Alcoa, the multi-national aluminium giant is threatening to pull the plug on its huge contract with Hydro-Quebec because it wants to increase their electricity bill by 60%.
Alcoa has sent Hydro-Quebec a 12 month notice that says if the price increase is not brought down they'll close their plants in Bécancour, Baie-Comeau and Deschambault, which would lay off 3300 Quebecers.
“We have to think about the pressures that the Quebec government is under, it’s looking to Quebec Hydro for additional funding but in this case I would be more concerned about the jobs than I would be about squeezing money out of Quebec Hydro," Karl Moore, professor at McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management, said.
Alcoa is Hydro-Quebec's biggest customer with an electricity bill of close to 350 million per year.
They get a special rate of 3 cents per kWh because of a deal they set up when they brought their operations to Quebec.
Alcoa is giving Hydro-Quebec until January of 2015 before they pull the plug.
Employees at the Alcoa plants make close to $100 000.