This will be a critical week as negotiators for Steelworkers Local 6500 and Vale try to work out a new contract by May 31. That’s when the current labour contract expires.
USW Local 6500 represents more than 2,500 production and maintenance workers in mining, milling, smelting and refining at Vale’s Sudbury operations.
Vale, with almost 4,000 workers, is Sudbury’s largest employer. In Sudbury, it operates five mines, a mill, a smelter and a refinery from one of the largest integrated mining complexes in the world. Sudbury products include nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum group metals, gold and silver.
Vale and Steelworkers reached an unprecedented one-year agreement about this time last year that reflected the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which was just taking hold in Sudbury, Canada and most of the world.
“Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Vale and Local 6500 agreed to a one-year renewal so that attention is focused on the health and safety of members and their families during these extraordinary circumstances,” the union said in a release at the time.
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