Bloomberg News

Rio Tinto Locks Out Union Workers at Quebec Aluminum Smelter

January 01, 2012

Jan. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Rio Tinto Group, the world’s third- largest mining company, locked out unionized workers at a Canadian aluminum smelter and said other staff would continue its operations.

The 755 workers at its Alma smelter in the province of Quebec rejected the company’s final offer for a new labor contract and the old agreement lapsed at midnight, the London- based company said in a statement. The Alma smelter produces 438,000 tons a year of aluminum.

“Every effort has been made to reach an agreement in the best interests of employees, customers and the business,” the company’s statement said. “We will work to limit the labor disruption’s impact” on customers.

The company earlier had managers take over the facility’s operations and asked employees to leave, Bryan Tucker, a company spokesman in Montreal, wrote in a Dec. 31 e-mail.

--Editors: Joe Sabo, Christian Thompson.

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Quinn in Ottawa at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at

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