Steelworkers and IOC - Recognition of Seniority, a Five-year Contract and a $3.00-an-hour Raise

    SEPT-ILES, QC, April 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Of the 286 Steelworkers (members
of Local 9344) who work at IOC's Sept-Iles facility, 67% voted at midday today
to accept management's most recent offer. The five-year collective agreement
includes wage increases totaling $3.00 per hour with the indexing formula
factored in. "We owe this success to our members, who have shown tenacity and
solidarity during this process. They had no qualms about going on strike for a
second time in three years. Nonetheless, the employer must quickly improve the
job atmosphere and labour relations," declared Réal Valiquette, coordinator of
the United Steelworkers (USW)/Syndicat des Métallos (FTQ) union for the North
Shore, and Gilles Ayotte, labour representative.

    A Pension Benefit of $3,000 Monthly

    The offer also includes a $5,000 signing bonus as well as enhancements to
the group insurance and pension plans. Any employee with 30 years of service
will, in 2012, be entitled to a guaranteed minimum pension payout of $3,000

    Recognition of Seniority

    Other agreements, favouring seniority on transfers within the same
occupation for job postings, were also reached. "As stated by our union
representatives, the company will now have to focus seriously on labour
relations. We negotiated and accepted a new collective agreement in good
faith. We are entitled to expect a better job atmosphere. It's not right that
we had to walk out twice in three years," added Robert Bellevance, President
of Local 9344.
    At the end of this employment contract's term, the average hourly rate
will be $32.30.
    It should be kept in mind that, on March 5 and 6, an overwhelming
majority - 96% - of the Steelworkers belonging to Local 9344 had rejected
management's then-most-recent offers. As a federally-governed union, they
called a strike on March 19. Meanwhile, their fellow union members at Local
5795 in Labrador City had voted 98.5% for a strike mandate at a meeting held
on March 1st. The strike was launched on March 9, with a 93% vote in favour of
it. Of these workers, 60% accepted management's most recent offer.

For further information:

For further information: Réal Valiquette, USW/Syndicat des Métallos
(FTQ), (418) 962-2041; Gilles Ayotte, USW/Syndicat des Métallos (FTQ), (418)
962-2041; Robert Bellavance, USW/Syndicat des Métallos (FTQ) - Local 9344,
(418) 962-9344

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