EDMONTON, Oct. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - Members of the United Steelworkers (USW)
Local 5220 have voted overwhelming in favor of strike action against
their employer, AltaSteel. The secret ballot vote was held on Thursday
October 10th 2013 immediately after the mandatory "fourteen-day cooling off period"
The company has made extreme demands regarding scheduling and attacking
seniority for long-time employees, as insisting on doing away with the
longstanding role of the union - thereby undercutting union
After several months of strained negotiations between the Steelworkers
and AltaSteel, an impasse was reached in late August followed by
mediation in September that was unproductive and did not get the
parties any closer to reaching a deal.
The USW says it's looking to achieve a fair agreement, while AltaSteel
looks for significant rollbacks. "There has never been such an
aggressive attack on our collective agreement by an employer in the
fifty plus year history of the Local," says Paul Perreault, President
of USW Local 5220.
Perreault hopes the employer takes the opportunity to reflect on the
path they have chosen at the bargaining table and added, "the voice of
the USW 5220 membership needs to be heard loud and clear".
The local union's bargaining committee first priority is reaching a fair
and equitable collective agreement for its members, an agreement that
is representative of the hard work that the members do day in and day
out for the company. The union is committed to continuing with
negotiations, but will not hesitate to exercise its strike mandate if
necessary, says Perreault.
USW District 3 Director Stephen Hunt says the entire union is standing
behind Local 5220. "When global companies attack the gains we have
made, our entire union stands shoulder to shoulder to protect the
strong quality of life our members have built for themselves and their
AltaSteel, formerly owned by Anglo American, was purchased by Australian
steel maker, One Steel in 2011, who became Arrium in July 2012. Arrium
is a world leader in the production of grinding media for the global
mining industry. AltaSteel product supplies many mining companies,
including Teck, Vale, Barrack Gold, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Paul Perreault, USW Local 5220 President, 780-405-6554 / 780-487-1141
Brad West, USW Communications, 604-754-1174 / 604-683-1117