Latest News

New victory against mining giant Glencore’s anti-union practices

April 4, 2024

The Quebec Superior Court orders Labour Administrative Tribunal to consider all possible measures to reverse unlawful dismissal of security guards

MONTREAL – In the dispute over Glencore’s elimination of its Raglan Mine security the Superior Court has rejected the provincial labour administrative tribunal’s (Tribunal administratif du travail -TAT) previous decision, which had refused any possibility of reinstatement after the illegal dismissal of the security guards. Glencore had eliminated the security service positions after United Steelworkers union members refused the company’s proposed collective agreement.

In its 2022 decision, the labour tribunal had found that Glencore had illegally dismissed the security officers and that the multinational had indeed interfered in the union’s affairs and obstructed its activities. However, the tribunal did not order the reinstatement of the workers, instead leaving the parties to agree on another form of redress, adding that it could rule on this issue if necessary.

The Superior Court allowed the judicial review, which dealt solely with the issue of reinstatement, finding that the TAT had erred in the way it had set aside reinstatement as a remedy for the wrongs caused by the wrongful dismissal. The case will now return to the TAT to determine the appropriate remedy. 

“This is an important legal victory. It sends a clear signal to this multinational: Glencore can’t make a mockery of workers’ union rights by abolishing their jobs in retaliation for refusing an employer’s offer. It doesn’t work like that in Quebec, and even mining giants must respect Quebec laws. If Glencore hoped to get away with dragging the case through the courts, they underestimated the Steelworkers. We will support our members to the end against anti-union practices,” said United Steelworkers Quebec Director Dominic Lemieux.

Nicholas Marchand, president of the security officers’ local, is delighted with this victory in the long legal saga. He and his colleagues had been laid off in March 2021, a few days after a union meeting vote rejecting the employer’s collective agreement offer. Glencore had used the elimination of the security service as an excuse.

“It’s awful what Glencore has put us through since 2021, we’re happy with this new legal victory. It confirms that the law is on our side. We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, even if we know that Glencore can stretch this out in court for a long time yet. We’re lucky to be able to count on the United Steelworkers union, which won’t give up,” said Marchand. 

The employer has 30 days to seek permission to appeal the ruling. “We invite Glencore to behave as a good corporate citizen by respecting this ruling. Our members have already suffered too much from their anti-union practices,” said Lemieux.

Join our newsletter

Media Contact

Clairandrée Cauchy
USW Communications

Recent news

USW District 3 Logo

Bill 25 and “Rising Tide” Haida Title Lands Agreement a major step forward: Steelworkers

May 16, 2024 | Media Releases

The United Steelworkers union (USW) District 3 is committed to reconciliation with B.C. First Nations and supports Bill 25, Haida Nation Recognition Amendment Act, 2024. The “Rising Tide” Haida Title Lands Agreement is a major step forward. “We acknowledge our role in addressing the legacy of colonialism and we support the B.C. government doing the […]

Read More
Click to read the article about Bill 25 and “Rising Tide” Haida Title Lands Agreement a major step forward: Steelworkers
USW District 3 Logo

Canfor’s decision to not invest in Houston: a political move or economics?

May 15, 2024 | District 3 memo

To: BC Local Unions, BC Staff From: Scott Lunny, Jeff Bromley Last week, forestry company Canfor announced it was reneging on the corporation’s commitment to rebuild sawmill operations in Houston, BC. Canfor also took the opportunity to announce that the indefinite closure of Polar Sawmill in Bear Lake, BC, was now permanent and that hundreds […]

Read More
Click to read the article about Canfor’s decision to not invest in Houston: a political move or economics?