favour of the five-year deal that takes effect immediately.

Employees will return to work beginning Monday with production ramping up in the weeks ahead.

The union says the agreement that expires May 31, 2026 provides a $2,500 payment in August in recognition of efforts during the pandemic, a $3,500 signing bonus to be paid in September, and a six per cent wage increase and minimum $2.46 per hour cost of living adjustment over five years.

Other changes include improved pension and health care benefits.

The labour disruption began June 1 after workers rejected a proposal by the Brazilian mining company and opposed a subsequent offer.

“The past two months have been challenging for everyone,” stated Dino Otranto, chief operating officer, North Atlantic Operations.

“We are pleased that the company and the union were able to find common ground and a path forward. We look forward to welcoming everyone back.”

He said there are many opportunities ahead for the business because of the growing electric vehicle market since the nickel, copper and cobalt the mine produces are critical metals to achieve a low-carbon future.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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