The union that represents workers at Vale says a $1-million fine and guilty plea related to the 2011 deaths of two of its miners aren’t enough.
The nickel miner’s plea agreement was the largest fine ever levied under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. Vale pleaded guilty to three charges, but six other charges were dropped.
“[The fine] will not have an impact,” said Mike Bond, chair of the health, safety and environment for Steelworkers Local 6500. The union conducted its own eight-month investigation into the tragedy, and Bond maintains the company should have faced criminal charges.
“We need support from the enforcement bodies that are there to protect and hand out penalties and discipline,” he said. The plea agreement means the case will not go to trail, and Bond said Vale won’t have to answer questions about what happened.
“In our views, the facts will never be on the books,” he said. Sudbury Police investigated the deaths of Jason Chenier and Jordan Fram, but announced last year that no criminal charges would be laid.