Negotiations Break Off Between ABI, Locked-Out Steelworkers

BÉCANCOUR, Que. – The United Steelworkers/Syndicat des Métallos is confirming a statement by special mediator Lucien Bouchard that negotiations in the labour dispute at the ABI aluminum smelter have broken off, with the parties still too far apart on key issues.

Steelworkers Local 9700, representing the 1,030 locked-out ABI workers, will be meeting with its members within the next few days to discuss the state of negotiations, during which time the union will not be communicating with the news media.

The 1,030 ABI employees were locked out by aluminum giants Alcoa and Rio Tinto – co-owners of the Bécancour smelter – last Jan. 11. The key issues in the labour dispute are pension plan changes and contract language related to seniority rights and employee turnover.

The lockout imposed by Alcoa and Rio Tinto also has cost Quebecers $161 million to date in lost revenues for Hydro-Québec, the publicly owned utility.

The Syndicat des Métallos/United Steelworkers is the largest private-sector union in Quebec, representing 60,000 workers in all sectors of the economy.


For further information:

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

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