Unifor Local 2301 has claimed victory on the issue of mandatory overtime at the smelter in Kitimat.
The issue went to an arbitrator and he ruled that indeed Rio Tinto Alcan violated the collective agreement by forcing unionized workers to work what the union claims is excessive overtime.
The arbitrator ruled the company failed to arrange staffing and operations in a manner that would have kept overtime to a minimum.
Union president Sean O’Driscoll says the decision vindicated the union in a fight that has stretched over a year.e says the company didn’t boost the
He says the company didn’t boost the number of workers in order to reduce the need for mandatory overtime, and the extra work, amounting to 12-hour shifts, put workers under undue stress and fatigue, which he says in an industrial setting is a recipe for accidents and even deaths.
O’Driscoll says the fight isn’t over just yet because the ruling only applies to workers at the wharf and mandatory overtime continues to plague other smelter workers.
He says the union will be using the ruling to continue the battle to end all mandatory overtime.