Quebec labour minister worried about economic fallout of ArcelorMittal strike

Quebec Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity Jean Boulet responds to reporters questions during a news conference. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Quebec’s Labour Minister says he is concerned about the economic repercussions of a strike involving 2,500 ArcelorMittal workers announced Monday evening.

Jean Boulet said Tuesday in a statement a prolonged strike could have a significant impact on the Côte-Nord region and the province’s economy.

The 2,500 unionized workers are members of the United Steelworkers union and are affiliated with the Quebec Federation of Labour; they went on strike Monday evening after rejecting the employer’s offer.

Workers had already rejected a previous offer in April, after a tentative agreement.

READ MORE: Strikes to affect Quebec CEGEPs starting Tuesday

The workers are employed at several of the company’s work sites including the Mont-Wright mining complex and Fire Lake mine in the Côte-Nord region, and at a pelletizing plant in Port-Cartier, Que., about 575 kilometres northeast of Quebec City.

Story continues below advertisement

Boulet urged both sides to return to the negotiating table with conciliators from the Labour Department.

The company said in a statement today it is ready to return to talks.

Nicolas Lapierre, regional coordinator of the United Steelworkers, said today in a statement he was ready to return to the negotiating table too, but invited ArcelorMittal to improve its offer, as members had already rejected two offers — the last one was rejected by 97 per cent of voting members.

Sponsored content