Complaint for strike-breakers to the ABI

Plainte pour briseurs de grève à l'ABI

Bécancour — The Steelworkers Union has filed Monday a request to the administrative Tribunal of the work to stop the use of strike-breakers at the ABI. A process that occurs at the same time as the special mediator Lucien Bouchard tries to bring the parties and that the employer is to prepare a new proposal.

Following a survey carried out on 24th April last by the department of Labor, accompanied by union representatives, the union has found the presence of four persons who carried out the work normally performed by workers in a lock-out or replacing personnel assigned to the work of union members.

The union considers that it is only the tip of the iceberg because during a first visit, a certain period of time elapses between the arrival of the investigation team and its entry into the plant, due to the viewing of a safety video. By doing this, this gives a chance to the representatives of the employer to cover their tracks, reports the union.

“We ask an order of the administrative Tribunal of the job to ensure that the company ceases to use the services of these four people specifically, and that it is not a violation of general provisions anti-scab labour Code. It was a first inspection, that ABI is told to take, there will be other, with the deadline for entry faster,” explains the president of the local section 9700, Clement Mass.

On the side of the management of the company, it intends to submit its representations to the Court to contest these allegations. “We operate in accordance with the provisions of the labour Code,” said communications adviser at the ABI, Sara Dubé.

During a labour dispute, only the executives hired prior to the start of the negotiations, namely the August 25, 2017, are authorized to perform the tasks normally carried out by unionized workers.

Note that, in normal times, more than 1,200 unionized workers and managers are used to operate the three sets of vessels of the plant. At the present time, with a series of tanks in operation, only less than 145 executives are allowed to work in production, in place of the union workers locked out.

“We do not see how the plant might operate at a third of its capacity with 12 % of staff, if it does not use strike-breakers. The conflict is already uneven with the scandal of the electricity unpaid, the use of strike-breakers adds to the imbalance of forces,” adds Clement Mass.

According to him, to this day, Hydro-Quebec has been deprived of income of $ 66 million due to the lock-out declared on 11 January, unilaterally by Alcoa and Rio Tinto. In normal circumstances, the ABI would have had to pay the whole block of energy that is reserved, but it refers to a case of “force majeure” to escape its obligations.

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