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Brazil labor agency seeking $19.2M penalty against Vale

Keywords: Tags  Vale, Maranhão, public civil action, Brazil, labor prosecution, Anya Gadelha, Maurel Selare, Christiane Nogueira Pier III

SÃO PAULO — The federal labor prosecution in Brazil’s Maranhão state has initiated a public civil action asking diversified mining giant Vale SA to pay 37.8 million reais ($19.2 million) in compensation for what the agency claims were violations of environmental and work safety standards.

Under the action, the Brazilian miner would be ordered to comply with 38 requests and to pay further fines of 200,000 reais ($102,248) for each breach of compliance, the agency said late last week.

Prosecutors Anya Gadelha, Maurel Selares and Christiane Nogueira noted that the Rio de Janeiro-based company has been the subject of investigations over workplace irregularities since 2007 and that the prosecution has already filed six civil inquiries against it.

Prosecutors cited as an example of irregularities an April 2010 accident at Vale’s Pier III terminal at Ponta da Madeira port in the city of São Luís. Two workers died and five were injured in the incident.

Vale said that it has already presented "all the arguments and documents" against the public civil action filed by the agency, showing that it complies with health and safety rules within the work environment and adopts practices to eliminate accidents.

"Vale prioritizes the health and safety of its employees and workers," the company told AMM sister publication Steel First Feb. 18.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.

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