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Relocation: No job losses according to Rio Tinto

Relocation: No job losses according to Rio Tinto

Pre-cooked tank rooms at the Arvida aluminum smelter in Saguenay will begin in April, but Rio Tinto does not expect any job losses.

This dismantling will take place gradually until 2028 to make way for the new AP-60 technology. The multinational company initially had until 2025 to make this happen, according to a government decree. But it was able to reach an agreement with Quebec to obtain an extension until 2028.

“There are workers and their families who need to know what the future holds for them. That's why we've been talking with the Quebec government for months to ensure a harmonious transition,” explained Stephanie Gignac, Rio Tinto's Quebec operations director.

The National Union of Arvida Aluminum Employees is comfortable with how the transformation has happened. Large-scale layoffs will be avoided. President Donat Persson agreed, saying: “That was part of our requests that we made to the government to allow us to move forward with this, because the closure in 2025 will have a greater impact.”

The 225 affected employees will be reassigned elsewhere to the Complexe Jonquière facilities. Others will also be trained in the new AP-60 technology. But it will be implemented with fewer workers.

Rio Tinto and the union believe that there will be no layoffs and believe that it will be possible to direct employees to other activities. However, voluntary departure or retirement may not be filled out.

The first AP-60 tank should be operational from 2026.