Ontario MPP calls for inquiry into year-long Vale strike

MPP wants Ontario to follow the lead of Newfoundland and Labrador

Ontario NDP MPP France Gelinas is calling on the provincial government to conduct an inquiry into the year-long strike by Vale mine workers in Sudbury. Her request follows last week’s release of a report from the Newfoundland and Labrador government on an 18-month labour dispute at the Vale mine in Voisey’s Bay.

“Following the Vale Inco-Steelworker strike, former Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams set up an industrial commission to examine the strike,” Gelinas said in Question Period on Monday, making comparisons to the Sudbury mine. “Today in Ontario we see a pattern of longer strikes and lockouts, and we see new industries to provide security guards and replacement workers during strikes and lockouts.”

The inquiry in Newfoundland and Labrador suggested the government should have the power to impose a collective agreement when the disputing parties cannot reach an agreement after an extensive amount of time. It also recommended that the government review the way it facilitates collective bargaining between multinational organizations in order to preserve Canadian labour values.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government is currently reviewing the report.

About 3,000 Vale workers in Sudbury, where Gelinas is the MPP, went on strike from July 2009 to July 2010. Gelinas says the strike impacted the city’s economy and community.

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