President's Report - August 4, 2021

Contract Highlights

Dear Members,

Our strike lasted 64 days and today is day 65, how fitting is that? Local 6500, you have shown everyone in the community our values and we thank you for your support. Thank you for believing in our leadership and uniting out there on the picket lines. Your conduct over the last 65 days was truly instrumental to our response from the community and our success at the bargaining table.

To the Bargaining Committee members, thank you for your hard work and leadership at the table, you did an amazing job of letting the company know our membership’s requests – very clearly – you have done a great job!

A principled approach was designed by Kevin Boyd. Our fight was an economic fight with a global company, not a local/community fight. With the help of the Chiefs in their role during the strike, the other replacements, and the key leaders here at the Hall, you worked every single day to help us achieve this new Collective agreement. Thank you!

A thank you goes out to Malcolm Mills and all the Worker Safety Representatives, very much appreciated!

Sixty-four days on strike without a court injunction is a first in the history of Local 6500, Congratulations! We brought our USW Local 6500 safety values to the picket lines to keep everyone safe during the strike. This was a huge factor in our ability to garner community support and get Vale to return to the table to work with us from July 19th until August 3rd.

To USW International, National, and District 6 offices, Thank you, this would not be possible without every single resource you have provided from the beginning of Bargaining, Proud to be a Steelworker!


Post-Retiree Benefits for new hires has been guaranteed into the future.  These benefits are fully funded by Vale.  Our current workforce will continue to receive the same BENEFITS into their retirement.  For our pensioners, your benefits are crystallized and will remain unchanged. The issue was that the unfunded OPEB liabilities continued to grow exponentially into the future and were affecting Vale’s balance sheet.  This was solved by an actual cash spend into the Steelworker Benefit Trust starting today that will have 30 years to grow with investments and provide the same benefits for new hires when they retire in 25 to 30 years from now.

This Trust is completely registered and has been functioning to provide employee benefits for over 30 years.

  • $6000 Signing Bonus
  • Nickel Price bonus was maintained in this round of bargaining and will pay $4.14/hour worked for the months of April and May.
  • COLA wage roll-in of .82¢ upon ratification  – this was earned under last year’s agreement.
  • Guaranteed groundbreaking minimum COLA roll-in of .41¢ for the next 4 years.
  • A 6% wage increase over 5 years
  • Current Employee Benefits are competitive in the Industry and the highlight for us is the Drug Formulary 2, which is an open formulary, it has and will continue to provide a very positive impact on our members’ health care.

All of these monies are important to our members and to the vitality of our Community here in Sudbury.

Our Pension Plans are at the top of their respective classes in regards to pension incomes and benefits provided when our members retire.

This is a great start to the next five years and I am looking forward to working with you and Vale to maximize this orebody’s composition and economic opportunity to provide for all of our families and our community partners now and well into the future.

In Solidarity,


 Nick Larochelle, President - United Steelworkers Local 6500

NL*kk   cope 343                                    President’s Reports/President’s Report – August 4, 2021