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Executive Council
Human Resources, Labour and Employment
January 27, 2011

Provincial Government Pleased That Voisey’s Bay Tentative Agreement Reached

News overnight of a tentative agreement between United Steelworkers Local 9508 and Vale Newfoundland and Labrador Limited is encouraging for the settlement of the long-standing strike at Voisey’s Bay, Labrador.

The Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Honourable Darin King, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, and Minister Responsible for the Labour Relations Agency, expressed their congratulations today to the United Steelworkers and Vale on the news that mine and mill operations employees will soon vote to ratify a tentative agreement reached after months of deliberations and bargaining.

“This is such a positive development for the people of our province, especially those in Labrador who have been most impacted,” said Premier Dunderdale. “I am so pleased that the parties have reached a tentative agreement and I commend them for being able to work through the obstacles that had stalled a resolution to this labour dispute until now.”

The Voisey’s Bay strike began in August 2009. Parties returned to the table on multiple occasions with no success in finding a negotiated settlement, until late yesterday.

“A negotiated settlement between parties is always the preferred outcome,” said Minister King. “We are happy that the bargaining committees returned to the bargaining table and were able to negotiate a tentative collective agreement. I also want to thank Bill Wells, who was appointed by our government as an independent mediator, for his exceptional service and support to the parties.”

Minister King said that Inquiry Chairperson John F. Roil, Q.C., members V. Randell J. Earle, Q.C. and Brian R. Gatien have been asked to continue and conclude their report as planned, even though a tentative agreement has been struck.

“The ongoing Industrial Inquiry Commission is expected to provide its final report on February 25, completing a comprehensive analysis of the labour dispute at Voisey’s Bay,” said Minister King. “When the report is received, the Provincial Government will release it to Vale and the steelworkers, and subsequently to the public. Appointment of an industrial inquiry was a rare and significant move on government’s part and conclusion of the work of this commission will provide further insight into the strike’s effect on our province and how to prevent such occurrences in the future.”

The Provincial Government will release the findings of the final report. Information is available online regarding the first report at //www.gov.nl.ca/LRA/voisey_bay.html

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Media contacts:

Glenda Power
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
Andrea Nolan
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
709-729-4304, 727-0991
Bradley Power
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-0753, 699-5707

2011 01 27             10:55 a.m.

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