Encouraging signs for some in the folder of the lockout, ABI

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BÉCANCOUR – The Steelworkers union, which represents employees lockoutés of the Bécancour Smelter (ABI), has cancelled a general meeting of 1,000 workers planned for Tuesday, in what may be a good omen.

This trade union meeting should not be more than an information session. No vote was the order of the day.

In an internal communication, the president of the union, Clement Mass indicates that “despite the fact that the negotiations to be arduous, we will continue discussions with the employer”. “In these circumstances, we have decided to cancel the general assembly.”

The member for Nicolet-Bécancour, Donald Martel, does not see this as a bad sign, quite the contrary. It notes with hope that the contact re-established last week between the parties, without the intervention of a conciliation officer or a mediator, is maintained.

“It is the interpretation that I make is that we had to meet. And it was known that they had met several days during the last week. For me it is an encouraging sign,” said Mr. Martel.

Jean-Guy Dubois, mayor of Bécancour, is also encouraged.

“In a horizon of three to four weeks we are living a pivotal moment, at the level of ABI,” said Mr. Dubois.

A source informed of the progress at the bargaining table, told TVA News that there was progress to the point where we now turn to the details of the collective agreement.

The union of the aluminum smelter continues at the same time to receive support as if the conflict were to continue. Having already offered a one-time grant, the 2500-union of Arcelor Mittal’s North Shore voted in aid, now a recurrent, nearly 9000 $ per week to lockoutés of Bécancour.

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The members of the Bécancour Smelter are in lock-out since 11 January 2018.