Building New Bridge With Domestic Steel a Victory for U.S. and Canadian Workers

TORONTO AND PITTSBURGH, June 15, 2012 /CNW/ - "Today's deal that guarantees Canadian and American steel will be used to build the new Windsor-Detroit bridge is a great victory. Our pressure on the politicians to do the right thing has paid off," says Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers (USW) National Director.

Today, Canada and the United States announced the deal to build a new bridge between Windsor and Detroit, our busiest border crossing.

Neumann and USW International President Leo W. Gerard have been lobbying Canadian Minister of Transport Denis Lebel and U.S. Transport Secretary Ray Lahood stressing the importance of sourcing steel for the project in the United States and Canada.

"It's gratifying that our efforts mean this bridge will be built using steel and other materials made right here at home, creating jobs for Canadian and American workers. Unlike the San Francisco Bay Bridge project, we can be proud of how this bridge will be built," said Gerard.

News reports state the deal for the $4-billion project includes sourcing rules around construction material for the bridge itself, and the approaches and customs plaza on the United States side of the bridge. Details on any sourcing rules for the Canadian customs plaza and approaches have not been clarified.

"Now we need Ottawa and Ontario to proudly say they are standing up for Canada. Now that there's a deal to build the bridge, we call on Stephen Harper and Dalton McGuinty to clearly say the Canadian-side infrastructure will be built with Canadian jobs and materials," said Neumann.

Canada is agreeing to put up $550 million for Michigan's costs for the road approaching the crossing. In exchange, Canada will collect Michigan's bridge tolls until the funds are recouped.

The USW represents about 850,000 working men and women in Canada and the United States in a wide variety of industries, ranging from glass making to mining, paper, steel, tire and rubber and other manufacturing environments, to the public sector, service and health care industries.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information:

Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers National Director, 416-544-5951
Bob Gallagher, United Steelworkers bgallagher@usw.ca 416-434-2221
Wayne Ranick, United Steelworkers wranick@usw.org 412-562-2444


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