Rio Tinto, Alma workers reach tentative agreement

New agreement ends 6-month Quebec lockout

(Reuters) — A unit of Anglo-Australian mining company Rio Tinto said it has reached a tentative agreement with representatives of unionized workers at its Alma aluminum smelter in northern Quebec, where workers were locked out for six months.

The agreement would be presented to the employees during a general assembly to be held over the next few days, said Rio Tinto Alcan, a unit of Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto Alcan locked out workers at the 438,000 tonne-per-year smelter in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Que., on Jan. 1 after talks on a new contract broke down.

"The 780 locked-out workers, members of Steelworkers Local 9490, will review the tentative agreement and hold a ratification vote at a meeting later this week in Alma," United Steelworkers union said in a separate statement.

Union representatives will not be commenting on the tentative agreement, pending the membership meeting and ratification vote, a notice on the USW website said.

The discussions took place in the presence of a conciliation officer from Canada's Ministry of Labour, Rio Tinto Alcan said.

Latest stories