In a resolution passed this week, CUPE pledges its financial and moral support to the United Steelworkers locals on strike at Vale Inco. Workers are on strike in Sudbury and Port Colbourne, Ontario, and in Voisey’s Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador.
The resolution comes as thousands of workers enter their third month on strike. Vale Inco, which is now 100 per cent owned by Brazilian interests, is attempting to gut workers’ collective agreements by demanding they accept inferior pension plans and seniority agreements.
Instead of returning to the bargaining table, Vale Inco is resuming production during the labour dispute by using inexperienced, non-union staff and scab labour.
“Vale Inco is attempting to weaken striking workers’ morale” said CUPE National President Paul Moist. “But by using scab labour, they are only heightening and prolonging tensions, and poisoning relations with Vale Inco workers for years to come. This is incredibly damaging for the Sudbury community”.
“As employers continue to use the recession as an excuse to demand concessions from workers, CUPE stands in solidarity with the workers at Vale Inco who are fighting to protect their hard-won benefits,” said Moist.
CUPE will donate $10,000.00 to the United Steelworkers’ strike fund, and encourage CUPE locals to provide financial and/or picket line support. CUPE will also join the United Steelworkers in lobbying all levels of government to introduce anti-scab legislation.
“We would also like to see the federal government put some conditions on foreign ownership,” said Moist. “The majority ownership of Canadian resource-based businesses should remain in the hands of Canadians.”
Scroll down to read the entire resolution.
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Resolution of CUPE’s National Executive Board – Vale Inco
CUPE NATIONAL WILL:
Provide financial and moral support to United Steelworkers locals on strike at Vale Inco in Sudbury and Port Colbourne, Ontario and Voisey’s Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, that includes:
• A financial contribution in the amount of $10,000.00 to the United Steelworkers’ strike fund.
• Encouraging CUPE locals to provide financial andor picket line support.
• Lobbying all governments to introduce anti-scab legislation.
• Writing to the Prime Minister of Canada requesting that the Federal government change the conditions put on the purchase of Canadian resource-based businesses so that the majority ownership of such businesses remains in the hands of Canadians.
• Writing a joint letter with the CUPE Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador Divisions to the Premiers of Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador requesting that their governments take the steps necessary to ensure that scab workers are not used during this labour dispute, and to request that their respective health and safety branches increase inspections and surveillance, and step up enforcement efforts during this labour dispute.
• Vale Inco is now 100% owned by Brazilian interests.
• Vale Inco is attempting to gut the collective agreement by requesting that:
1. New employees be subject to a defined contribution pension plan rather than the current defined benefit pension plan; and
2. An increased trigger point for the “nickel bonus” which was negotiated at the insistence of the company many years ago when the company was suffering through a downturn in the economy; and
3. Company-wide seniority be changed to plant or business unit seniority only.
• Vale Inco is resuming production during this labour dispute intending to use inexperienced, non-union staff and scab labour.