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Globe labor deal ends Bécancour lockout

Dec 30, 2013 | 03:44 PM | Daniel Fitzgerald

Tags  Globe Specialty Metals, silicon metal, ferrosilicon, Unifor, Jeff Bradley, lockout, labor negotiations, Bécancour plant Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — Globe Specialty Metals Inc. expects to have its Quebec Silicon LP silicon metal plant in Bécancour, Quebec, back at full production by the end of the first quarter after reaching a new collective bargaining agreement with plant workers.

Members of Unifor Local 184, which represents 145 workers at Bécancour, ratified the new agreement Dec. 27, effectively ending a seven-month lockout (, May 3).

"The plant, which operated one of three furnaces during the lockout, will begin the process of ramping to full production on Jan. 3 and be at full production by the end of the first quarter of 2014," Globe said.

Contracted shipments to Canadian customers for the first six months of 2014 are "on pace to be the largest volume of domestic sales since at least the 1990s," the New York-based company said.

"This was made possible in large part by the decisions of the Canada Border Services Agency and Canadian International Trade Tribunal that have stopped unfairly traded imports of Chinese silicon metal in Canada, as well as the recognition by our union employees of the need to modernize and update the collective bargaining agreement to assure the plant’s future," Globe chief executive officer and chief operating officer Jeff Bradley said in a statement. "With the playing field level, we expect that this plant can and will compete in this market, and we are very pleased that our major Canadian customers have chosen to work with us at such significant levels."

Globe resumed negotiations with Unifor in September (, Sept. 25), with the company in November estimating lost earnings of $900,000 per month as a result of the lockout (, Nov. 5).

Globe is the majority stakeholder in the Bécancour facility, which has an annual capacity of 47,000 tonnes of silicon metal.

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