Posted: Wednesday, 14 March 2012 http://www.canadianlabour.ca
First it was Vale-Inco in Sudbury. Then it was Caterpillar in London. Now, workers are under attack in another community: this time at the hands of corporate giant Rio Tinto in Alma, Quebec.
Alma has one of the world’s best, most modern and lowest cost aluminum smelters. Despite earning $20 billion in the past two years, Rio Tinto wants workers there to give them a deal that would see every (full-time, unionized) job that opens up through retirement filled with a non-union contract worker at half the wage with no benefits.
The workers said no. Now all 780 of them are out on the street – locked out of their jobs since December 31st by Rio Tinto because it wants to squeeze every dollar it can out of Alma and won’t take no for an answer.
It’s just the latest example of how Canada’s middle-class workforce is being squeezed to provide international big businesses with larger profits at the expense of our families and our future.
Not only would Rio Tinto’s demands result in the end of the union, it would devastate Alma, robbing the community of local purchasing power and tax revenues. It would also sell out the next generation of workers as well as the local small businesses and service-providers who depend on the good jobs that smelter can afford to provide.
On March 31st, workers from across Canada and around the world are coming to Alma to support the 780 locked-out members of Steelworkers Local 9490 – read the details here.
If you can’t go to Alma, show your solidarity with these workers by signing their petition and joining their Facebook group. Letters of support are also welcome and should be sent to Local 9490 at email@example.com with a copy sent to firstname.lastname@example.org