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U.S. Steel Workers In Liberia Supporting Worker Rights

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Special to NNPA from the GIN –

(GIN) - A United Steelworkers delegation led by International VP Fred Redmond has met with Liberian government and labor officials to urge caution in dealings with a Brazil-based mining company seeking to transport iron ore to a Liberian seaport.

Vale, the Brazilian company, the second largest mining company worldwide, has already spent $2.5 billion to obtain the iron ore concession in Guinea, according to local reports.

Vale's expansion plans have come under fire from the Forestry, Logging and Industrial Workers Union of Liberia, which, in a letter to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf cited Vale's record of "abusing workers and communities in Brazil, Canada, Mozambique and Indonesia."

In April, a coalition of some 80 “Communities Affected by Vale,” held its first meeting of “workers affected by the aggressive and predatory activities of Vale” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Their call to action is on the internet at: http://www.minesandcommunities.org

"Liberia needs investment,” said Liberian union official David Sackoh, “and we welcome the creation of jobs, but we need decent jobs which will lead to local prosperity and not just the exploitation of our land and the export of our country's wealth."

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