The members of the Bécancour Smelter reject the offers of employers

Les syndiqués de l’Aluminerie de Bécancour rejettent les offres patronales

Photo: Ryan Remiorz, The canadian Press
Gathered in Trois-Rivières, the workers of the smelter have rejected the offers of employers and the protocol for return-to-work 82%.

Locked out for 14 months, the members of the Bécancour Smelter have rejected on Monday the offers of employers and the protocol for return-to-work 82 %.

Gathered in Trois-Rivières for several hours, 829 union members — according to the official tally — deciding on the offer of management with a protocol of return-to-work aiming to put an end to the lockout.

The lockout of 1030 workers, members of the united Steelworkers, affiliated with the FTQ, had been decreed on January 11, 2018 at 3 o’clock in the morning, after they had rejected the bid… the final of the employer.

Of 1030 workers, it remains 926 active workers, the others having retired since the beginning of the lockout.

At the start of the conflict, the two main issues were the pension plan and the observance of the criterion of seniority in the movement of labor.

Exceptional fact, the management of ABI has announced publicly the contents of his offer, at least in part, by issuing a press release last Monday. She had explained her offer to pay, either in average 2,55 % increase per year. The contract of the proposed work would have a duration of six years. However, it remained silent on the pension plan — a key issue.

The directorate also asserted that his offer gave him “flexibility” as she wished and allowed him to increase productivity at the plant. Again, it was silent on the ways to achieve it.

Protocol return-to-work

The protocol return-to-work, which has been filed at the same time as the offer, could pose serious problems for members. It provided in effect an early return to work as of April 8, only. And this gradual return was to extend over a very long period of time, 10 months.

The president of local 9700 of the united Steelworkers union, the compassionate, the Mass, had said that the offer included “numerous concessions” in relation to the final offer of December 2017 that had been rejected by the workers — and that had led to the outbreak of the lockout. But, since then, its members have been on the street for 14 months.

Mr. Masse had not intended to say publicly whether it would recommend the offer to its members or whether it would remain neutral.

ABI is the property at 75 % of Alcoa and 25 % of Rio Tinto.

The Steelworkers union has about 60,000 members in Québec as a whole; it is affiliated with the FTQ, which has more than 600 000.