1 October, 2013320 workers locked out since June 2013 at the Kronos Canada Inc. factory in Varennes, Québec, gathered together with their families on 20 of September 2013 to denounce once again the intransigence of their employer.
The locked-out workers are represented by the IndustriALL Canadian affiliate Fédération de l’Industrie Manufacturière de la Confédération des Syndicats Nationaux - FIM-CSN. Despite the union’s readiness to discuss controversial issues the employer remains stubbornly resistant on many of its initial positions including the massive use of a subcontracted workforce, elimination of 30 per cent of the jobs, serious changes in the work schedule, overtime work and restructuring of the workforce, destruction of the pension system, and the weakening of trade union freedoms.
Brian Kohler, IndustriALL Global Union’s Contact for North America region addressed the gathering with a speech of support and admiration for the courageous struggle of Kronos workers and their families. The message of support from IndustriALL was especially appreciated in the light of the slow pace of negotiations with the Kronos management despite facilitation by a conciliator since the beginning of the lockout.
"We fully support your struggle”, said Brian Kohler. “IndustriALL’s large family says ‘no’ to the attacks of Kronos against the living standards of workers in Quebec. Shame on Kronos for laughing in your face, mocking your families, your community and your history. As an organization, we are ready to provide you with all possible support in this conflict."
Welcoming the international support, Alain Lampron, President of FIM-CSN said, "The battle for the locked-out Kronos workers today takes another form, our struggle is extending to the international level. Union members in other countries understand the importance of the issues at stake and their impacts on other sectors, no matter in what corner of the world they are."
Despite the lockout, Kronos Canada still continues production by resorting to the work of managers, routinely accompanied by security guards. The locked-out workers are bound by various injunctions, including a limitation of the number of pickets near the factory.
Kronos Canada, Inc., is a subsidiary of Kronos Worldwide, Inc. engaged in the production and marketing of titanium dioxide pigments (TiO2) primarily in Europe and North America.