Press Release: Vale Manitoba Operations Transition Process/Retirement Incentives

USW Local 6166 would like to update the membership on what has transpired over the past few months regarding the Transition from a fully integrated plant at the Vale Manitoba Operations to a Mines/Mill operation.

As you may know, the Union has been working on a number of initiatives with Vale to address the closure of the Smelter and Refinery plants. These included a High Level CBA committee to review the process of transitioning people from Birchtree Mine to the T-1/T-3 mine complexes when Birchtree Mine went on Care and Maintenance, an Insourcing Committee to review what work can be recaptured from a contracting out perspective, a Workforce adjustment committee to address affected employees that may be laid off to a more recent committee developed to address the next steps in the process of transition. Ultimately the focus of the work was to lessen the impact of layoffs to our members.

The Union and Vale have been meeting since March 23rd 2018 to discuss the transition process as outlined in the CBA under article 15, and the included LOA (Letter of Agreement) on transition. Parts of these discussions have been ongoing since May of 2017 with regards to having Vale reintroduce additional retirement incentive packages. The purpose of that discussion was obviously to once again try and mitigate the impact of layoffs to our junior members.

After weeks of deliberations, on April 11, 2018 the Union and Vale have now come to an agreement. The Union and Vale have now signed LOA’s that address and outline the transition process as well as a new set of retirement incentive packages. Due to these agreements, the impact of layoffs and those that may be affected outside of seniority has been significantly reduced. It is important to note that through our initial conversations with Vale, there was a potential for members in the surface plants with approximately 25 years of seniority that may have been subject to layoff. Both the Union and Vale understood that this situation was not at all desirable and worked together to successfully move away from that scenario.

Part of the transition process included discussions on training times under article 15 of the CBA. The CBA states that a member subject to layoff outside of seniority would be provided 1 week of training per years of service. The establishment of training times can be outlined through the CWS (Cooperative Wage Study) and there was an LOA signed to reduce and adjust some of those training times to address the impact of layoffs outside of seniority. There are also agreements made on the Critical Skill Job Employees and how they are affected.

The Union and Vale have discussed that as part of this agreement, there will be an information package developed to outline in more detail the transition process and the retirement incentive packages. This information package will be rolled out in the next couple of days.

If you require more details or have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the HR department at the Vale Manitoba Operations.

Mark Scott 204-778-2502

Ryan Land 204-778-2326

Dayna Waring 204-778-2952


Les Ellsworth