Alma, QC, Steelworkers Hailed as Heroes in International Labour Movement
The United Steelworkers (USW) and its global allies are hailing the end of Rio Tinto's six-month lockout of aluminum smelter workers in Alma, Quebec, as a great victory for the workers and their supporters around the world.
A collective agreement that will run to the end of 2015 was ratified Thursday by USW Local 9490 members by a wide margin. The ratification brings an end to the lockout of 780 Steelworkers imposed by Rio Tinto Alcan in late December.
The Alma Steelworkers are expected to return to work on an incremental basis over the next several weeks.
"We were forced to take on the third-largest mining company in the world and we won," said USW President Leo W. Gerard. "Many thought this was impossible, given the power imbalance, but we sent a message to the resource industry throughout the world that workers and their unions can take on huge multinational corporations to stop unjust demands ... more