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Vale to suspend Sudbury operations during strike, according to reports

First strike at the Sudbury operation since 2010
Creighton Mine
Creighton Mine (Vale photo) reports that nickel miner Vale will suspend operations at its Sudbury nickel operations, after its proposal for a five-year contract was rejected by United Steelworkers Local 6500, according a securities filing on Tuesday.

Local 6500, which represents 2,600 workers in Sudbury, said in a statement that 70 per cent of those who voted were opposed to the Vale offer and wanted the union – whose bargaining committee had recommended the preliminary deal – to return to the bargaining table.

The tentative five-year contract would have seen workers receive a 4 per cent pay raise over the next four years, plus $2,500 recognition pay for the past year working through the covid-19 pandemic and a $3,500 signing bonus.

Vale said in the filing that USW Local 6200, which represents employees at its separate Port Colborne refinery, were favourable to the proposed deal.

This is the first time USW 6500 has gone to the picketline since a year-long strike, which ended in July 2010.

Sudbury produced 43,200 tonnes of nickel in 2020, less than half of Vale’s overall Canadian output of the base metal.

Queries made by Northern Ontario Business to Vale corporate communications in Sudbury for further details were not immediately answered.

(with files from Reuters)