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Quebec’s CEZinc Strikers to Confront Glencore Shareholders at AGM in Switzerland

MONTREAL – Striking Steelworkers at Quebec’s CEZinc refinery are bringing their dispute to resource giant Glencore’s annual general meeting in Switzerland this week.

A delegation representing the 371 strikers at the CEZinc refinery in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Que., west of Montreal, will confront Glencore shareholders during a demonstration at the company’s AGM in Switzerland on Wednesday.

The Quebec delegation, led by United Steelworkers (USW) Local 6486 President Manon Castonguay, was welcomed to Switzerland earlier this week by leaders of the country’s largest private-sector union, Unia. Representatives of IndustriALL Global Union also will join the Quebec Steelworkers for Wednesday’s demonstration at the Glencore AGM in Cham, in the canton of Zug.

“As members of a large, international union, we work with allies around the world and this global trade union network helps workers confront multinationals like Glencore,” said USW representative Luc Julien, also part of the Quebec delegation in Switzerland.

“We are supported by allies who are helping to make our voices heard. Glencore is not just attacking 371 workers in Quebec, it is taking on an international labor network that will fight back against corporate greed,” Julien said.

Glencore is the largest shareholder of Noranda Income Fund, which operates the CEZinc refinery in Quebec, where USW Local 6486 members have been on strike since Feb. 12. Glencore supplies all of the concentrate that is processed at the refinery and is the sole purchaser of the finished product.

The company provoked the labour dispute by demanding concessions, in particular an attack on the workers’ pension plan, even though the plan is overfunded. The workers also have denounced the company for rejecting their proposals to explore other cost-cutting and efficiency measures.

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For further information:

Clairandrée Cauchy, USW/Syndicat des Métallos Communications, 514-774-4001, ccauchy@metallos.ca

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