Steelworkers condemn cold-hearted lockout at Contrecoeur-Ouest plant
CONTRECOEUR, QC, Aug. 7, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The United Steelworkers
(USW)/Syndicat des Métallos is condemning ArcelorMittal's "appalling"
lockout at its Contrecoeur-Ouest plant, imposed Wednesday at 10:30 p.m.
The lockout, which affects 300 members of Métallos Local 6951 and their
families, was imposed by the company despite the union's willingness to
continue negotiations, said union representative Guy Gaudette.
"They locked out the workers despite all the negotiations and proposals
put forward by the union and the conciliation we requested and that was
granted. Not to mention our members' willingness, every step of the
way, to return to the bargaining table and find a solution after
management's previous offer was rejected," Gaudette said.
"Every one of our proposals - whatever its nature - was rejected by the
employer," he added. "They are not here to negotiate, but to impose
their position on us."
The union has been bargaining in good faith and attempting to find
solutions to pension plan issues raised by the company, even though the
pension plan is almost 100% funded. The company has been making big
profits over the past several years, with union members setting
multiple production records, noted Denis Trottier, the union's regional
"ArcelorMittal's fixation on the pension plan is distressing," Trottier
said. "The company is healthy - as is the plant - and the union is
ready to continue negotiations. What's the problem? It looks like the
employer is trying to feed us a line under the guise of the current
public debate about Quebec pension plans. We will not allow a lockout
to be imposed on the backs of future retirees and the youngest workers
in the plant."
"ArcelorMittal has no respect these days for either our members or
Quebec, which saw this company come into being," added Gaudette. "Our
members will maintain solidarity until we get a fair and equitable
contract for all workers … and for every generation."
The collective agreement at ArcelorMittal's Contrecoeur-Ouest plant
expired on July 31 this year. One key issue in the bargaining process
was the pension plan, with the company seeking to introduce a
defined-contribution plan that would be less beneficial to new
The USW/Syndicat des Métallos, an FTQ affiliate, is Quebec's largest
private-sector union, with more than 60,000 members who work in all
sectors of the economy (mining, metallurgy, industrial manufacturing,
security, hotels and restaurants, trucking and taxis, etc.).
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Jocelyn Desjardins, 514-604-6273, firstname.lastname@example.org
Guy Gaudette, 450-656-1113