About 1,000 workers at Quebec smelter locked out after rejecting contract

A key issue is company's intention to introduce a new-member funded pension plan.

BECANCOUR, Que. — Just over 1,000 workers at the ABI aluminum smelter in Becancour, Que., have reportedly been locked out after rejecting a contact offer.

The RDI television network says members of United Steelworkers Local 9700 were locked out overnight, less than 24 hours after they voted more than 80% to reject of the company’s latest contract offer.

Management, which had called the offer final, said it was disappointed with vote result and would assess its next steps.

After releasing the vote results, the union said it believed a settlement was possible and urged the company to resume bargaining to replace a five-year collective agreement that expired in November.

The union says the key issue in the dispute is a company plan to introduce a new member-funded pension plan instead of a defined plan.

The ABI smelter — about halfway between Montreal and Quebec City — is 75% owned by Alcoa and 25% by Rio Tinto Alcan.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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