SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): Brazilian metals and mining giant Vale S.A. has decides to suspend operations at its Sudbury nickel mine in Canada. The decision follows rejection of five-year contract offer by the United Steelworkers Local 6500 that represents nearly 2,400 mine workers.
According to union representatives, a total of 87% of its members cast their votes in a ratification ballot Monday night. Nearly 70% of those who voted rejected the offer by the company and wanted the union to return to the bargaining table. The union leaders announced that it would convey the message to the company. Meantime, the unionized refinery workers in Port Colborne voted in favour of the new agreement.
The company, in a news release, stated that it has already implemented contingency plans to ensure the safety and integrity of the plants and mines. It will continue its discussions with the union and expressed the hope that both sides could soon reach a ratified agreement in the near term.
The five-year contract put forward by Vale had proposed 4% pay rise over a five-year period, recognition pay of $2,500 for working through the Covid-19 pandemic and a $3,500 signing bonus. In addition, it had also proposed some changes to pensions and other benefits for mine, mill and smelter workers.
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