Nickel miners ratify new contract, end 18-month strike

Workers at the Voisey’s Bay nickel mine have voted 88 per cent in favour of a new contract with Vale, ending a bitter 18-month strike.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Workers at the Voisey’s Bay nickel mine have voted 88 per cent in favour of a new contract with Vale, ending a bitter 18-month strike.

Boyd Bussey, a spokesman for the United Steelworkers, said Monday that the new five-year deal provides wage and pension increases, a new bonus system and improvements to health and safety. “Our members are returning to work with their heads held high,” he said in a release. “They stood up for their families and their communities and fought for what they believed in.” The union and Brazilian mining company struck a tentative deal last Wednesday with the help of a provincial mediator.

Wayne Fraser, the union’s director for Atlantic Canada and Ontario, said the work stoppage “was unnecessarily provoked and prolonged by a giant multinational corporation.”

“Our members deserve to be proud for standing up to this foreign corporation and for finally achieving a fair deal,” he said in a release.