Human Resources, Labour and Employment
September 16, 2010
Provincial Government Appoints
to Facilitate an End to the Voisey's Bay Strike
The Provincial Government has appointed Bill Wells to serve as an
independent mediator to help facilitate a resolution to the Vale
strike in Labrador.
On July 20, 2010, contract talks to reach the second collective
agreement between Vale and its striking mine and mill employees,
represented by the United Steelworkers at Voisey's Bay, broke off. This
represents several times that contract talks have broken off since the
strike commenced in August 2009.
"Vale and the United Steelworkers are returning to the bargaining
table on Sunday, September 19, 2010, and I am encouraging both parties
to work toward a successful resolution of this dispute," said the
Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and
Employment and Minister Responsible for the Labour Relations Agency.
"Given that the parties are returning to the bargaining table of their
own initiative, this represents an excellent opportunity for them to
bring about an end to this strike. We believe the assistance of Mr.
Wells, a well respected labour lawyer, will be of great value to the
Under the Labour Relations Act, the minister has authority to
appoint a mediator where the minister is of the opinion that the
appointment is likely to contribute to more harmonious industrial
relationships between the parties.
"With the help of Mr. Wells, I urge the parties to negotiate a
collective agreement during this round of bargaining and make a
determined and honest effort to bring an end to this strike," said
Minister Sullivan. "Our government is committed to providing whatever
assistance is necessary to the parties to enable them to successfully
negotiate a collective agreement."
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Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
Bill Wells had an extensive career in labour law during the 1970s.
Mr. Wells was President of Fisheries Association of Newfoundland and
Labrador during the early 1980s and he was also President of the
Canadian Saltfish Corporation. He served as Executive Vice-president of
Fishery Products International from 1985 to 1995.
Mr. Wells was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro from 1996, until his retirement in 2004.
Mr. Wells has been Vice-chair of the Standing Fish Price-Setting
Panel since its inception in 2006.
2010 09 16 4:40 p.m.