Company Attempts End Run Around Employee Severance Entitlements
CALGARY, May 14 /CNW/ - Shaw Pipe Protection, owned by the giant ShawCor Ltd., surprised United Steelworkers Local 5663 members with notices that its Barlow Trail facility will permanently cease coating and yard operations effective July 30, 2010.
At a meeting requested by the USW to discuss the facility's future, Shaw hand-delivered permanent closure notices to a small group of workers.
Shaw is requesting that workers sign an agreement - drafted unilaterally by the company - specifying terms of a severance agreement. The offer, linked to a lump-sum payment of $150,000 between about 30 workers, falls short of severance entitlements provided by Alberta's Labour Relations Code.
Shaw wants employees and their union to release the company of any further liability related to the permanent layoffs.
USW Area Supervisor Keith Turcotte says the union views the company's move as an attempt to do an end-run around dealing with employee severance in a comprehensive manner.
"A corporation of this size surely has the expertise to deal with workers in a fair way," says Turcotte. "We believe it can properly deal with all the legal implications related to the closure."
"Six weeks ago our union requested a meeting to discuss the future of the Barlow Trail facility. We thought Shaw would share details of a plan for a future," adds Turcotte. "Instead they made the permanent closure announcement."
"Some of our senior members have 30 to 40 years with this company. They have been loyal, hard working individuals. They deserve better treatment than this."
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: For further information: Keith Turcotte, United Steelworkers Area Supervisor, (403) 279-9397