The Resource Development Trades Council (RDC), the umbrella organization representing all 16 trade unions at the Vale site in Long Harbour, is urging wildcat strikers go back to work.

The council said the site will be open for business on Monday.

The RDC made the announcement Sunday at press conference in St. John's.

Disgruntled workers from the nickel plant construction site in Long Harbour have entered into the fourth day of a wildcat strike. They went off the job on Thursday, putting almost 2,000 tradespeople at a standstill.

On Sunday, RDC president Gus Doyle said the Vale site will be open Monday morning.

"The RDC and none of its umbrella unions are in support, or participate in any of the actions that have taken place over the last several days," said Doyle.

"We know that the camp will be filling up today, and members will be back on the job site tomorrow morning," said Doyle. "The site is open for business, the jobs are there. It’s a regular schedule day."

Doyle said he wanted to dispel rumours that Vale was preparing to shut down the site. "That is not true," he said.

Striking workers free to take jobs elsewhere

Doyle said the RDC has been speaking with strikers in Long Harbour over the past few days trying to resolve their issues.

"I'm not sure at the end of the day what they want. There’s no question every worker on site likes to make more money," he said.

"We have a collective agreement that’s comparable to anything in Atlantic Canada ...

 "If workers feel their services are worth more in other places, it's up to them, they can go there if they wish."

Strikers react


Striker and Vale ironworker Todd Brocklehurst speaks with reporters. He said he will not got back to work Monday. (CBC)

Striker and iron worker Todd Brocklehurst showed up outside the press conference at RDC’s office in St. John’s.

He said he would not be going back to work on Monday. "They’re saying we broke the contract. They broke the contract," he said.

He said people are losing time and money travelling from all over the island to work at Vale in Long Harbour.

"We never went out there asking for more than we already had because people came home from Fort McMurray to be with their kids ...

"We’re losing $25,000 a year just on board."

He said he would like to see the company offer some incentives.

Contract to stay closed

Doyle said the unions believe what the collective agreement says. He said the chance of the agreement being reopened is "not in the cards."

An injunction granted to the company late Thursday restricts workers from obstructing people going to the Vale site.

Workers are upset with wages and how the company is interpreting the collective agreement on issues such as travel and living allowances.

Vale has stressed that it has a collective agreement signed by 16 separate unions. It said the site is operating under a special project order, a provincial law ensuring no strikes and no lock-outs.

Meanwhile, strikers near the Vale Construction site in Long Harbour, said there are members from all the RDC unions represented on the picket line.

Workers will be brought in


RDC president Gus Doyle said the 16 trade unions do not support the wildcat strike. (CBC)

"At this point we have not brought in American workers ... Are we going to bring in workers, yes we are," said Doyle.

He said if the union can't supply workers locally, they'll look to hire in Atlantic region, the rest of Canada or even in the U.S.

But Doyle said they will not look for workers outside Newfoundland unless they have to.

He said the strikers "have quit in his mind," and the employer will make a decision about replacing the workers that have not been showing up for work since Thursday.