Late-night deal heads off strike at Rio Tinto’s Kiti­mat smelter

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS -

KITI­MAT, B.C. — Rio Tinto and its union­ized work­ers at the com­pany’s alu­minum smelter in Kiti­mat, B.C., say they have reached a ten­ta­tive con­tract to nar­rowly avert a strike.

The two sides say the pact was reached overnight, just as the pre­vi­ous five-year agree­ment ex­pired.

De­tails won’t be re­leased un­til mem­bers of Uni­for Lo­cal 2301 hold rat­i­fi­ca­tion votes later this week, but the union’s bar­gain­ing com­mit­tee is rec­om­mend­ing ac­cep­tance.

Nine hun­dred work­ers at the huge smelter, about 650 kilo­me­tres north­west of Van­cou­ver, voted over­whelm­ingly in favour of job action ear­lier this month.

At the time, the union called on Rio Tinto to re­move con­ces­sion de­mands and deal with key is­sues in­clud­ing wages, pen­sion, ben­e­fits and con­tract lan­guage.

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