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Victory! Steelworkers Win Pension Battle at Ciment Lafarge

Saint-Constant, Que. – Victory! United Steelworkers (Syndicat des Métallos) members in Saint-Constant have won a three-month strike against Ciment Lafarge, beating back the global corporation’s demand for a two-tier pension plan.

Members of Steelworkers Local 6658 went on strike Feb. 6 to resist the employer’s demand to impose an inferior pension plan on new hires. On May 10, the workers voted by an 84% margin in favour of a new, five-year collective agreement that preserves their defined benefit pension plan for all members.

“I’m proud of the battle we led and of everyone who fought with us on the picket line, day after day, at times in brutal cold,” said Éric Boulanger, Local 6658 President.

“We shouldn’t be afraid to say it – we won! Thanks to our efforts, future generations will have good working conditions.”

The new agreement provides for wage increases totalling 13.75% over the contract’s term, as well as benefits improvements. Modifications to the defined benefit pension plan will include an employee premium contribution equal to 3% of hourly wages.

“The Steelworkers at Ciment Lafarge can return to work with their heads held high. They owe their victory to their solidarity and the support they received from Steelworkers across Quebec and Canada. International support and solidarity also contributed to the successful outcome,” said Steelworkers Area Coordinator Pierre Arseneau.

However, it remains incumbent on Quebec’s Liberal government to fulfill its promise of adopting legislation to prohibit two-tier pension plans in all workplaces, once and for all, Arseneau added.

“Our members sacrificed their wages for three months, to prevent the employer from discriminating against young workers. This practice should be prohibited by law, as the Quebec Liberal Party in fact proposed at its last convention,” said Alain Croteau, Steelworkers Quebec Director.

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For further information:

Clairandrée Cauchy, 514-774-4001, ccauchy@metallos.ca

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Clairandrée Cauchy
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