Rio Tinto workers vote to strike if necessary

KITIMAT, BC, July 14, 2017 /CNW/ - Members of Unifor Local 2301 have voted 99.5% in favour of a strike if a fair deal cannot be reached at the bargaining table before July 23.

"Rio Tinto has created a climate of extreme disrespect in the workplace, and it should be no surprise that these workers are fed up," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "Rio Tinto has work to do if it wants to reach a fair deal without disruption at the smelter."

Over the term of the last collective agreement Rio Tinto has pushed workers aggressively, including violating the collective agreement with mandatory overtime, failing to provide adequate washroom facilities, and accruing over 500 outstanding grievances—a staggering number for a workplace of 900. Unifor Local 2301 says that its members are treated with disrespect and the current contract negotiations have been very difficult.

"Senior management is telling us they want things to improve but their actions at the bargaining table reflect a different agenda. If the company doesn't change its behaviour fast, there should be no doubt that our members are prepared to exercise their legal right to strike," said Local 2301 President Sean O'Driscoll. "We will not accept concessions and there must be a plan to improve respect for workers at the smelter."

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.


For further information: please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at or 778-903-6549 (cell).

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