Talks Break Off Despite Steelworkers' Repeated Attempts to Settle

By United Steelworkers usw, PRNE
Sunday, March 7, 2010

Union Proposes Return to Work and Binding Arbitration to End Dispute

TORONTO, March 8, 2010 - Mediated discussions between the United Steelworkers and Vale Inco have
broken off, despite the Union's repeated and unprecedented attempts to reach
a settlement.

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"Over 11 consecutive days, our bargaining committee presented several new
proposals and made genuine, significant compromises on the key issues," said
USW District 6 Director Wayne Fraser.

"This was an all-out effort by our committee to reach a settlement, with
the best interests of our members, our community and the company in mind,"
Fraser said.

"Our committee is frustrated and angry that Vale Inco was not prepared to
bring the same spirit of compromise to the table to resolve this labour
dispute. Vale did not come close to reciprocating on the many and substantial
changes made by the Union."

The mediated talks were called off Sunday afternoon by veteran mediator
Kevin Burkett.

"I am disappointed to report that agreement is not possible at this
time," Burkett said in a statement to the parties. "I have therefore broken
off discussions."

Due to the breakdown in mediated talks, the USW made the unprecedented
request to refer all outstanding issues to a binding arbitration panel. The
USW proposed that Burkett be appointed as the arbitration panel's chair, with
the Union and company each having a representative on the panel.

Vale Inco has adamantly rejected the Union's proposal for an immediate
return to work and an arbitrated resolution.

"Our commitment to a fair resolution to this dispute is irrefutable,"
Fraser said. "It is incumbent on Vale to agree to binding arbitration, to
finally demonstrate they also want to reach a fair settlement with their
employees and the communities in which they do business."

The Union has scheduled membership meetings Thursday in Sudbury and
Friday in Port Colborne to present members with detailed reports on the
Union's and the company's positions at this stage.

Members will have the opportunity to vote at these meetings on an offer
of settlement presented by the company. This offer falls far short of the
union membership's expectations and the USW bargaining committee is
unanimously recommending rejection of this sub-standard proposal.

Meetings for members of USW Local 6500 will be held in Sudbury on
Thursday, March 11, at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., at the Caruso Club on Haig Street.

A meeting for members of USW Local 6200 in Port Colborne will be held
Friday, March 12. The meeting's time and location will be announced Tuesday.

Contact: Wayne Fraser, USW District 6 Director, +1-416-243-8792,

Wayne Fraser, USW District 6 Director, +1-416-243-8792, +1-416-577-4045

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