Fired Vale workers take case to divisional court

The fight of three Vale workers fired in 2010 is now heading to the courts.

The fight of three Vale workers fired in 2010 is now heading to the courts.

Steelworkers' lawyer Brian Shell said they'll seek a judicial review of an arbitrator's ruling.

William Kaplan ruled against the workers, saying the company was within its rights not to re-hire them. The workers were fired for what the company called “bad behavior” during the union’s year-long strike against Vale.

In his ruling, Kaplan considered Jason Patterson, Michael French and Patrick Veinot unreliable in their testimony about an assault on another man during the strike.

But Shell said the union feels that decision was unjust, and said they want to keep fighting for their jobs.

“The local union has made the decision that it wants to test Mr. Kaplan's decision by three neutral justices of the divisional court,” he said.

But he tempered his expectations a bit.

“The courts are often very deferential to the decisions of the arbitrators who, after all, have heard the evidence.”

Shell said the workers could get their day in court within six to nine months.

Read the provincial arbitrator's ruling here:

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