23 October 2010

Will Danny expropriate?

Talks between Vale and its Voisey’s Bay union broke down again on Saturday.

This is after Premier Danny Williams tried to be “the voice of reason” on Friday.

Will Danny expropriate? 

Well, he’s undoubtedly desperate to find a foreign demon to distract attention coming into an election year. It wouldn’t be too hard for Williams to cast Vale as another foreign multi-national attempting to use local resources without properly compensating the resource owners. He could even posture as a great defender of unions.

The mine has a huge market value and – unlike Grand Falls-Windsor – the provincial government would have an easy time unloading the mill or operating it profitably as a Crown corporation.  Heck, revenue from the mine could pay for the Lower Churchill.

And, also unlike the old AbitibiBowater properties, there are no stinking environmental messes to expropriate by accident.  There may be environmental problems but nothing that should hold up the expropriation or even cause the province’s New Democrats to lose a wink of sleep.

Much would depend on whether or not Vale had a legal angle under NAFTA.  If the company can’t find a way to sue, then stripping the company of its mine and the smelter project at Long Harbour is a pretty simple affair for a government with such a commanding presence in the House.

- srbp -

16 comments:

Cain said...

There's not much incentive for Vale to settle this strike. The management and replacement workers have found their groove and average monthly production is higher now than before the strike.

Edward Hollett said...

Which would also mean that the provincial government isn't hurting for cash.

So what's their incentive for suddenly wanting the strike settled?

Wm. Murphy said...

So what's their incentive for suddenly wanting the strike settled?

Heaven forbid that someone would like to have the workers back to work.

Let's not forget the incentive that a resolution to end a 16 month strike...there must be some dark hidden and nefarious incentive by the government to reach a resolution...ya that's it!!!.... there is something lurking under the covers Ed.
When you find it let us know.

Btw, didn't you say that the reason gov't was going this route was because of the money??

Cain said...

The strike is really taking a toll on the strikers. This is particularly true on the North Coast where these jobs were the first good jobs that the people had. Unlike the skilled tradespersons,the unskilled workers and apprentice tradespeople don't have the option of going somewhere else to work. It's all quite sad really.

Ursula said...

"Heaven forbid that someone would like to see the workers back to work".

Murphy,does that same sentiment apply to the support workers on the Burin Peninsula ?

Wm. Murphy said...

Does that also apply to the workers making Jam Jams??

Ursula said...

Affirmative .

Edward Hollett said...

Agreed, Cain; there's no doubt the strike is having a toll on the striking employees.

It's just that the strike started to take a toll a long time ago. The government managed to resist getting involved before now and consistently resisted getting involved for a long time.

So why now?

And why has it slid into the dispute without really getting more seriously engaged. An industrial inquiry isn't designed to settle this kind of a dispute. Other aspects of the labour relations laws are designed to help in these sorts of cases but those haven't been deployed.

Is there more to this story involved beyond the assumed or the superficial? (Hi Murph!)

Wm. Murphy said...

Is there more to this story involved beyond the assumed or the superficial

Oh, there has to be Eddie!!!. Afterall, EVERY decision and announcement by this government is not what it seems.

I wonder if this will be Westcott's first Comm file after he gets his parking permit tomorrow? Any thoughts? What would you have done if you were not passed over for the four jobs?

Come on Eddie, share your thoughts about the appointment of Westcott and the other research people hired by the Libs?
Your silence on this big announcement is deafening......come on Ed let us know wat you think??

Simon Lono said...

We are now entering the Golden Period just as we did 4 yeara ago. In the last 12 months before election, every problematic situation and relationship is patched or put off. Voiseys will now be addressed and so will the Burin strike. The deaf lobby will be appeased and the fishers will have to wait until 2012 to hear their plants and boats and towns will be rolled up.

Why the sudden interest in Voiseys? Because it's been a nagging problem that he was just as happy to leave alone until the political calender required that he toss some bone that way.

Note that the announcement of the tribunal and the weekend meeting was all Danny; the annoucement of failure was all Sullivan.

(Now awaiting Murphy's ad hominem response. . . )

Cain said...

The only way that govt could be more involved would be to introduce anti scab legislation and I don't know of any government that has struck a reasonable balance with such legislation.

The problem with Vale is that even if they weren't cranking out the concentrate in Voisey's, (which they are), they could still easily meet all their orders from their other world wide operations.

So how do you craft a bill that puts reasonable pressure on a company like Vale while not putting a gun to the head of a company like Purity.

Edward Hollett said...

Existing labour legislation provides for government assistance to mediate disputes.

Why wasn't that tried?

It's interesting that of all the jurisdictions in North America this one has the worst record of days lost due to strikes.

There's more to that than evil companies or evil unions.

WJM said...

Note that the announcement of the tribunal and the weekend meeting was all Danny; the annoucement of failure was all Sullivan.

Interesting, what?

Wm. Murphy said...

Simon;

maybe you can advocate with the new hires in your Office and pitch the idea of having an election every year!

Simon Lono said...

Murph: you never fail to disappoint

Wm. Murphy said...

Simon...a big day around the water cooler at work tomorrow!
Very exciting...

I wonder if the humble scribe will jot down his thoughts about the goings on??
I don't think he will...I am convinced that I may have pissed him off or something and he refuses to talk to me anymore...
Sigh!.