Resistance to Arrogant Actions of Glencore

A contingent of USW workers from Glencore travelled to Glencore's AGM in Switzerland, May 9, 2019 to protest attacks on their rights.

Glencore smelter workers gave ample notice that their strike in defence of their rights was to begin the evening of April 24. Upon arriving for work in the morning of the strike, the global monopoly Glencore, without any notice, locked them out. The company began blocking workers from entering the plant without any official notice. This showed their intent to refuse to negotiate.

Refusing to negotiate and locking out workers when they refuse to accept the dictate of global monopoly is becoming a frequent tactic in attacking the rights of the working class. Global private empires, such as Glencore, use lockouts and state-organized attacks such as court injunctions to criminalize and intimidate workers and attempt to make them give up the just defence of their rights and well-being at work and in retirement, and their claim on what they produce which belongs to them by right.

The Belledune smelter workers, similar to others such as the ABI workers in Quebec, who have organized a grand solidarity march in Trois-Rivières for May 25, are facing these private global empires that have state-organized backing. Workers are finding they are not alone, isolated and without options in their struggle. They are organizing joint actions and reaching out to Canadians to find strength in numbers and to form the public opinion and solidarity they need to confront these global robber barons and their political representatives in government.

On May 9, a delegation of Glencore workers is in Zug, Switzerland on the occasion of the company's annual general meeting. The delegation is working with representatives of the IndustriALL Global Union, of which the United Steelworkers is an affiliate. Together the unions are expressing their opposition to the anti-worker dictate of the global oligopoly building unity with fellow workers. They will also participate in the annual general meeting to protest the company's attacks on their health, safety and rights and press Glencore's global executives to take a stand in favour of a negotiated collective agreement acceptable to the workers.

(Photos: USW District 6, WF)

This article was published in

Number 17 - May 9, 2019

Article Link:
Resistance to Arrogant Actions of Glencore


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