Lock-out at the ABI: the minister will appoint a special mediator

Lock-out à l'ABI: la ministre nommera un médiateur spécial

THREE-RIVERS — in The aftermath of the release of the mayors of the region requesting his intervention in the case of lock-out at the Smelter Béancour, the minister responsible for Labour, Dominique Vien, has expressed its intention to appoint a special mediator to resolve this impasse, checking already the availability of potential candidates.

This announcement was made on Thursday, in response to questions by the member for Nicolet-Bécancour, Donald Martel, who asked her if she was going to be more involved in the conflict, inviting herself to go with him to the factory to meet with the parties.

The president of local 9700 of the united Steelworkers Union, the compassionate, the Mass, spoke of a good news. “If the intervention of the mayors allowed to do that, so much the better”, he confided to the Novelist.

On the side of the enterprise, it recalls that “the objectives of the management of ABI continue to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the plant in order to ensure a sustainable future and prosperity”. “The management of ABI will work with the person appointed by the ministry of Labour when the parties return to the negotiating table,” said the communications advisor, Sarah Dubé.

The mayor of Bécancour, Jean-Guy Dubois, was pleased with the decision of the minister Vien. “Our goal is to find a way to make aluminum for 25 years in Bécancour. It is the spark that I was looking for. Mission accomplished,” said the one who believes it is important that the parties give themselves an opportunity to explain and measure the gap that separates them.

The blue room, the member of parliament Martel had criticised the minister Vien of not doing enough. “There are a couple of mediation meetings that took place, I myself have met with the parties. Now, I can announce to this House, is that I intend to appoint a special mediator”, she let it fall.

However, its response does not satisfy the representative caquiste. “I’m a little discouraged. It’s been 14 weeks and she is looking for a mediator. If I was the minister, it is sure that I would be a lot more aggressive. It does not do enough,” says the one who has not appreciated the attitude of the minister in the face of his questions.

During this time, the lockoutés of the Bécancour Smelter had taken the direction of Montreal by bus to participate in an event that was taking place in front of the headquarters of Alcoa in Montreal, and this, in the framework of the Week of the feeder association. In total, around one hundred young trade union activists of the FTQ and unionized workers, ABI has been distributing pamphlets on the lock-out declared by the multinational Alcoa and Rio Tinto Alcan. And if it all ended in front of the Place Ville-Marie, is that Alcoa owns 75 % of the shares of the Bécancour Smelter.

“Alcoa has attempted to play on the division between generations of workers, today and in the future. It is unacceptable to dive into the precariousness of 1030 families. It was important for the youth committee of the QFL to show solidarity in this action. We put employers on guard : the tactics of division are sterile. Intergenerational solidarity is only stronger,” argued the co-chair of the youth committee of the FTQ, Kathia Narcisse.

The protesters have pointed out that the war launched on 11 January focuses on the respect of the seniority in the movement of labor and the pension plan. The employer would fail to offer vacancies to the workers of the factory and recruit directly to the external. The local 9700 of the united Steelworkers Union and ABI do not agree on the funding of the pension plan.

“As young trade unionists, we believe in the importance of good pension plans and the respect of seniority. What are two factors of fairness to all generations,” adds the co-chair of the youth committee of the FTQ, Simon Richard.

On the leaflet distributed to passers-by in the subway, to the Central Station and in front of the Place Ville-Marie, you could as well read that the lock-out declared by Alcoa and Rio Tinto Alcan represents a shortfall of approximately $ 60 million for Hydro-Québec, at a rate of 604 474 $ per day.

“They’re all Quebecers and to all the women in Quebec who pay for the lock-out because that in invoking the event of force majeure”, ABI saves himself from the obligation to pay for the block of electricity reserved for it. It is an aberration of which the whole population must be aware”, has hammered Clement Mass.

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