Illegal Strikebreakers Found Again at Noranda's CEZinc Refinery

SALABERRY-DE-VALLEYFIELD, QC, May 10, 2017 /CNW/ - Quebec's Ministry of Labour today released a second report identifying the illegal use of strikebreakers at the CEZinc refinery operated by Noranda Income Fund.

A labour ministry investigator found CEZinc was using three sub-contractors for work normally performed by the refinery's unionized employees, who are on strike. The strikebreakers came from a contractor, Groupe Tremblay, hired by CEZinc, the investigator's report states.

The report marks the second time during the strike at the CEZinc refinery that Quebec's labour ministry has found violations of the province's anti-scab legislation, which prohibits the use of strikebreakers during labour disputes.

The refinery's 371 unionized employees, members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 6486, have been on the picket line since Feb. 12. The dispute was provoked by the company's demands for concessions, particularly an attack on their pension plan – even though the plan is overfunded. CEZinc is owned by Noranda Income Fund, of which resource giant Glencore is a 25% shareholder.

"We will be pressing Quebec's Administrative Labour Tribunal to clamp down on the company and to stop this recurring, illegal use of strikebreakers," said USW staff representative Luc Julien.

"This employer should be focusing on returning to the bargaining table and negotiating in good faith, rather than trying to operate with sneaky, back-door practices that violate Quebec laws," Julien said.

"The best way for this company to get back to operating as usual is to negotiate a fair deal with its employees."

A Quebec labour ministry investigation previously found illegal strikebreakers working at the CEZinc refinery in February.

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

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: Clairandrée Cauchy, Syndicat des Métallos/USW Communications 514-774-4001, ccauchy@metallos.ca

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