A miner at Vale’s Coleman Mine who was fired during the United Steelworkers’ (USW) year-long strike has been reinstated following an arbitrator’s ruling of unjust dismissal by Vale.
Ron Breault was fired in September 2009 during a strike by 3,000 members of USW Local 6500 in Sudbury, Ont., and Local 6200 in Port Colborne, Ont.
The arbitrator ordered Vale to reinstate Breault with full salary and benefits and compensate him for 19 months of back pay.
“Once again we have been vindicated in our view that Vale overreacted and was wrong to fire these workers during the strike,” Local 6500 president Rick Bertrand said in a press release.
The Ontario Labour Relations Board cited “troubling” behaviour by Vale and ruled the company participated in “patently unreasonable” conduct and violated labour laws.
Eight other workers were fired along with Breault: John Landry took the opportunity to retire after 34 years with the company; Mike Courchesne was reinstated earlier this year by Vale; Brian Miller, Dan Labelle and Adam Cowie found employment elsewhere; and the firings of Local 6500 vice-president Patrick Veinot, treasurer Jason Patterson and miner Mike French are currently being heard, with the case set to continue into the new year.
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