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Update: Steelworkers vote this evening on newly proposed contract with Vale

Workers would get 4% raise over five years, and $2,500 in recognition of work over last year
Vale's Totten Mine in Sudbury. (Supplied)

Members of the United Steelworkers Locals 6500 and 6200 bargaining committee are “unanimously recommending” to its members to accept the new agreement with Vale Ltd. Canada.

The union said in a statement on its website negotiations were “extremely challenging.”

Phone calls seeking comment from the union have not been returned.

Membership meetings were being held today to review the tentative agreement, with voting taking place between 2-11 p.m.

If accepted, the five-year contract expires May 31, 2026.

Details of the offer were also posted on the Steelworkers’ website.

As part of the negotiated deal, union members will receive a four-per-cent increase in standard hourly rates over the term of the contract with 0.5 per cent in 2021 and 2022, and then one per cent in 2023, 2024 and 2025.

Members will also receive a one-time payment of $2,500 in recognition of continued efforts during the last year.

Furthermore, members are being offered a one-time signing bonus of $3,500.

Other key items in the new contract include changes to the benefit pension, pension plan and health care benefits, to name a few.

In terms of concessions for union members, the new agreement would eliminate over-the-counter drug coverage, excluding life-sustaining drugs and close retiree benefits eligibility for all insurances, health and hospital services for employees hired on or after June 1, 2021.