Striking Arclin employees demand lower retirement age

Long hours at Quebec plant too strenuous for older workers: Union
||Last Updated: 04/01/2013

A group of striking employees at chemical manufacturer Arclin Canada are demanding a lower retirement age due to their long hours at work.

The workers at Arclin Canada, based in Sainte-Thérèse, Que., have been on strike since March 28 and are asking the company to lower the retirement age to 62 from the current age of 65.

Claireandrée Cauchy, a spokeswoman with the United Steelworkers, told the CBC the long hours are too strenuous for people in their 60s.

“People here work with really toxic products,” she said. “They have to lift really heavy weights. It's really hard for their health and they cannot afford to be working until they're 65.”

Some Arclin branches outside of Quebec allow retirement at 62, Cauchy added.

However, Martin Forest, manager of the Sainte-Thérèse plant, said the factory is safe and employees shouldn’t worry, adding the company recently invested in automated equipment to reduce the physical strain on workers.

He said he cannot release any details, but said the company is committed to finding a solution.

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