HAMILTON, ON, Nov. 15 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) announced
Thursday that its ongoing campaign among employees of Arcelor-Mittal (formerly
Dofasco) in Hamilton has recently moved into a more intense phase.
"Workers are coming to us in greater numbers than at any time in the last
year," said USW Ontario/Atlantic Director Wayne Fraser. "Our long-time
committee members inside the plants report a surge of interest in building a
true, independent voice for employees with our union."
Employees are telling USW organizers that recent Arcelor-Mittal actions
are angering many. They say layoffs, terminations and cost-cutting are being
initiated unfairly and without true, independent input from employees. Many
workers report concerns about their future.
"Arcelor-Mittal is one of the world's most profitable steel companies,
but the true test of any great company is in the way it treats its workers,"
The USW has been working with employees of the former Dofasco for years,
assisting many with difficult workplace issues, building support for
unionization and providing education about labour rights.
A recent posting on an internet chat forum run by Arcelor-Mittal workers
said, ". . .get the boys to the gates with the cards".
USW Hamilton Area Coordinator Tony Depaulo said, "I've been active in our
union in Hamilton for decades and I've never seen it like this over at the old
Dofasco. What workers want is a guarantee that their voices will be heard in
the decisions that affect them. And, make no mistake, it's likely there are
still plenty of changes to come."
The USW campaign for Dofasco employees continues, including employee
organizing committee meetings, mailings to employees and continued union card
signing in all plants.
Ironically, employees at all Mittal operations in North America, except
the former Dofasco, are members of the USW. USW President Leo Gerard describes
successful bargaining relationships with Mittal.
"We've had a few differences over issues from time to time, but we have
worked them out in a constructive and positive manner," said Gerard.
On April 13, officers of the United Steelworkers (USW) and the
Independent Steelworkers Union (ISU), representing 1,300 workers at Mittal
Steel Co.'s Weirton, West Virginia mill, signed a merger agreement. Members of
the ISU then voted 913 to 89 to merge with the USW.
In September, the International Metalworkers' Federation (IMF) sponsored
the first world conference of Arcelor Mittal and its trade unions from more
than 20 countries. The company and unions committed to a joint program of
education and training to raise health and safety standards throughout the
For further information:
For further information: Wayne Fraser, (416) 243-8792, (416) 577-4045;
Tony Depaulo, (905) 545-3008, ext.27, (905) 869-0760