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Vale, Union Still In Talks To End Nickel Strike - Mediator
Jun 23,2010 08:53CST
industry news
Source:SMM

LONDON, Jun. 23 -- Talks between Brazilian miner Vale SA (VALE) and the United Steelworkers union to end an 11-month-old strike at Vale's nickel operations in Ontario have stretched into a fourth day and will continue Tuesday, the government-appointed mediator said Tuesday.

"Considerable progress has been made. The mediation process is continuing," mediator Kevin Burkett said in a statement received by Dow Jones Newswires.

The latest round of talks began on Saturday. Previous efforts to sign a new collective labor agreement have repeatedly failed.

Management and United Steelworkers Local 6,500 members at Vale have fought over changes Vale wants to make to bonuses and pensions. The miner has argued the changes are needed to make the operations more profitable.

Vale's Ontario nickel operations produced 43,000 metric tons in 2009, 49% less than in 2008 during a strike-free year. Voisey's Bay produced 40,000 tons, down 43% on year.

 

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