BATHURST, NB, July 25, 2014 /CNW/ - Resource giant Glencore should negotiate a fair deal with Brunswick Smelter employees rather than demand take-it-or-leave concessions from working families and the community, the United Steelworkers (USW) says.
"This is Glencore's first negotiations since it purchased the smelter last year. You would think they would treat employees, families and the community with fairness and respect," says Tony DePaulo, assistant to the USW's Atlantic Canada Director.
"Instead of seeking a fair settlement, Glencore has repeatedly demanded excessive concessions," DePaulo said. "The workers are ready to negotiate a fair deal and we call on Glencore to do the same."
USW Local 7085 represents about 300 workers at the Brunswick Smelter in Belledune. The workers voted Thursday to reject Glencore's contract demands to weaken pensions, health and safety standards, disability benefits and vacation pay, among other concessions.
Thursday's vote marked the second time that workers have rejected Glencore's concession-laden contract demands. The workers and company are in a strike/lockout position, on condition of 24-hour notice prior to any job action.
The union has no intention to strike at this point and believes a fair settlement is achievable, DePaulo said. The union has presented multiple proposals to Glencore to resolve the impasse and save millions at the smelter, he said.
"Working families and the community should not be held hostage by unreasonable demands and threats. We're calling on Glencore to return to the bargaining table so we can negotiate a reasonable settlement that is fair to everyone."
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Gary White, USW Staff Representative, (506) 546-8881, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony DePaulo, Assistant to USW District 6 Director, 905-869-0760, email@example.com