June 12 2017 BT Update

USW 6166 Press Release re: Update on Birchtree Closure

Since the news release of the Birchtree closure, a number of our executive, full-time Union activists and your President have being meeting with Vale’s top and middle management personnel on a regular basis. We have made a request to all of our activists not to be a part of the rumour mill, but to talk to our members and direct them to the President, Vice-President, (Gord Medwid) and Conflict resolution coordinator, (Scott Clements) to get accurate information regarding the closure.

Scott Clements and Gord Medwid have met with the Company in a number of meetings to discuss the process outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement to deal with the movement of people across the Manitoba Division affected by the Birchtree closure. At this time we continue to meet with Vale to work out this process in detail.

On June 09, 2017, we signed a number of LOA’s (Letter of Agreements) that will have Vale offer incentives for our senior members to consider for retirement. Vale will send out a question/answer document no later than June 13, 2017 that will hopefully answer some of the questions people may still have.
We continue to meet with Vale in regards to Contractors and have made it very clear that our members should not be facing a layoff while they have Contractors on site in the Manitoba Operations. There are a numbers of jobs that we know our members have the skill set to do which can replace contractors currently working at Vale.

We are meeting with our MLA, Kelly Bindle, on Friday June 16, and we are hoping to receive news of some assistance from the Government in regards to the initiatives we have put forward on May 26, 2017.

In the last two weeks we have had a number of serious incidents/accidents across the Manitoba Operations that have caused us some serious concerns. We know that a lot of people are thinking about their future with Vale, but let us assure you that we are doing everything we can to get you the information that personally affects you. We cannot emphasize enough that we all must try to keep our minds focused on every task that we carry out, either at home and work, to ensure the well-being for you and your families who depend upon you coming home every day. If things are not being done properly or the employer is not ensuring the workplace is safe, then exercise your right to refuse and don’t do the work until it is made safe!

Please keep up to date by visiting our web site or signing up to the Text Messaging platform we have set up to keep you informed.

We will continue to update the membership when we receive information from Vale or our three levels of Government.