Aluminum unions form global network

MONTREAL – Pledging “our full support to help other unions across the globe that represent workers in the aluminum industry when they are in need of our solidarity,” 160 delegates from 17 nations at the International Metalworkers Federation (IMF) World Aluminum conference addressed growing dangers being posed by global aluminum corporations Oct. 6. At the conference, co-chaired by IMF General Secretary Marcello Malentacchi and United Steelworkers of America President Leo W. Gerard, the unions resolved to create an Aluminum Industry Working Group and IMF Global Company Councils.

“We’ve succeeded in creating a network of unions pledged to global solidarity in the aluminum industry,” said the USWA’s Gerard. “That means that if violations by any company result in a union losing its right to representation or having that right undermined, then unions across the globe are going to challenge that company’s oppressive approach to labor relations.”

American delegates to the IMF world conference expressed grave concerns about the impending purchase of Pechiney by Alcan, a company that has increasingly invested in the less developed world to the exclusion of U.S. and Canada, where the USWA represents the lion’s share of organized aluminum workers.