The United Steelworkers Local 6500 has ratified the new five-year collective bargaining agreement with Vale S.A. (NYSE: VALE) covering the company’s operations in Sudbury, Ont.
About 2,600 union members rejected the company’s proposal two months ago, forcing Vale to suspend operations. The union opposed reducing benefits to new hires.
On Tuesday, 85% of the members voted in favour of a new agreement. The revised offer includes provision of post-retirement health benefits for new employees. They return to work on Aug. 9 to begin a lengthy restart process.
Sudbury operations produced 43.2 million tonnes of nickel in 2020, down 8% from level of 97.4 million tonnes a year earlier. Copper production was 76.5 million tonnes last year, down 17.6% from 92.8 million tonnes in 2019. The northern Ontario site also produced 454 tonnes of cobalt last year, compared to 495 tonnes a year earlier.
Visit Vale’s Canadian website at www.Vale.com/Canada.