The Steelworkers local representing Vale workers is hopeful a strong, multi-year deal can be obtained for its members as negotiations on a new contract continue this week.
“We’re looking for something to compensate us for the work we’ve done over the last year, which has created record profits in some areas,” said a union official who asked not to be named. “We’re expecting to be treated with the care and understanding they say they offer.”
The union agreed last spring to an unusual one-year contract, effective June 1, due to the economic uncertainties brought on by COVID-19.
The sector remained strong, however, and members have now spent a whole year punching in as essential workers, with the added challenge of adhering to pandemic protocols and extra anxiety arising from outbreaks in Vale facilities.
“We have the typical underground hazards but now you are throwing in biological hazards,” said the union rep, who is not a member of the bargaining team.
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