| March 8
March 8 A 3-1/2-week strike at Noranda Income
Fund's zinc processing facility in Quebec is showing
no signs of ending, union officials said on Wednesday, with no
talks set between workers and management.
The two sides met with a Quebec government-appointed
mediator last Friday but no progress was made in settling a
dispute over pension cuts and no further meetings arranged,
United Steelworkers of America Local 6486 President Manon
"The company is staying in its position and so are we," he
said in an interview.
The Friday meeting was the only time the two sides had met
since the strike began on Feb. 12, she said.
Officials at the Noranda Income Fund as well as Glencore
Canada, which indirectly owns 25 percent of the fund,
did not respond to a request for comment.
The market is keeping a close eye on the strike as zinc
prices have more than doubled since the beginning of last year
due to a shortage tied to mine closures and shutdowns. The price
of zinc gained 0.6 percent to $2,710 a tonne on
At the same time, spot treatment charges, which zinc
smelters are paid for processing and refining concentrate, are
near historic lows.
The plant, located at Salaberry-de-Valleyfield in Quebec, is
the biggest zinc processing facility in eastern North America.
Noranda said last week that the processing facility had
resumed partial production but did not give details.
Castonguay said the plant was likely producing at less than
25 percent of normal capacity.
The plant's 371 unionized workers walked off the job after
the two sides could not agree on proposed pension plan changes
in a new collective bargaining agreement. The previous agreement
expired on Nov. 30.
Noranda units were up 1 Canadian cent at C$1.57 on the
Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday afternoon. Year-to-date, the
units have lost 34 percent of their value.
(Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Bil