Negotiations at ABI in Becancour - The Ball is on the Employer's Court

    BECANCOUR, QC, April 2 /CNW Telbec/ - On March 19, United Steelworkers
(FTQ) local section 9700 requested the involvement of a mediator. "Mediation
lasted more than six days and the parties involved talked about how they could
best reach their respective goals. Within this framework, the mediator, Mrs
Claire Tremblay, decided to submit a recommendation to both parties. After
consideration and analysis, the executive committee has agreed to present this
recommendation to our members during a general assembly. We are waiting for
the employer's position as it relates to the mediator's recommendation,"
declared Clément Masse, president of United Steelworkers (FTQ), local section
    The union leader then stated that "the executive committee believes that
ABI now has a credible alternative in hand to break the deadlock. The
mediator's proposal plans for the implementation of temporary measures that
would allow the employer to carry on through the current financial crisis."
    On March 4 o f this year, the employer demanded a unilateral 15%
reduction in the number of hours worked.

    The ABI aluminum smelter, located in Becancour, has been producing
aluminum since 1986. It currently employs approximately 1,000 workers. The
smelter's workers are getting ready to renew their collective agreement
scheduled to expire in November. The legal timeframe for negotiations as set
forth for the Office/Technical Unit is April 1st, 2009.

For further information:

For further information: Clément Masse, United Steelworkers (FTQ), local
section 9700, (819) 370-7392

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