TORONTO, June 1 /CNW/ - United Steelworkers' (USW) National Director
Ken Neumann said Friday the announcement by Stelco that it is engaged in a
'strategic review' is a cause for concern for the union, so soon after the
struggle to save the company, its workforce and its retirees' pensions during
the protracted restructuring process.
"Our goals with respect to our members' and retirees' interests have not
changed," said Neumann. "If this review results in a sale or a merger, we
expect to be involved in making sure that no action is taken on the backs of
workers and retirees."
Neumann said a company statement following a story in Friday's Globe and
Mail does little to dispel the speculation that Stelco is already up for sale
or soon will be.
"Every indication is that Stelco is getting ready to entertain bidders,"
said Neumann, adding that, if other recent steel company selloffs are a
precedent, Stelco will no longer be a Canadian company.
"This could well be another blow to Canada's industrial base," he said.
"Foreign takeovers in mining, steel and other industries are turning Canada
into a cash cow for global interests. Where does all this leave Canadian
Neumann said that, whatever the future holds for the company, the union
expects any owner or owners to live up to the following commitments:
1. Respect for our members, our union and our collective agreements;
2. Honour all obligations with respect to benefits and pensions for
active and retired workers;
3. Commit to the full and effective utilization, training and
development of the existing workforce, rather than the use of outside
4. No erosion of the union's involvement and significant workplace role
in health, safety and the environment;
5. Commit to continued operation of all facilities and to substantial
reinvestment in all operations;
6. Full and immediate disclosure of corporate plans and of potential
community, employment and environmental impacts of any corporate
7. Respect for the voice of workers and commitment to union-management
dialogue, including a forum that incorporates local union leadership;
8. Union involvement in any sale of the company.
"Our mission and responsibility is to protect workers and retirees
regardless of ownership," said Neumann.
For further information:
For further information: Ken Neumann, (416) 487-1571, (416) 558-2510