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United Steelworkers Local 6500 Collective Agreement

The collective agreement negotiated between 1978 and 1979 with Dave Patterson as president resulted in a 234-day strike; September 15, 1978 to May 6, 1979. www.newswire.ca/…/steelworkers-humanity-fund-contrib… In Sudbury, miners whose crews were cancelled last week for the safety of a well at a local mine gathered today in their union hall. The 1975 agreement was the first industrial package estimated at USD 4.00 per hour, with considerable increases in all areas and made significant changes to the structure of labour protection, safety and environmental protection. A research fund was also established, in which Inco paid $150,000.00 per year of contract. In 1965, Local 6500 purchased the former Canadian Legion building for US$232,000. The building was to become the new trade union centre for steelmakers. 1982 was a terrible year in the nickel industry and 6500 for Local members. 1053 members were laid off when nickel sales were down. Although there have been no changes to wages and the COLA formula, improvements have been made to pensions and other benefits. The co-op wage development curriculum was implemented on June 1, 1983. Union members voted electronically after being delivered to a package containing details of the interim agreement.

During the strikes, it was an excellent example of solidarity and wonderful support from the community, other unions and trade unionists across Canada. The new agreement included an improvement in the “35 and out” system, new COLA-roll-ins, 51% lump sum, additional unemployment benefits, a cooperative wage study, at a total cost of USD 4.07 per hour, which were negotiated at best. President Dave Patterson became Director of District 6. “Due to the ongoing crisis of COVID-19, Vale and Local 6500 have agreed to a one-year extension, which brings attention to the health and safety of members and their families in these exceptional circumstances,” the statement said. Over the past two days, ratification votes have taken place following an interim agreement between USW and Vale negotiators earlier this week. The Steelworkers Humanity Fund was established in 1985 and is a registered charitable organization that supports Canadian communities. CTE members contribute to the Fund through collective agreements. In some cases, employers contribute to the fund. The agreement also contains significant improvements in the language of the contract, including improved provisions affecting the appeal procedure, recognition of seniority, contracting and vacancy notices.

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