The steel beam mill: we want it now! - A caravan of solidarity on the Steel Highway



    CONTRECOEUR, QC, June 19 /CNW Telbec/ - A Steelworkers caravan of
solidarity is currently on the move along the Steel Highway, or Route 30. It
will end at the administrative offices of ArcelorMittal in Contrecoeur, where
a petition will be delivered to Daniel Robert, Vice-President, Human
Resources. "ArcelorMittal promised us that it would build a steel beam mill.
It must keep its word. The fate of Québec's entire steel industry is at
stake", declared Daniel Roy, Québec Director of the United Steelworkers (FTQ).
    The Staff Representative, Pierre Arseneau, joined in, reaffirming the
determination of the union and its members. "The caravan of solidarity is
another component of our strategy," he explained. "Building a steel beam mill
is the logical thing to do. We need to be ready for the economic recovery, and
for infrastructure projects in particular."
    Claude Langlois, President of Local 6586, added that it was Québec that
had enabled this company to penetrate the North American market.
"ArcelorMittal has made hundreds of millions of dollars in profits thanks to
our facilities and our expertise. By way of thanks, it is closing our plants
one after the other, and reinvesting in Ontario!"

    Pressure on the federal government and on ArcelorMittal

    "The Québec government has undertaken to support the business recovery
project and has asked the management of ArcelorMittal to rescind its decision
to close the Contrecoeur plant. It is now the federal government's turn to get
involved. All we have heard from the Harper government is help for the
automotive and oil industries. It is time that it gave some thought to Québec.
Steelworks are essential to our industrial structure," Daniel Roy insisted.
    International solidarity actions aimed at ArcelorMittal's management will
intensify in the next few days. "Our international union is contacting
management directly, and the Luxemburgian, Italian, Belgian, Spanish, German,
Polish, Roumanian, Czech and French delegates of ArcelorMittal's European
Corporate Committee are intervening with the company's European branches."
    In December 2007, ArcelorMittal began restructuring its operations and
announced the closure of the rolling mills at Contrecoeur. In March 2008, the
company announced the closure of the wire drawing mill in Lachine and the loss
of 120 jobs. On April 7, 2009, it announced that the reduction plant would
shut its doors on April 18 for an indefinite period. The slab casting unit
will suffer the same fate on June 27, 2009 and 190 people will be laid off.
Fewer than 400 workers will be left at the Contrecoeur complex.




For further information:

For further information: Daniel Roy, United Steelworkers (FTQ), (514)
850-2240; Pierre Arseneau, United Steelworkers (FTQ), (514) 209-8488; Claude
Langlois, United Steelworkers (FTQ), Local 6586, (450) 517-2528


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