28 May 2010

Every nickel counts

Officially, the Old Man noticed the thousands of people affected by the nine-month old strike at Vale Inco.

So he calls his buddy the Premier of Ontario.

Danny of NewfoundlandLabrador and Dalton of Ontario are concerned.

"I am extremely concerned with the impact these strikes are having on the women and men employed by Vale Inco and their families during these frustrating labour disputes," said Premier Williams. "Both strikes have gone on far too long, and the impacts are truly devastating and can be felt throughout the communities involved. It is time for both parties to reach a fair deal for those involved so that the hard-working employees can finally return to work and resume their lives.

And that’s true.  It’s been tough.

A month ago, Kathy Dunderdale was in charge of the file.

Now the Old man Hisself has it.

Things must be bad.  Not just for thousands but for millions.

The Vale Inco strike continues to be a major kick in the financial ghoolies for the provincial government. And at a time when oil prices are heading down instead of the hoped-for up, every nickel counts.

Mining royalties for 2010 are already forecast to be half what they were in 2009 and about 20% of what the provincial government raked in during 2008. Dropping to $60 million from over $300 million in a couple of years isn’t financially pretty.

So while no one should doubt the Premiers’ sincerity and their concern for the families of the striking workers, not to mention all those who depend on the companies for business, the provincial governments have a pretty wicked financial stake in this one as well.

Maybe Danny will expropriate Vale Inco’s holdings in the province if they don’t comply with his demand to end the strike immediately.

According to him, it worked before.