Left Foot Forward | Published By Tony Burke The long running lock-out of members of the United Steelworkers union in Canada by Rio Tinto has been settled, with the union claiming victory based on global union solidarity.
The International president of the Steelworkers Leo Gerard hailed the settlement by saying:
“We faced the third-largest mining company in the world and we won.”
United Steelworkers members in Alma, Quebec, Canada were locked-out six months ago by the multi-national metals and mining giant Rio Tinto.
The Steelworkers appealed to the trade union movement across the globe and they took their fight to front door of Rio Tinto. They also ran a campaign to highlight Rio Tinto’s tainted involvement in London 2012.
Leo Gerard said:
“Many thought this was impossible, given the power imbalance, but we sent a message to the resource industry throughout the world that workers and their unions can take on huge multinational corporations to stop unjust demands.”
Daniel Roy, Steelworkers director in Quebec, said:
“The key to victory was the enormous solidarity shown by our members in Quebec who inspired trade unions across the globe to support them.”
“After union members around the world learned that our members were selflessly fighting to protect their community and future generations of workers, support and funds came pouring in.”
Steelworkers Local 9490 president Marc Maltais said:
“Our members and their families suffered for six long months but never wavered.”
“It began in the small town of Alma, but it became a defining labour struggle in Quebec, Canada, and around the world. Our members are walking back into the plant as heroes.”
Ken Neumann, USW Canadian national director, said:
“As they return to their jobs, our members will work to rebuild our relationship with Rio Tinto management.”
“The USW will continue working with unions around the world to demand that Rio Tinto respect workers’ and human rights and the environment. We know there will be new attacks by Rio Tinto on trade unions and communities. The Steelworkers will be there to help them resist Rio Tinto’s assaults.”
See article at Left Foot Forward.