Equal Pay for Equal Work for ABI’s Student Workers

The Syndicat des Métallos/United Steelworkers union welcomes the end of a discriminatory practice regarding student workers at the ABI aluminum smelter in Bécancour, Que. The union today noted that ABI will not appeal to the Supreme Court to challenge a ruling by Quebec’s Court of Appeal that students hired at the smelter should be paid the same as other employees if they are performing equivalent work.

On June 17, 2021, the Court of Appeal confirmed a decision by Quebec’s Human Rights Tribunal that ABI's student employees were discriminated against under the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

“They are paid lower wages for the sole reason that they are pursuing studies,” the court stated. The student workers were being paid 85% of the wages of casual employees who were hired to perform equivalent tasks, the court noted.

ABI's decision not to pursue another appeal will allow the union and its members to put this discrimination practice behind them, the Steelworkers stated.

The Syndicat des Métallos/United Steelworkers, affiliated with the Quebec Federation of Labour, is the largest private-sector union in Quebec, representing more than 60,000 workers in all economic sectors.

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