A new contract offer from Vale to its striking workers was rejected by a strong margin Monday. Eighty-four per cent of USW Local 6500 members participated in a vote Monday evening, with 87 per cent opposing the revised deal.
The union’s own bargaining team had called the offer “concessionary” and did not recommend it to members. In a release, Vale expressed disappointment that the union had taken this stance.
“The company was in active negotiations with Local 6500 when it was informed of this position,” the miner said. “Vale’s second offer addresses issues of concern that we heard from our employees, including wages, pensions and post-retiree benefits for new hires.”
The two sides “resumed negotiations immediately after members voted to reject the company’s initial offer of a new five-year collective bargaining agreement, despite the unanimous endorsement of that deal by the Local 6500 bargaining committee,” Vale noted.
USW Local 6200, representing production and maintenance employees in Port Colborne, voted to ratify the initial agreement. “While it is disappointing that the union has chosen not to endorse the company’s offer, our commitment to finding a path forward to a ratified deal has never wavered,” said Dino Otranto, chief operating officer of North Atlantic Operations with Vale.
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