HAMILTON, ON and NANTICOKE, ON, June 6, 2017 /CNW/ - United Steelworkers (USW) members at Stelco operations have ratified new collective agreements, key steps in the steelmaker's plan to emerge from nearly three years of bankruptcy protection.
"This has been a difficult and challenging process for thousands of workers and pensioners. While these agreements represent a step forward, there are still hurdles to overcome before Stelco's restructuring is completed," USW District 6 Director Marty Warren said.
Members of USW Local 1005, employed at Stelco's operations in Hamilton, voted today to ratify a collective agreement with U.S.-based Bedrock Industries. Members of USW Local 8782, employed at Stelco's operations in Nanticoke, ratified a collective agreement with Bedrock last Friday.
Ratification of the collective agreements was a key requirement for Bedrock to obtain court approval of its plan to purchase the former U.S. Steel Canada operations in Hamilton and Nanticoke that are now operating under their original name Stelco.
The new contracts maintain wages, benefits, pensions and other terms for 540 members of Local 1005 and 1,100 members of Local 8782. Health benefits will be restored for 800 pensioners from the Nanticoke plant, but approximately 15,000 pensioners and dependants from Local 1005 will receive only partial reinstatement of their benefits.
"These collective agreements are not perfect, however, our members have decided they are the best-possible option in a fundamentally unfair system that does not prioritize the interests of workers, pensioners and communities," Warren said.
While the new contracts signal a step forward for the Stelco restructuring, the USW will continue to fight for a sustainable Canadian steel industry and for legislation to protect workers and retirees in corporate bankruptcies, Warren added.
"We will fight to protect jobs, pensions and benefits for our members and for all Canadians affected by the steel crisis. We will continue to fight for bankruptcy legislation that puts workers and pensioners first," he said.
"Sadly, the federal Liberal government has picked up where the Conservatives left off, abandoning workers and pensioners affected by U.S. Steel's takeover of Stelco and the job cuts and insolvency that followed," he added.
"The Liberals refuse to end the dumping of illegally subsidized foreign steel in our country. They have offered no meaningful support to workers and pensioners affected by corporate insolvency cases at Stelco, at Essar Steel Algoma in Sault Ste. Marie and in so many other communities."
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: Marty Warren, USW District 6 Director, 416-243-8792; Tony DePaulo, Assistant to USW District 6 Director, 905-869-0760, [email protected]; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, [email protected]