March 22 No meetings are planned between
management and striking workers at Noranda Income Fund's
zinc refinery in Quebec, the second biggest in North
America, a union official said on Wednesday, as the work
stoppage dragged through a sixth week.
The two sides last met, along with a mediator, on March 3
but failed to break an impasse over proposed changes to the
workers' pension plan in a new contract, said Manon Castonguay,
the president of United Steelworkers of America Local 6486.
A Quebec provincial court judge denied the union's March 15
request for an emergency injunction to halt the limited
production taking place at the plant, Castonguay said.
Plant management representatives did not respond to requests
The strike, which began Feb. 12, is being closely watched by
traders as prices for zinc, a metal used for galvanizing iron or
steel, continue to rise after surging 60 percent last year on
The union has accused NIF, in which global mining giant and
trader Glencore Plc has a 25 percent stake, of using
strikebreakers to operate the plant.
NIF has insisted it is using "eligible" staff like managers.
It has declined to say how much the plant is producing, but the
union, which represents 371 workers, has said it is likely below
25 percent of normal capacity.
The Quebec judge had denied the injunction request on
grounds it was not an emergency, Castonguay said, adding that
the union is proceeding with its legal action and that a court
date was set for May.
(Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Paul