BÉCANCOUR, QC, June 28, 2018 /CNW/ - A general membership meeting has been scheduled for July 3, for 1,030 locked-out employees of the ABI aluminum smelter in Bécancour. The members of United Steelworkers/Syndicat des Métallos Local 9700 will take stock of the state of negotiations and discuss the direction to be taken by their bargaining committee in the mediation process.
The closed-door membership meeting will be held Tuesday, July 3, at 6:30 p.m. at the Delta Hotel in Trois-Rivières, Que. Photo opportunities will be available at 6:15 p.m. There will be no statements or interviews following the meeting.
Steelworkers Local 9700 representatives will hold a news conference on Wednesday, July 4, to discuss the results of the membership meeting and the negotiations with ABI.
The news conference will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Quebec Federation of Labour offices at 7080 Marion Street in Trois-Rivières.
The 1,030 ABI workers were locked out on Jan. 11 of this year by Alcoa and Rio Tinto – joint owners of the Bécancour smelter. The only major outstanding issues in negotiations were pension funding and workers' seniority rights in personnel transfers. Though the union believed an agreement was within reach, the company opted to lock out its employees.
Publicly owned Hydro-Québec has lost more than $100 million in revenues during the lockout. Even though the lockout is a unilateral decision by ABI, its contract with Hydro-Québec allows the company to declare "force majeure" to suspend its obligations to the utility and avoid paying for hydro it is not using.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: Clairandrée Cauchy, 514-774-4001, [email protected]