The settlements mark the end of a strike that began on July 13, 2009. The employees in Ontario are expected to return to work within the next four to six weeks.

"We are very happy with the results of the ratification vote," said Tito Martins, Vale's executive director for base metals. "The agreement establishes a new working relationship with our employees and the union and allows us to move forward with our long-term, sustainable growth plans. We achieved what we needed to achieve with the introduction of a new defined contribution pension plan and changes to the existing bonus system that include a cap on earnings and a new, more realistic trigger point. We look forward to returning to normal production and building the future together with employees."

The new agreements also include improvements to employee wages and a cost-of-living allowance roll-in.
"We are very pleased that our production and maintenance employees have ratified these new collective agreements and we look forward to their return to work and a resumption of normal operations," said John Pollesel, Vice-President, Production Services and Support (Canada/UK) and General Manager, Ontario Operations. "It's been a long, hard year for everyone involved, and it's now time to come together and focus on building the strong and sustainable operations that Sudbury and Port Colborne require."