In Canada, Arcelor Mittal’s mining facility in Quebec has been on an indefinite strike since Monday. The cause of the strike is the high price of iron ore in the market, and the employees are looking forward to sharing the joy and hope for better treatment from the management.
The iron ore market is unprecedented
Iron ore prices on the market have indeed skyrocketed. After a year of sustained increases, the price per ton is now over $200 (USD), an unprecedented increase. China’s strong demand for steel has driven the price of its raw material, iron ore, skyrocketing. In addition, this is also due to the massive economic revitalization plan of the United States.
The current market is making mining companies not only very profitable, but also appreciating their share prices. This is the case of ArcelorMittal, which operates a large iron ore mining site on the northern coast of Quebec, including Mont Wright and Fire Lake, where the ore is characterized by high grade, iron ore concentrate with up to 66% iron content. Therefore, the market price is also more expensive.
Unions fight for the treatment of employees
In this context, the employees of this mining and processing site of the ArcelorMittal Group in Quebec demanded to have the expensive iron prices reflected in their wages or pensions. After weeks of negotiations, no consensus was reached between management and labor. The proposal put forward by the management failed to satisfy the union. The union argued that the profits went to the pockets of the shareholders in London.
As a consequence of the breakdown of labor negotiations, 2,500 employees of the mining facility, which produces nearly 26 million tons of iron annually, have been on indefinite strike since Monday.