Quebec’s ArcelorMittal workers locked out

Union claims lockout linked to pension plan
||Last Updated: 08/08/2014

Quebec’s Métallos union said the lockout of 300 workers at the ArcelorMittal plant is “revolting.”

According to the union, management at the Contrecoeur-based plant ignored its attempts to negotiate in an effort to prevent the lockout.

The lockout began on Aug. 6, despite “a number of negotiations and proposals initiated by the unions,” according to a release issued by Métallos Local 6951.

Métallos — part of United Steelworkers union — claims the company’s pension plan is behind the dispute.

“Whatever our proposals, the employer rejected them one by one,” said union representative Guy Gaudette. “They are not there to negotiate, but to impose their positions.”

According to the union, management at ArcelorMittal seeks to install a defined contribution plan for both younger workers and future employees. The union also reported the pension amount for employees in the new plan would depend on the company’s future performance.

More than half of the 262 workers represented by Local 6951 voted against the contract. In addition to the pension plan, the union cited insufficient wage increases as a major problem with the proposed contract.

Workers were locked out shortly afterward.

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