At ABI workers’ protest, USW officials accost and threaten WSWS supporters


At ABI workers’ protest, USW officials accost and threaten WSWS supporters

Laurent Lafrance

1 December 2018

United Steelworkers’ officials have responded angrily and aggressively to the World Socialist Web Site ’s exposure of their systematic isolation of the Aluminerie de Bécancour workers’ struggle, and their readiness to work with Alcoa and Quebec’s new rightwing-populist CAQ government to impose concessions and job cuts on the ABI workers.

Flanked by other supporters of the Steelworker (USW) bureaucracy, Dominic Lemieux, the assistant to the Quebec USW director, accosted and slandered WSWS supporters who were distributing a statement at last Wednesday’s demonstration of ABI workers in Montreal.

Entitled “The way forward for ABI workers: No concessions, no cuts in pensions or jobs! The struggle must be broadened!”, the statement warned that despite the ABI workers’ courage and militancy, their struggle is in “grave danger,” because of the rightwing corporatist policy of the Steelworkers union and the Quebec Federation of Labour (QFL).

With the aim of inciting workers against the WSWS supporters, Lemieux accused them of being in the pay of Alcoa and Rio Tinto and of seeking to weaken the ABI workers’ struggle by dividing the workers from their union.

In response, this WSWS reporter pointed to a section of the WSWS statement that noted the Steelworkers’ leadership has repeatedly declared its readiness to impose pension and job cuts. It reads: “According to USW Local 9700 President Clément Masse, the union had already agreed, even before the lockout began, to a new pension plan fully funded by workers. More recently, Dominic Lemieux, assistant to the Quebec director of the United Steelworkers, said the union is ‘open to job cuts” at…

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