MAC: Mines and Communities


Published by MAC on 2007-03-15


Unions announce global "Unity Accord"

22nd March 2007 - IMF
News article

USW, CNM-CUT and other unions outline common goals for CVRD workers.

CANADA: Union leadership from Canada, Brazil, Mozambique and New Caledonia met in Sudbury, Ontario and announced on March 20 the development of a new global union accord created to advance the interests of workers at Companhie Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD).

Unions representing CVRD employees in Norway and Australia have endorsed the accord.

The United Steelworkers in Canada represent about 5,000 CVRD Inco employees. Brazilian unions at the Sudbury conference, including the Confederação Nacional dos Metalúrgicos (CNM-CUT), represent close to 25,000 CVRD workers at the company's mines, rail operations, ports, offices, chemical plants, energy operations and steel mills in Brazil. USW and CNM-CUT are affiliated to the International Metalworkers' Federation (IMF), a global union federation representing more than 25 million workers worldwide.

"This accord underscore the importance of international cooperation and strategic collaboration," said IMF general secretary Marcello Malentacchi adding, "workers' rights, safe workplaces and healthy communities are common issues that reach far beyond a nation's border."

The Brazil-based CVRD is an international producer of nickel, iron ore and coal.

According to a statement released by the USW, the "Sudbury Unity Accord" outlines five shared goals:

Increasingly stronger collective agreements that bring high wages, improved retirement incomes and benefits, safe workplaces and a meaningful voice in the corporate decisions that affect workers' lives;

Capital expenditures by CVRD in our communities to support new facilities, exploration, the highest environmental standards and new developments;

Safe and healthy workplaces for our members and environmentally sustainable operations, which are healthy and safe for our families and communities;

Respect for the human rights of communities affected by corporate operations, and full recognition of the right for unions to represent the collective interests of workers;

Full access to information about corporate acquisitions, mergers or other reorganizations that affect our members in any way;

Elimination of corporate outsourcing/contracting out.

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