ABI management submits offer to end 14-month lockout at aluminum smelter

The management of the ABI aluminum smelter in Becancour, Que., has submitted a contract offer to end a nearly 14-month lockout.

The company says it submitted the offer it deemed ``final'' to end the labour dispute with 1,030 members of the United Steelworkers Union.

The union says it is analyzing the offer, but declined to comment or say if it will present it to members.

In a statement, the smelter's management says the proposed salary increases will exceed inflation which is projected to increase by an average of least 2.55 per cent annually over the proposed six-year collective agreement.

The offer doesn't foresee any layoffs and respects seniority, a key issue at the start of the dispute. However, ABI says its offer will provide flexibility by capturing the ongoing wave of retirements to improve productivity.

The company wants the offer to be voted on by March 18.