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Enough Concessions, Steelworkers Tell Glencore

BELLEDUNE, N.B. – Brunswick Smelter employees will vote in coming days on potential strike action in response to multinational Glencore’s never-ending demands for concessions in their working and living standards.

“Our members have given back to this company for the last several years,” said Bart Dempsey, President of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7085, representing 280 employees at the Brunswick Smelter in Belledune.

“Workers have sacrificed to help the company upgrade and expand the operation. We’ve taken concessions, we’ve given back more than our fair share. And still this company wants more,” Dempsey said.

“Our members are saying, ‘enough.’ It has to stop.”

The previous collective agreement between Local 7085 and Glencore expired on Feb. 28. The union has been trying to negotiate a new contract for more than five months, but Glencore is demanding more concessions from workers on key issues including pensions and benefits.

Local 7085 members will meet tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. at the Pointe-Verte municipal building to discuss negotiations and the timing of a strike vote.

 “They want to keep taking away from workers and their families. They want to take more from our pensions, from our benefits, from our health and safety representation and the union’s ability to represent workers,” Dempsey said.

“It’s time for Glencore to recognize the sacrifices its workers have made and the fact that their hard work is the key to the company’s success,” said Marty Warren, USW Director for Atlantic Canada and Ontario.

“Workers simply expect a fair deal in return. It’s time for Glencore to treat its employees, their families and their community with basic fairness and respect,” Warren said.

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For further information:

Bart Dempsey, President, USW Local 7085, 506-522-7085, 506-543-5931, bart.dempsey@glencore.ca
Marty Warren, USW District 6 Director, 416-243-8792
Lawrence McKay, USW Area Co-ordinator, Atlantic Canada, 506-857-0999, 506-232-8472, lmckay@usw.ca
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

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