USW, Bedrock Industries to begin contract talks for reopening Quebec facility

Restart of Pointe-Noire Pellet Plant proposed

The United Steelworkers (USW) and Bedrock Industries agreed on Feb. 18 to begin discussions to reach a new collective agreement for workers at the Pointe-Noire, Que., iron ore pellet plant, with a view to restarting the idled facility.

“Bedrock Industries has informed us of its intention to relaunch the plant and its desire to negotiate a collective agreement,” said Nicolas Lapierre, USW coordinator for Quebec’s North Shore region. “This is great news for the community. We will make every effort to ensure that the conditions are right for the plant’s reopening.”

The Pointe-Noire pellet plant, which previously employed members of the USW, was closed in June 2013. A few months later in 2014, Cliffs Natural Resources filed for bankruptcy protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, said the union.

Discussions on the proposed buyout and reopening of the pellet plant are now underway between Bedrock Industries and the Société ferroviaire et portuaires de Pointe-Noire, which currently owns the facility, said USW.

The USW/Syndicat des Métallos is the largest private-sector union in Quebec, representing 60,000 workers in all sectors of the economy.

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