The collective agreements of unions of port facilities, the Alma plant, Electrical Energy North and Roberval-Saguenay expire December 31st. 1200 workers in these unions are grouped together in a coalition that is negotiating the issues of pension and money funds with Rio Tinto Alcan. Local issues, including that of outsourcing, which was originally the 2012 conflict in Alma, are regulated in most unions. Only Electric Power North and white collar Usine Alma still have not concluded any agreement.
A second lockout in four years would be “a disaster”, as the Prefect of the MRC Lac-Saint-Jean-Est, André Paradis. “There are still businesses and employees who have not recovered from the lockout of 2012,” he notes.
André Paradis think it would be extremely difficult to live a new lockout. “In addition lockout dealer, should it also be a lockout at Rio Tinto Alcan, it would just churches to be locked out!”
The new president of the Business Development Corporation of Alma, Chantale Tremblay, trade Mercier says that businesses are in worse financial position in 2012.
“In terms of retail, we are always the first casualties after such an event. The economy is currently idle, then it is clear that no one is in position to have a second lockout. We try to be positive against by and remind people that there is not that Rio Tinto Alcan that sustains the region. ”
Alma Mayor Marc Asselin, believes the news seems better than in 2012. “What I have as information is that both parties want to negotiate. The discourse seems more flexible than in 2012. The economy is already difficult, we should not add a second lockout. We all have the same concern: nobody wants that to happen. ”
According to the president of the Chamber of Commerce, Keyven Ferland, “people do not comment on the reasons of the conflict, but rather on the fact that it would hurt. There are still scars 2012. By cons, our SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy. We must therefore continue to invest and buy local despite the possibility of a lockout. ”
“There are solutions that exist”
(KBM) – The president of the Union of Workers of the Alma aluminum, Alexandre Frechette believes that it is possible to conclude an agreement with Rio Tinto Alcan. “There are solutions out there, you just sit together.”
Fifty percent of RTA employees in the region are united in the coalition that is negotiating with the employer.
“The employer appears to envisage the lockout, it seems that he will put us in the street, but on our side we repeat: we must negotiate. We think we better do it before a conflict “expresses Alexandre Frechette, which affirms that” it is not a question of a strike. ”
Conciliation meetings were held in recent weeks and more are planned, but the two sides refused to disclose the timetable.
Alexandre Frechette appreciated the output PQ Alexandre Cloutier Member of the Press Circle. Mr. Cloutier said want an agreement, but especially asked how far the region was ready to go in terms of reduction in the number of employees in exchange for the same charges to the company.
“The lockout in 2012 cost $ 130 million Quebecers, or the annual budget of the Ministry of the Environment! (…) We went from almost 15 000 jobs, 12 000 to 10 000, 9000, 7000, 5000, and there was a little more than 2000. (…) There is a societal choice that was made to leave the production of electricity in exchange for aluminum production and quality job creation, “said the member for Lac-Saint-Jean on Wednesday.
“Finally a regional politician has broken the omerta, Mr. Fréchette said in a telephone interview yesterday. We are really happy to hear Alexandre Cloutier say what we’ve been saying: RTA receives enormous benefits, so we must withdraw in return our cake. ”