Strike Threatened As Contract Talks Continue at Kitimat Smelter
CAW 2301 members vote in favour of strike
A work stoppage is being threatened at Kitimat's aluminum smelter as the company and union disagree over terms of a new contract.
The Canadian Autoworkers Union, which represents 1150 workers at Rio Tinto Alcan's Kitimat smelter, said Friday it planned to serve 72-hour strike notice before midnight.
Local 2301 President Rick Belmont said the workers were handed a notice of lockout by the company and had no choice but to respond with strike notice.
CAW members have voted 96% in favour of a strike to back their demands.
Belmont says most of the discussions revolved around job security, not only for current members but also for future employees.
Rio Tinto Alcan spokeperson Colleen Nyce says issuing lockout and strike notice is standard practice during negotiations.
According to Nyce, RTA issued the lockout notice as a way of protecting the company's assets.
She said the two sides will be at the bargaining table through the weekend and she was confident they would reach a deal before the current contract expires on Monday.