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Globe Quebec lockout enters third month

Keywords: Tags  Globe Specialty Metals, Quebec Silicon LP, CEP, Rene Gauthier, lockout, silicon, ALan Kestenbaum, michael cowden

CHICAGO — A lockout at Globe Specialty Metals Inc.’s plant in Becancour, Quebec, has entered its third month and appears set to drag on as negotiations have stalled and nonunion workers are preparing for vacation, a union official said.

"What we see is that they want to completely stop (production) to permit salaried staff to take vacation this summer," René Gauthier, an official with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union (CEP), told AMM July 8.

The New York-based silicon metal producer did not respond to a request for comment.

Globe has stopped negotiating with the union, refusing to change any of its demands, Gauthier said. "They won’t move at all." He previously characterized concessions from the company as unacceptably steep (, May 31).

Globe locked out workers at its Quebec Silicon LP joint venture May 3 (, May 3) to "address high labor costs" and to make the Becancour facility’s cost structure comparable to that of other Globe operations, according to a company filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Quebec Silicon, which has an annual production capacity of 47,000 tonnes, has continued to produce from one of three furnaces at the plant using nonunion management staff (, May 7), although Gauthier has characterized production as "very limited."

Pursuing a lockout was a "simple" decision because there was "no benefit in running a plant that is marginally profitable but a consumer of (capital expenditure) cash," Globe executive chairman Alan Kestenbaum said during the company’s earnings conference call in May.

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