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Four-Year Contract Extension Assures Tio Mine’s Viability

HAVRE-SAINT-PIERRE, Que. – The 230 United Steelworkers/Syndicat des Métallos members at the Tio Mine today voted 84% in favour of a four-year extension of their current collective agreement.

The contract extension will take effect on Sept. 1, 2018, when the current collective agreement expires. The deal includes commitments from Rio Tinto Fer et Titane to maintain production at the ilmenite mine until August 2022.

“Over the last two years the mine has operated for only 24 weeks a year and the company even threatened to close the mine in 2019, but this contract guarantees longer-term sustainability,” said Steeve Arsenault, President of USW Local 4466.

“The great thing is that this will ensure long-term continuity in the community of Havre-Saint-Pierre, which is very dependent on the company’s operations,” Arsenault said.

“The agreement includes a commitment by Rio Tinto Fer et Titane to use more of the ore from the Tio Mine to supply its Sorel processing plant, with a pledge to operate the mine for a minimum of 28 weeks per year,” said USW North Shore Area Coordinator Nicolas Lapierre.

“They’re guaranteeing that 90% of the ore used in the Sorel furnaces that are dedicated to Havre-Saint-Pierre will be supplied from the Havre, rather than outside sources. This is great news for the workers and the community,” Lapierre added.

The collective agreement’s extension provides for wage increases averaging 3% per year between 2017 and 2022. These wage increases include anticipated cost-of-living increases.

Basic pension benefits from the defined benefit pension plan will be increased by $2 per month per year of service until the end of the contract and the pension supplement will be increased by $1. The contract also provides for enhancements to the benefits plan and the implementation of a new 12-hour work schedule.

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