CAW 2301 Delegation to Meet With Alma Union Representatives


CAW 2301 Delegation to Meet With Alma Union Representatives

As you may already be aware, Rio Tinto Alcan has locked out its workers at its Alma, QC smelter after the employer’s final offer, ahead of the December 31, 2011, contract expiry date, was overwhelmingly rejected by the Alma workers.

The workers at the Alma smelter are represented by the United Steelworkers. Although there has been some tension in the past between the CAW and the Steelworkers in the region recent initiatives by your local Executive have actually resulted in a new co-operative relationship being forged between CAW and Steelworkers leadership who work for our common employer, Rio Tinto Alcan. The timing couldn’t be any better!

Your Union Executive and the Union Hall have been inundated with questions and calls from members concerned about the situation in Quebec and wanting to know the details behind the dispute, particularly as this is a bargaining year.

To this end, your President, Ed Abreu, has been in contact with CAW liaisons in Quebec and has arranged for meetings to be held between a delegation from CAW 2301 and Alma representatives. These meetings are scheduled for the end of next week – January 19th and 20th in Alma - and the result should be a full understanding of the issues surrounding the lockout situation in Alma.

The CAW 2301 delegation will also be joining Alma workers on the picket-line as a show of solidarity with our Quebec Brothers and Sisters but also as a show of strength in order to send a clear message to Rio Tinto Alcan that Canadian smelter workers are united across the country.

The message to Rio Tinto Alcan will be: That any attempts to undermine the integrity of the bargaining unit by replacing retired workers with contractors to work alongside regular members or any other scheme to further erode the bargaining unit through contracting out will be resisted as fiercely here in Kitimat as in Quebec.

A full report from the delegation’s meetings with Alma union leadership will be presented shortly after the delegation’s return at the January membership meeting.

A quick update on bargaining: The Bargaining Committee has already begun to meet and plan strategies for this year’s negotiations. Bargaining Questionnaires will be distributed to the membership this week.

Fighting Back Makes A Difference!

Issued By: CAW Local 2301

January 12, 2012