Global union picket in the City of London

9th November 2009

Members of Unite the union will today (9th November 2009) mount a picket outside a Deutsche Bank metals' conference in the City of London. The protest organised by the global union - Workers Uniting - is in support of striking mineworkers from Vale Inco in Canada.

Two strikers, members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union, will join the picket to press the case to investors attending the Deutsche Bank meeting where Vale executives are making a presentation. The protest is the first of many actions to be organised by Workers Uniting that will confront Vale investors during the dispute.

Vale workers in Canada are on indefinite strike to defend their pay and conditions. Vale wants to impose drastic cuts to pensions and other benefits of the Canadian miners. The workers see it as the thin end of the wedge as they believe the company wants to push wages and conditions down to the level of Vale operations in Brazil.

USW international president Leo W. Gerard: “Mining natural resources has been a profitable enterprise for generations in Sudbury, Canada for both the company and the workers. For a multinational company to now attempt to slash living standards while enjoying sky-rocketing profits is totally unacceptable.

"Workers in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and around the world understand this, and the workers’ solidarity and actions send a powerful message.”

Ken Neumann, USW national director for Canada, said: “Vale’s backward, outdated approach to labour relations is also bad for investors. Vale’s own reports indicate the Canadian labour dispute that it provoked is costing the company $7 million in lost production each day. We are standing together as Workers Uniting in saying it’s time for Vale to get back to the bargaining table and make a fair offer that benefits shareholders, workers and the community.”

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