Kim Morris won third place in the 2011 Arthur W. Page Society and Institute for Public Relations case study competition – business school category.
Her case study entry was on the Vale Sudbury year long strike – A War of Words or a War of Worlds: Brazilian Vale versus North American USWA. She is a senior adviser of communications and public affairs at the North East Community Care Access Centre.
Final Case Study
In July 2009, USWA Local 6500, the union representing the employees of Vale’s Sudbury operations went on strike. This was to become the longest and most acrimonious strike in Sudbury mining history. Both sides in the dispute were responsible for less than flattering behavior, including leaking of documents, bullying, making racist comments, and even criminal activity. The final result of this strike is a community that has lost respect for both organizations.
This case study offers an opportunity to study how actions taken during a strike impact on the reputation of both parties. It also highlights the communication breakdown between not only both parties but also with their key stakeholders.
“We are very happy with the results of the ratification vote. The agreement establishes a newworking relationship with our employees and the union and allows us to move forward with our long-term, sustainable growth plans. We look forward to returning to normal production andbuilding the future together with employees.”
Tito Martins, Vale’s Executive Director for Base Metals
Vale news release, July 9, 2010