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Recent comments

  • Bill
    July 14, 2012 - 07:08

    We wanted all this work in the Province, now it looks like we do not want to do the work. Like every occupation in NL we are not on par with Alberta wages. There are pros and cons to working in both places. A note to the workers...the guys who were on radio complaining about their wages and travel benefits were not doing any favours. Nobody here going to pity them. Lets just get back to work and try to resolve this.

    • Brett
      July 15, 2012 - 06:17

      What I don't understand is why it's Vale's problem? The NL union signed the contract, if there's a problem with it - have the union members on the job get out of paying their union dues to help make up the difference + have that covered by the rest of the workers on different jobs. As to there not being enough workers - I hear all the time that there are apprentices, and younger workers that don't have the experience, and the only people I can blame for that problem are the unions themselves as they have not trained enough people to fit the need for workers. This definitely should have been foreseen and dealt with by the union leadership. I put this whole thing in their lap. To say you get paid for the flight/travel in Alberta but not here is garbage. You're being paid to be away from your family + compensated for hardship. RCMP officers in the Yukon or NWT get a top up over ones in urban centres. Quit your whining. You have an issue - take it up with the union, or quit the union and take up another profession. But striking illegally should wind you in jail with massive fines.

    • Brett
      July 16, 2012 - 13:23

      After listening to open line - I feel I have a much better understanding of the issues. The telegram should look in to the past attempts at finding resolutions for grievances and show whether Vale is or is not playing a delaying tactic game. If that is the case - the province should step in. I still disagree with the "Wildcat" nature of the strike (but that is semantics) as I believe it would have been in the workers better interest to declare that they would strike by date "x" if vale didn't stop delaying their payments on lost arbitration cases, and the muddled approach of explaining the workers issues has made this seem more of a "reneging on a deal based on wages" on behalf of the workers rather than Vale not honouring their commitments. If Vale has been found to not be honouring their end of the bargain, I say hit them hard with penalties 3-4x's damages for each employee. The idea that some of the payment mechanisms changed after being initially started (payment for rent/etc) is appalling. It leads one to believe that after consideration some people thought that they could start to nickel and dime the employees and short change them to increase profits after having lawyer sessions to play word games with the agreement.

  • Newfoundlander-in-calgary
    July 13, 2012 - 20:06

    While I hope anyone back home can get the best wage possible its tough to assess whats going on without hearing directly from the union,. The story cites comments from a number of crane operators and other workers but it mostly seems to be rumours. UNless Vale has actually done something wrong, I don't like this action much since the operators union signed a deal. If the economy had crashed elsewhere and there was a flood of available tradespeople at cheaper wages you can be certain the union would not have agreed to a reduction in wages. Also it seems like the company was caught completely off-guard. If thats true thats poor dealings-- Someone should certainly know what the grievances are before you jump to strike action against them. That said, I am aware that Vale has a reputation such that it would not be surprising if they did things that could lead to legitimate issues for a union. I think this is one where we need to stay tuned and wait for the full story to come out

  • Riz Fazal
    July 13, 2012 - 12:41

    I've worked for Vale in the past.... Since this Brazilian giant took over from the former INCO, almost every site they acquired has gone through a labor disruption... Although the workers here do not work directly for Vale, the treatment of workers seems to be on par with Vale's direction.... Seems here the companies roped the workers into signing a contract for wage freezes for the life of the project, which is fine if everyone on site is getting paid the same wages...... But it seems the companies have opted to bring in extra workers, pay them more and pay for their flights back and forth from the states?? If this is indeed the truth, then what did the company expect was going to happen?? i never understand why companies are wiling literally slap their workers in the face by bringing in other workers from other countries and give them benefits not offered to current workers...... maybe they should try to offer their current workers and other local unemployed workers these same benefits and see if they can fill the vacancies?? I wish the government would step in and force them to level the playing field for all employees, and if after that they still need more workers, then by all means go ahead and recruit from outside the province or country..... I agree with the workers if they are being short changed and others are being compensated unfairly to come work in Canada, and if the companies have not done the due diligence to exhaust their recruitment here locally.