Vale, Local 6500 ‘remain apart on important issues’ – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – June 16, 2021)

Clawbacks to benefits and pensions are the main sticking points for Local 6500, union officials said Tuesday — a day after members resoundingly shot down a new offer from Vale.

“Times are good right now in Sudbury — in fact they’re very good,” said Myles Sullivan, assistant to USW District 6 director Marty Warren, during a press conference.

“Now is not a time to be forcing us out on strike, demanding concessions. So yeah, we’re disappointed and frustrated, but ready to roll up our sleeves and get back to the bargaining table. It takes two sides to do that and we’re ready.”

Nick Larochelle, president of Local 6500, said the union’s bargaining committee made a “clear proposal” to Vale on June 2, but the “company would not listen.” He said union reps made repeated visits to the picket lines and brought the concerns of rank and file forward, but these were not sufficiently addressed in the new deal Vale presented to the union on Monday.

“Now they’ve tested the membership and the membership has spoken loud and clear, with an 87 per cent rejection of this offer,” he said. “We would like the company to listen to us and get back to the table and start working on a contract.”

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