USW calls Vale investments ‘cynical’

Nov 19, 2010 | 01:03 PM | Thorsten Schier

The United Steelworkers union has dismissed as "cynical" Vale AS' announcement that it will invest $10 billion in Canada over the next five years.

Most of the investments proposed by Brazil-based Vale are mandated by the Canadian government rather than being voluntary, the USW said, and are aimed at diverting public attention away from the planned closure of Vale's refining and smelting facilities at the Thompson Mine in Manitoba in 2015, cutting about 500 jobs in the region.

"In reality, the lion's share of the investment Vale has committed to Canada consists of capital spending mandated by government, as opposed to the company willingly investing in its Canadian operations," Ken Neumann, the USW's national director for Canada, said in a statement.

But the company denies this, saying that the investments are the result of a two-year review of its operations in Canada. "The review pointed out that the time was right to invest in our operations," a company spokesman told AMM. ....

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