By Carol Mulligan
An arbitrator has given a fired Steelworker his job back.
Wes Rayner has ruled that Vale Inco must reinstate Mike Courchesne, one of nine Steelworkers fired during the union's year-long strike against the miner, provided he passes a standard medical test.
If all goes well, Courchesne should be back on the job within a month, said his lawyer, Brian Shell.
Both Courchesne and his union were "ecstatic" about the decision, Shell said Tuesday afternoon.
"Right from the beginning, it was the union's view the people fired during the strike should not have been fired, and that the company overreacted to the allegations the company believed they had," Shell said after the decision was rendered.
Nine strikers were fired for alleged misconduct on picket lines in the community during the nasty labour dispute.
One, John Landry, retired after the strike ended in July 2010. Steelworkers Adam Cowie and Dan Labelle have found employment elsewhere and do not want to return to Vale, said Shell.
That leaves five cases to be settled in arbitration ordered Feb. 24 of this year by the Ontario Labour Relations Board.