Tuesday, August 24, 2021

MP Bachrach sends correspondence to Rio Tino Exec outlining concerns over ongoing labour dispute

With officials from UNIFOR and Rio Tinto set to explore the prospect of renewing their labour discussions this week, Skeena Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach has forwarded a letter to Ivan Vella the Chief Executive Aluminum at Rio Tinto outlining some of his concerns over the lack of progress in negotiations.

Workers at the Kitimat and Kemano locations left their duties on July 25th and have been on the picket line for over almost a month, with little forward momentum seen in negotiations, or even negotiations in recent weeks.

Towards that theme the MP has urged a return to the bargaining table, placing himself firmly on the side of the UNIFOR membership on the issue of using union employees on production activities over the use of contract labour and calling for the resolution of hundreds of outstanding grievances. 

Mr. Bachrach also calls attention to the success of the Rio Tinto facility in the Northwest and how the multi national company has benefited from the resources of the Northwest. 

The full text of his correspondence, which has also been relayed through the MP's social media streams can be reviewed below:

The ongoing labour dispute has been of concern both for the District of Kitimat and for local business in the Kitimat/Terrace area, with many expressing their fears that a long drawn out dispute could cause extensive harm to the local economy.

Company officials at Rio Tinto haven't had much to say on the dispute since they announced the reduction of smelter production in late July. At that time, the company had stated that they had proposed using an independent mediator in the dispute, a suggestion that they say was rejected by UNIOR local 2301.

The most recent correspondence from UNIFOR came on August 18th when union officials advised of the meetings planned for this week.

You can review some of the notes of the last mont of the dispute from our archive page here.

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