Arbitrator gives fired Vale worker job back

Company’s cause failed to meet threshold for discharge

Arbitrator Wes Raynor has reinstated Mike Courchesne, one of nine Steelworkers fired by Vale for incidents during the 2010 Sudbury strike.

When a mediated settlement of the strike was reached in June 2010, it was almost scuttled because Vale refused to either allow the terminated workers to return to work or have their cases heard by a third party.

In July of 2010, the Ontario Labour Relations Board ruled that an arbitrator would assess the discipline meted out by the company.

The arbitrator’s ruling has not yet been released, but, according to the union, he found that the employee’s infractions did not meet the minimum threshold for termination.

Of the nine employees fired by Vale for picket-line offences during the strike, one has retired and two found other employment. Five still await the verdict of an arbitrator.

Criminal charges were also laid against three strikers: one was given a year’s probation and the other two were acquitted, according to a story in the Sudbury Star.

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