Communities Pledge to work toward Global Resistance of Negative Social and Environmental Impact
Contact: Jamie West, United Steelworkers 55-11/9624-9284
Rio de Janeiro – Representatives from labor unions, fishermen, rural workers and leaders of traditional communities in areas around the world where Vale has mining operations will issue an 80-page document here today called “Report of the Impact and Violations of Vale in the World.” It documents specific cases and gives a dimension of the impacts caused by Vale, the second largest mining company in the world, related to its international business activities.
Known as “Those Affected by Vale”, the group of 150 representatives from Peru, Chile, Argentina, Canada, Indonesia, New Caledonia, Mozambique, as well as 10 states of Brazil and observers from France, USA and Germany are meeting for the first time to discuss common strategies to resist the company’s aggressive business practices.
Last week, participants joined two caravans traveling to cities and states in the north and southeast of Brazil. They have talked with local unions of Vale employees and representatives from communities that are affected by Vale projects to gain first hand understanding of their core issues.
Plan for Wide Circulation in Brazil
The report will be delivered to the board of directors of Vale and to the United Nations. Brazilian government bodies such as the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the National Bank of Economic and Social Development (BNDES) - funder of large enterprises of Vale - will also receive a copy of the report.
In its pursuit of rapid growth, Vale has become consumed with profits and its efforts to enforce similar working practices at all Vale its locations. “Those Affected by Vale” are giving a voice to a diverse cross-section of global society who have tired of suffering from violations of rights and irreversible social and environmental impacts at the hand of Vale.
Some 3,500 Striking Canadian nickel miners employed by Vale are joining in solidarity with victims of pollution and contamination of their water supply and developing common strategies to reinforce the local campaigns and develop global movements to lead the company to answer for their violations at an international level.
United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard said, “Our union members and our communities have been suffering Vale’s autocratic behavior and we fully support and stand in solidarity with all those who have suffered from the heavy handed business practices of Vale.”
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