Vale, Steelworkers complete two days of talks; more talks planned – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – July 20, 2021)

Labour expert says he’s not surprised Local 6500 members have rejected the company’s contract offers

While no deal has yet been reached between Vale and its striking workers, there is some hope in the air as the two sides resumed talks this week.

“The bargaining teams for both Vale and USW Local 6500 did return to the table Monday with the assistance of a third-party facilitator,” said Danica Pagnutti, corporate affairs specialist with Vale.

“The intent of these discussions is for both parties to seek a path forward that will help in ending the current dispute.” Pagnutti said the talks are expected to continue throughout the week, but Vale will not be commenting on the nature of the discussions out of respect for the process.

Kevin Boyd, vice-president of Local 6500, was similarly reluctant to share details of the negotiations but said the renewed dialogue was encouraging. “They spoke yesterday and again today, which is a good sign,” he said. “We’re cautiously optimistic.”

The Steelworkers local, which represents about 2,500 operations and maintenance workers, hit the picket lines June 1 after a tentative agreement was rejected by members. Members also shot down a second offer brought forward by the company about two weeks later.

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