Unifor aluminum sector workers from Quebec and British Columbia joined forces in a two-day Parliament Hill blitz to urge MPs to take action to remove a punitive tariff imposed on exports to the United States by the Trump administration.
"The duties are based on false claims that Canadian aluminum is a threat to U.S. security," said Unifor Québec Director Renaud Gagné. "We're worried about our jobs. Secondary and tertiary processing companies are particularly vulnerable as they lack the necessary financial resources to absorb the cost of these tariffs."
Gagné and Unifor Western Regional Director Joie Warnock joined members from Locals 2301 and 1937 to meet MPs and political stakeholders in more than 50 meetings held in Ottawa on November 7 and November 8.
"The elected officials we've met with have been very receptive. They seem to have a clear understanding of what's at stake with these tariffs. These are good jobs in regions that badly need them," said Alain Gagnon, President of Local 1937.
The aluminum lobby delegates met both government and opposition MPs to demand the full removal of U.S. aluminum tariffs on current Canadian exports without any quantity restrictions or limitations on Canadian export growth.
“In order to protect the jobs and the workers it’s key that any resolution of this issue does not include conditions that will restrict future investment or growth in the aluminum sector,” said Martin McIlwrath, President of Local 2301.
The aluminum lobby took place immediately after a midterm election that changed the U.S. political landscape as the Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives.
“In our meetings we’ve urged MPs to renew action as the political change in the U.S. provides a fresh opportunity to end all of the unjust tariffs that have been imposed, including those on aluminum, steel and softwood lumber,” said Warnock. “Unifor has made it clear that we will back all necessary measures to defend the interests of Canadian workers.”
For more information and to view a video on the devastating affect that these tariffs are having on Canadian aluminum workers visit unifor.org/stoptrumptariffs.