Fired Vale worker starts arbitration
Eight of nine Vale workers who were fired during a 2009-2010 strike will have their cases individually heard by an abitrator
After close to two years of waiting, a Vale worker who was fired during the strike will soon find out if he gets his job back.
An arbitrator will hear the first case today in what has become known as the "fired nine."
The 2009-2010 strike at Vale was the longest labour dispute in the history of the Sudbury operation.
The strike involved replacement workers, bitter exchanges at the picket lines, and the firing of nine workers for what the company described as "bad behavior."
Vale refused to allow an arbitrator to determine if the firings were just.
One of the workers retired, but the remaining eight took their case to the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
Earlier this year, the board ruled that the workers were entitled to arbitration. The ruling was called a victory for workers rights in Ontario, the Steelworkers union claimed.
The first arbitration hearing is set to start Wednesday morning in Sudbury.
Separate hearings are being held for each worker, except for the three workers who were alleged to be involved in an assault on a Vale employee. The courts cleared two of the men on criminal harassment charges in connection with that case. One worker was found guilty on an assault charge. An arbitrator will hear their cases together later this summer.
CBC News requested access for the media to cover Wednesday's arbitration hearing, but both the Steelworkers and Vale objected. As a result, the arbitrator determined the hearing will be closed.
However, it's expected the outcome of the hearing will be made public.