Negotiations Continue Between Rio Tinto And Labor Union At BC Works Aluminium Smelter

Negotiations Continue Between Rio Tinto And Labor Union At BC Works Aluminium Smelter

Negotiators for Rio Tinto Group and Unifor Local 2301 plan to strike up talks again next week over the prospect of a new collective agreement in hopes that it will end the strike that has now gone on for a month.

The parties were last at the negotiating table late last week, but no word of the results of that meeting have yet been released.

Workers of Local 2301 have been on strike since July 25, when the previous agreement expired. Local 2301 represents about 900 of the 1,050 employees at the site.

In a memo sent to employees, Rio Tinto said talks would continue after the weekend, but no other communication would take place until then.

“After the meeting held on August 12 and follow up conversations, Rio Tinto and Unifor Local 2301 have agreed to meet early next week in Vancouver with a view to assess the potential restart of negotiations between parties.”

The strike followed seven weeks of negotiations between labor and management. The issues involved include employee benefits and use of outside contractors, among several others. The union indicated that Rio Tinto was preparing to cut employee benefits, but Rio Tinto has denied that assertion.

Rio Tinto cut production at the plant by 35 percent last month in response to the strike and concerns about safe operation with a drop in manpower.