BÉCANCOUR, QC, March 5, 2019 /CNW/ - Locked-out employees of the ABI aluminum smelter in Bécancour will meet Monday, March 11, to discuss and vote on a contract offer from the company.
Members of United Steelworkers (Syndicat des Métallos) Local 9700 will meet Monday at 1 p.m. to review and discuss a company offer that includes three collective agreements covering more than 1,000 workers, as well as a return-to-work protocol.
Steelworkers Local 9700 President Clément Masse said an analysis by the union's bargaining committee confirmed that the company's offer proposal is very similar to what was on the table when ABI broke off negotiations in mid-February. A return-to-work protocol was not part of previous discussions between the parties, he added.
"As for the content of the proposed collective agreements, it essentially reflects our previous report to members on the employer's positions on the issues," Masse noted.
"In the interest of transparency, the union executive has chosen to submit the employer's offer to a secret-ballot vote," he said, while denouncing the company's decision to unilaterally present a comprehensive offer rather than pursuing a negotiated settlement.
The union is reserving further comment on the offer until members meet on Monday, Masse said.
ABI's 1,030 workers were locked out by smelter co-owners Alcoa and Rio Tinto on Jan. 11, 2018. Negotiations were stalled over the financing of the pension plan and respect for seniority in labour movements. Hydro-Québec recently reported that the lockout resulted in revenue losses for the public utility of $165 million in 2018.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: Clairandrée Cauchy, USW/Syndicat des Métallos Communications, 514-774-4001, firstname.lastname@example.org