TORONTO, Sept. 10, 2015 /CNW/ - U.S. Steel must be stopped from moving more jobs and production out of Canada, the United Steelworkers (USW) says.
"When is the federal government going to stand up to U.S. Steel and defend Canadian workers and pensioners?" asked Gary Howe, President of USW Local 1005 in Hamilton.
"From Day One this Conservative government has refused to hold U.S. Steel to its legal obligations to maintain jobs and production in Canada. Now the company is moving our highest-value production to the U.S. and this government is doing nothing in response," Howe said.
Though U.S. Steel Canada is under court-supervised bankruptcy protection, parent company U.S. Steel has decided to move production of high-value steel – produced for the auto industry – out of plants in Hamilton and Nanticoke.
U.S. Steel plans to move the production to its American facilities, over the objections of Canadian workers, pensioners, community leaders and the court-appointed bankruptcy protection monitor. The move will result in significant job cuts and millions in lost business for U.S. Steel's Canadian operations.
"Clearly, U.S. Steel has taken its cue from the Conservative government, that it can operate with impunity and break every commitment it has made to keep jobs and production in Canada," said Bill Ferguson, President of USW Local 8782 in Nanticoke.
"This has to stop now. Our government must compel U.S. Steel to live up to its commitments. We've been producing high-value steel for the auto industry for many, many years and this production must stay in Canada. Our communities deserve nothing less," said Rob Newstead, chair of the USW Local 8782 pickling division.
"Since U.S. Steel was allowed to take over Stelco in 2007, the Conservative government has enabled a shell game in which the company has moved production to the U.S. and slashed jobs in Canada," said USW Ontario Director Marty Warren.
"The Ontario government and a former Stelco president have come to the same conclusion, that U.S. Steel set up its Canadian operations to fail so that it could abandon its obligations to our workers, pensioners and communities," Warren noted.
"Thousands of Canadian workers and pensioners will suffer if U.S. Steel is allowed to continue on this path."
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: Gary Howe, President, USW Local 1005, 905-531-4078, email@example.com; Bill Ferguson, President, USW Local 8782, 905-537-8782, firstname.lastname@example.org; Marty Warren, USW Ontario Director, 416-243-8792, email@example.com; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, firstname.lastname@example.org