The vote for the worlds worst corporation is in and the results are no surprise to trade union members throughout the world and especially those in the USA and Canada.
Brazilian mining giant Vale has been named the world’s worst company, two years after the start of a brutal strike with Unite’s sisters and brothers in the United Steelworkers in Canada.
The Brazilian multinational Vale received the 2012 Public Eye People’s Choice Award for world’s worst company. The award was presented in Davos, Switzerland, where corporate chieftains and political leaders are meeting for the annual World Economic Forum.
Presenting the award, Nobel economics laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz called on multinational companies to go “beyond the minimum required by the law to protect the environment, to treat workers with decency and fairness, not to exploit all the advantages that asymmetries in bargaining might afford.”
More than 88,000 people around the world voted in an online competition , organised by the Berne Declaration and Greenpeace Switzerland, to choose the worst case of contempt for the environment and human rights.
“This vote demonstrates the increasing global awareness of Vale’s terrible record of destroying communities and the environment while systematically violating workers’ rights,” said United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard. Gerard spoke from Sudbury, Ontario, where he dedicated a new building for Steelworkers Local 6500 which represents 3,000 Vale workers.
In December, the Ontario Labor Relations Board found that Vale committed unfair labour practices during a year-long strike at Sudbury. On June 8th, two workers were killed in Sudbury in an accident that is still under investigation.
Earlier, an Industrial Inquiry Commission appointed by the Newfoundland and Labrador government to investigate an 18-month strike at Voisey’s Bay found that Vale’s “behavior demonstrates disrespect for the role of a bargaining agent.”
Vale was nominated for the Public Eye award by Justice On The Rails, a Brazilian coalition of environmental and community groups. “We owe a tremendous debt to our sisters and brothers in Brazil who continue to expose this company’s destructive actions,” Leo Gerard said.