$5,000 donation from Local 1944 to support locked-out ABI workers

November 30, 2018 - During the District 5 Conference, Local 1944 was proud to make a $5,000 donation to the locked-out ABI workers from USW Local 9700.

Background information on ABI

The ABI aluminum smelter workers in Bécancour, QC, have been locked out of their jobs since January 11, 2018. The Local Union, along with the United Steelworkers, has made every possible attempt to come to an agreement on key outstanding issues such as seniority rights and pension funding, which would have been easily reachable if Alcoa and Rio Tinto, co-owners of the ABI smelter, had been open to discussions.

Instead of trying to negotiate fairly, Alcoa and Rio Tinto made demands for concessions, including workforce cuts and an increase in contracting out.

“This disgraceful lockout is an affront not only to the 1,030 locked-out ABI workers and their families, but to union members across Quebec,” said District 5 Director Alain Croteau.

“The government of Quebec must put an end to these hydro contracts that equate lockouts of working people to ‘Acts of God.’ A lockout is a deliberate decision by an employer to force workers to accept lower working and living standards,” said Daniel Boyer, President of the Quebec Federation of Labour.

Solidarity with ABI workers

Our delegates at the District 5 Conference witnessed incredible generosity and solidarity from dozens of Locals in support of the locked-out ABI workers, leading to about $165,000 in donations – in addition to multiple recurrent contributions. Clément Masse, President of USW Local 9700, expressed his gratitude. The proceeds will go to Local 9700’s strike fund and will enable the ABI workers to keep fighting for their rights.

Take a look at pictures from the District 5 Conference here. The conference was held in La Malbaie, QC, from November 21 to 23, 2018, under the theme “Strength. Solidarity. Respect.”

In Solidarity,

USW Local 1944