March 19, 2010
OFL’S SID RYAN: LABOUR MOBILIZING AS VALE INCO BRINGS IN SCABS FOR FIRST TIME IN HISTORY OF STEELWORKERS AT INCO, Friday, March 19, 2010
Source: Ontario Federation of Labour
BUSLOADS OF SUPPORTERS TO JOIN MARCH 22 RALLY IN SUDBURY
(TORONTO) -- Busloads of supporters will head to Sudbury on Monday, March 22 to join a rally for miners and smelter workers at mining giant Vale Inco.
More than 3,000 workers are in their ninth month of a strike over fundamental rights. Vale Inco is demanding huge rollbacks in pensions, nickel bonus, and seniority rights from the members of the United Steelworkers union. The Brazil-based mining giant bought Inco in 2006, and for the first time in the history of the United Steelworkers union at Inco, is using scabs.
The Ontario Federation of Labour, Canadian Labour Congress, and affiliated unions have organized buses to leave from various communities across Ontario for the Bridging the Gap solidarity rally.
“Labour is mobilizing in solidarity with the Vale Inco workers. This anti-union employer is parachuting scabs in to take the strikers’ jobs,” says OFL president Sid Ryan.
“These workers are holding the line in one of the longest and toughest union battles in Canadian history. It’s not only their battle. It’s up to all of us to stand up to the owners and managers of this foreign multinational and tell them this is not how we do things in Ontario.”
The federal government approved the sale of INCO to Brazil-based Vale, and both the federal and Ontario governments have taken a hands-off approach to this strike, said Ryan. They must show leadership to uphold the principles of fair treatment and economic reason, said Ryan.
The OFL and affiliated unions have made a priority of pressing for the Ontario government to do its part to create and preserve good jobs. Vale Inco’s behavior is attacking good jobs with good pay and pensions, said Ryan.
“Vale Inco is trying to impose its way of doing things on Canadian workers. We have to get the message to foreign corporations that they cannot import anti-union strategies to Ontario and Canada.
“In the company’s Brazilian operations, workers are not laid off, but terminated, and without cause. They have no seniority rights, and no access to grievance and arbitration procedures. And health and safety standards are low.
“Solidarity among workers and unions is critical to helping Vale Inco workers win their battle and turn back any tide that would change labour relations and working conditions for Vale Inco workers or any other workers in Ontario.”
The strike has taken an enormous toll on the more than 3,000 workers, their families, and their communities.
Vale Inco is one of the most profitable corporations in the world, and collected $4.1 Billion US in profit from Ontario for the two years between 2006 and 2008.
President, Ontario Federation of Labour
p: 416.209.0066 (mobile)
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