USW Local 6500 and Vale agree to 1-year deal during ‘extraordinary circumstances’

Support was far from unanimous, but United Steelworkers Local 6500 says it is pleased members voted to accept a new one year collective agreement with Vale in Sudbury.

In a news release, the union said it was ratified with 62.8 per cent support.

“Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Vale and Local 6500 agreed to a one year renewal so that attention is focused on the health and safety of members and their families during these extraordinary circumstances,” the release stated.

In a separate news release from Vale, spokesperson Danica Pagnutti said that COVID-19 has had a devastating and unprecedented impact on the economy, the mining industry and the business.

“The one year renewal…provides Vale and our employees with a solid foundation to address the challenges facing the business,” the statement read.

“Together we will continue to monitor and address the pandemic’s short, medium, and long-term impacts on our operations.”

Union members voted electronically after being mailed a package containing the details of the tentative agreement.

The union says it looks forward to “meaningful negotiations in 2021.”

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