On the Picket Line

Quebec Steelworkers on strike at Galvano plant win solidarity

By Philippe Tessier
October 14, 2019

SAINT-MATHIEU-DE-BELOEIL, Quebec — Chanting “15 years of concessions, enough with the humiliation” and “a 12-hour day, no way, it sickens us,” some 60 workers rallied in support of United Steelworkers Local 9414 members on strike at the Galvano plating plant here Sept. 26. Supporters came from Montreal, the Monteregie region, Becancour and as far as Sept-Iles.

The unionists have been on strike since July 9. They’re fighting against the bosses’ plan to impose mandatory 12-hour shifts. The plant currently operates on three 8-hour shifts Monday to Friday.

“We want to commend the strikers’ courage to say enough is enough,” said Eric Drolet, president of the United Steelworkers Local 9700 at ABI aluminum smelter in Becancour, told the rally. Workers there were locked out by the company for 18 months until reaching an agreement in July. Their local has pledged weekly financial contributions to the Galvano strikers.

Galvano is owned by the Chicago-based aerospace company Heico, which took control of the factory after the previous owners declared bankruptcy in 2004 and imposed concessions on pensions and health care coverage. The workers make galvanized copper parts and other products sold across the globe.

Messages of solidarity and donations can be sent to Syndicat des Metallos Local 9414, Fonds greve Galvano, 946 Boulevard d’Iberville, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu J2X 4A7.