Unionized Inco Ltd. workers in Sudbury ratified a new three-year deal Aug. 28, voting 62 per cent in favour of ending a three-month strike.
Voter turnout with Steelworkers Local 6500 was 77 per cent in Sudbury where 3,316 employees are members.
The 137 employees with Local 6200 at the company’s Port Colborne operations voted 92 per cent in favour.
The new collective bargaining agreement includes a $1,500 signing bonus, protected health care in writing and a 40-cents-an-hour across the board wage increase. Cost of living is projected to pay out $1.51 per hour over the life of the agreement.
Pensioners with 30 years service get a $150-a-month boost. There will also be expanded bereavement leave and death benefits for pensioners’ survivors.
“We’re pleased with the results of the vote on a contract that we believe balances everyone’s interests,” says Inco general manager of operations, Scott McDonald, in a statement. “The last three months have been difficult for our company, our employees and our customers, as well as the communities in which we operate.”
Inco estimates it will take two weeks to ramp up to full-scale production in Sudbury.The Greater Sudbury
Chamber of Commerce applauds the efforts of the bargaining committees representing both United Steelworkers Local 6500 and Inco Ltd. for achieving a settlement in the three-month Inco strike.
“The informal talks that had been going on in the home stretch seemed to signal that both sides wanted to find an end to the dispute before it stretched into the fall,” says chamber chairman Jim Thompson. “If it had, I believe the impact on the business community would have been disastrous. As it was, many mining sector companies were
forced to lay off workers, and the consumer sector as a whole felt the impact.”