ROUYN-NORANDA, Quebec On May 7, unionized workers at NORANDA's Horne smelter voted 53.8% in favour of a new three-year collective agreement. About 550 members of Le syndicate des travailleurs de la Mine Noranda have been on strike since June 18, 2002.
The new agreement, which expires March 1, 2006, includes an average wage increase of nearly 10% over the life of the agreement. It also includes improvements to the benefits and pension programs and a provision for a special early-retirement plan. In addition, the agreement will allow for productivity gains and will assure more flexibility in the daily operations of the smelter.
A return to work protocol has been agreed to by the Company and the union, however, the scheduling of the return will be finalized over the next several days. Employees are expected to begin work in a few weeks.
In 2002, the Horne smelter treated 689,000 tonnes of material containing
copper, 44,700 tonnes of recycled precious metals and produced 147,020 tonnes
of copper anodes and 510,175 tonnes of sulphuric acid.