Vale to pay families of workers killed in dam collapse

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Union leaders say Brazilian mining giant Vale has agreed to pay a minimum of nearly $400,000 to each close family member of workers who died in the collapse of one of its dams this year.

At least 240 people died in the Jan. 25 accident that sent a wave of mud in the city of Brumadinho, burying almost everything on its path.

Union leaders involved in the mediation described a long and difficult process to even get the firm to sit down at the negotiating table.

The agreement reached this week also includes childcare and education allowances, medical insurance, as well as a stability fund for employees who survived the breach but lost their jobs.

Vale says the agreement will result in the unfreezing of 1.6 billion reals ($424 million).