HAMILTON, ON, March 19 /CNW/ - A new chapter in steel sector labour
relations is unfolding this week between the United Steelworkers (USW) and
Wayne Fraser, USW Ontario/Atlantic Director, said Wednesday that a new
understanding with the company in Hamilton is enabling employees to discuss
opportunities offered by USW collective bargaining.
"Dofasco employees will have the space to interact with the union, to
talk openly with USW representatives without opposition from ArcelorMittal,"
said Fraser. "If there is support for moving forward, they will then be able
to democratically elect a bargaining committee and negotiate with the company.
"We're confident that can result in a tentative contract. If it does,
employees will then vote on being represented by the Steelworkers under the
terms of the contract.
"This initiative is rooted in our union's firmly-established collective
bargaining relations with ArcelorMittal across Canada and the US."
Fraser said the USW and ArcelorMittal have developed a successful global
relationship built on extensive collective bargaining and mutual respect.
"The USW represents workers at almost every ArcelorMittal facility in
North America. That relationship is an important way to deal with the
challenges of the changing global steel industry. ArcelorMittal Dofasco
employees now have an open opportunity to choose to be part of that
"This process is open, inclusive and democratic," he said. "Over the next
few weeks we will hear from as many employees as possible about what they want
to see protected and what they want to see enhanced at work."
Fraser said the USW will ensure traditional democratic labour rights
exist in any eventual collective agreement with ArcelorMittal Dofasco. At this
point, the process has no firm completion date but that the next few weeks
will be important.
"Our union is soon starting important collective bargaining with
ArcelorMittal in other locations," he said. "We believe we can chart a path
for a made-in-Hamilton collective agreement with our overall relationship with
the company as a strong foundation. But it will be up to Dofasco employees, at
every step of the way."
For further information:
For further information: Wayne Fraser, (416) 243-8792 or (416) 577-4045;
Pat Van Horne, (416) 544-5990 or (416) 347-0217