European Works Council pressures CEO to negotiate in good faith
MONTRÉAL, Feb. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - In a letter to the CEO of Rio Tinto, Tom Albanese, the Rio Tinto
European Works Council asked him to urge the local managers of Rio
Tinto Alcan to "negotiate in good faith" in order to put an end to the lockout of 780 workers at Alma, who have
been out of work since December 30.
The Council, which comprises representatives elected by Rio Tinto's
workers at its European facilities as well as delegates from various
union organizations, denounced the company's stubborn insistence on
using outsourcing. It displays "a lack of vision that can only lead to the destruction of the social
fabric of the community," wrote European Works Council Secretary Véronique Roche.
Ms. Roche described the Lac-Saint-Jean lockout as "a destructive and socially irresponsible position" and a "direct attack on the workers' families." She warned, "Our European organization will stand alongside the USW in every effort
organized in Europe and elsewhere and will participate in the USW's
fight to repel such anti-social attacks."
Rio Tinto's European workers are also worried about the future of two
European plants threatened with closure in Saint-Jean-Maurienne, France
and Lynemouth, England.
"In this context of worldwide economic crisis, any attempt by Rio Tinto
and its shareholders to finance extraordinary profit by locking out
employees, awarding low-price subcontracts or redistributing energy
surpluses will be firmly condemned," said the spokeswoman for Rio Tinto's European workers.
The letter is part of an international solidarity campaign to support
the workers at Rio Tinto Alcan's Alma aluminum smelter, laid off on
December 30, 2011. The conflict is over outsourcing, with the company
wanting to gradually replace unionized workers with subcontractors who
would be paid half the wages.
A copy of the letter is available on demand.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Clairandrée Cauchy 514 774-4001, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Gallagher 416 434-2221