2019 Bargaining Committee Update #13

From Your 2019 USW Bargaining Committee

Friday, September-13-19                                                                              Release #13

Good day Brothers and Sisters,             The Memo put out by Vale today has prompted several questions.

We discussed at the table the benefits that Vale was offering the membership, the most contentious of all concessions they brought was the co-pay component and post-retirement benefits for new hires. The co-pay means that our members will now have to pay part of their drug costs. As discussed at the meetings held at the Royal Canadian Legion on Thursday Sept 12. Vale wants to pass on the 163 million dollar liability to YOU and renege on that same 163 million dollar promise. We all know that this is a concession!  One, that we warned the company that we did not think our membership would accept no matter how much we attempted to reduce the out of pocket hit to our members.

Vale seems to continue to mislead the membership with their statements, there is no secret Vale came to the table seeking changes to our benefits, there is no secret that the Union Bargaining committee discussed benefits at the table including co-pay, generic drugs, over the counter etc. to identify how far and how deep Vale was attempting to take from you. We understand they are fearful that this offer will be turned down and that the Union will then request to continue negotiating a fair and reasonable contract that the parties can come to terms on while working under the current contract. At the end of the day, the Union has not agreed to the offer before you. That is why your Bargaining Committee has not recommended this offer to our membership. The “generous benefits” Vale is offering is a concession of what we currently have. It is important to understand that this is Vale’s final offer, not a mutually agreed and negotiated contract that you are voting on.

At no point did the union consider no post retirement benefits for new hires. It may not affect you now, but after time we will be sitting at the table bargaining and find more members that don’t have post-retirement benefits than those who do have them. Do you think they will fight for something that they don’t have? That we let the company take from them????

At this point in bargaining we have to make a choice to try get the best overall deal we can at the table. A deal that puts enough money in our member’s pockets to offset the cost of the concessions, the rising cost of living and inflation, increasing tax base due to the shrinking of employment etc. We worked very hard to do this. We respected the process and maintain the moral high ground throughout. You now have the choice to take the final offer or have us get back to the table to get what is fair and reasonable for all.

Please contact the Union with any questions you may have about the bargaining process or the final offer and thanks for your ongoing support.

In Solidarity, Your Bargaining Committee Warren, Scott, Matt, Keith, Dave and Todd.