Rio Tinto smelter workers go on strike in Kitimat, B.C.
KITIMAT, BC – Approximately 900 Rio Tinto workers at the company’s aluminum smelters in Kitimat, BC have gone on strike. The strike started one minute after midnight today.
KITIMAT, BC – Approximately 900 Rio Tinto workers at the company’s aluminum smelters in Kitimat, BC have gone on strike.
The strike started one minute after midnight today. Unifor Local 2301, which represents the workers, had announced a 72-hour strike after almost seven weeks of negotiations.
Jerry Dias, national president of Unifor, says the strike amounts to what he calls “Rio Tinto’s greed and lack of respect” for union members who work in the Kitimat smelters.
The union says it proposed the first changes in employee retirement income and benefit levels in more than a decade, including moving younger workers to defined contribution pension plans.
It is also said that negotiations have focused on a backlog of more than 300 complaints resulting from the company’s use of contractors and its refusal to hire full-time workers.
Negotiations continued until the strike date and the company had previously stated that it was “obliged to work with the union to achieve a mutually beneficial result”.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 25, 2021.
The Canadian press