Arcelor Mittal: closure of Lachine wire mill

    The Horror Story Continues

    MONTREAL, March 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Just two years after acquiring it,
Arcelor Mittal recently announced the closure of its wire mill in Lachine.
"Our horror story with this company continues. It's their approach that's so
brutal. For Arcelor Mittal's senior management in London, the Web has become
their preferred method of doing things. They have, in addition, not honoured
the commitments they made when they bought the plant. It's very disappointing.
We will be doing everything we can to help those of our members who are
grappling with this fait accompli," declared Denis Trottier, USW/Syndicat des
Métallos (FTQ) coordinator for the Saint-Jean region.
    In continuing, he reminded his audience that the same approach had been
adopted last year, on December 12, when the company announced the closure of
the Contrecoeur steel plant. "We first heard about it through a news release
distributed via the Internet," he said. "I'm shocked to see the brutal methods
used by Arcelor Mittal to inform us of news that is so important, with such
dramatic consequences for our members."
    "It would appear that the Mittal plant in Lachine has been closed in
order to consolidate its operations with the Saint-Patrick Mittal facility,
but we are not aware of the existence of any recovery plan. We're operating in
a fog. We have learned that the company has given itself until the end of this
year to achieve a zero deficit and reposition itself on the steel wire market.
We are concerned because Mittal has been asleep at the switch for the past two
years. They let the situation deteriorate. We will be following them closely
to ensure that they are proactive with the one open plant that remains,"
continued union staffer Frank Beaudin.
    The two unionists are also asking questions about the Ontario plant,
which does not appear to be under threat of closure at this time although it
is posting losses that are bigger than those of the Quebec plant. "We note
that the closure of the Contrecoeur steel mill was beneficial to Ontario,
since operations at Dofasco were consolidated. Will this scenario repeat
itself at this wire mill? We would very much like to know what Arcelor
Mittal's long-term plans are for Quebec. The Sidbec acquisition has been a
goldmine for the company, while also giving them an opportunity to position
themselves on the North American market," they concluded.
    The USW/Syndicat des Métallos (FTQ) will examine all possible avenues in
working to help its members, particularly from the retirement standpoint and
that of transfers to the company's other plants in Quebec.
    One hundred twenty Steelworkers are employed at Mittal Lachine, while
another 80 work at Mittal Saint-Patrick. Both facilities are wire mills.

For further information:

For further information: Denis Trottier, USW/Syndicat des Métallos
(FTQ), (450) 359-4441; Frank Beaudin, USW/Syndicat des Métallos (FTQ), (450)

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