Local 6500, Vale reach deal – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – April 28, 2015)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

United Steelworkers Locals 6500 in Sudbury and Local 6200 in Port Colborne and employer Vale Ltd. have reached a tentative deal on a five-year contract for production and maintenance workers.

Members of the union’s bargaining committee are unanimously recommending the deal be accepted at membership meetings scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.

News of the deal comes more than a month ahead of the expiry date of the current five-year contract, May 31, 2015. The parties began bargaining in late December, saying they were looking to get a new collective bargaining agreement without a labour interruption.

The last contract was hammered out after a bitter year-long strike that ran from July 2009-July 2010. USW Local 6500 president Rick Bertrand and Kelly Strong, Vale vice-president of Canada and UK operations, said in December that the company and the union had done a great deal of work to mend relationships after the longest strike in union’s history.

Bertrand, who was chief negotiator for his local’s bargaining team, said in an email Monday he would not discuss details of the tentative deal before presenting it to members.

A joint statement was released late Monday morning about the deal. The Star was told a news conference would be held to discuss the settlement, but a news release was issued.

Bertrand said the negotiating process for this contract has been “productive and respectful, and we are encouraged we have been able to reach an early tentative agreement.

“We endorse this deal and look forward to presenting the details to our membership as it paves the road for the next 5 years.”

Vale’s lead negotiator Mitch Medina, manager of human resources, health, safety and the environment at the Brazil-based company, said he the tentative agreement “appropriately meets the needs of both the company and our USW Local 6500 and 6200 employees.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2015/04/27/local-6500-vale-reach-deal