U.S. Steel Hamilton Works Lockout to Begin at 7 PM Sunday
United Steelworkers Union Local 1005 which represents the Hamilton Works union members of U.S. Steel (Canada)are preparing today for a lockout by the mill beginning at 7 PM on Sunday, November 7, 2010.
Union management posted the following short notice to their members:
“We have received a letter from James Garraux of US Steel that they will lock out the workers at Hamilton Steel as of 7:00 pm on Sunday November 7, 2010. The company is demanding that the union put their November 4, 2010 offer to a vote.”
After months of posturing both the Hamilton Works union members and U.S. Steel are at an impasse which apparently can only be settled through a lockout of the workers by the mill. The union’s contract with U.S. Steel expired at the end of July 2010 and the workers have been working under the terms of the old contract since that time.
The Hamilton workers want to continue to work under the existing contract which was in place – and accepted as reasonable – when U.S. Steel bought the former Stelco plants in Canada in 2007. To the best of our knowledge, USWA Local 1005 has not put another offer other than the existing contract on the table.
U.S. Steel, on the other hand, recently revised their offer to the union (November 4th). However, according to union sources they did not eliminate the two offending changes the mill wishes to make: 1) eliminating new hires from the company’s existing pension and instead substituting a Direct Contribution (DC) plan in its place and, 2) eliminating indexing for those already on a pension.
Having locked out the Lake Erie workers for eight months in order to receive a similar contract as being requested of the Hamilton workers it is obvious to Steel Market Update the Company’s expectation is nothing less than gaining a similar agreement.
The questions now being asked are:
Will Local 1005 union leadership allow their members to vote on the latest USS proposal?
If there is a lockout how long can the two sides last before being brought back to the negotiation table?
Steel Market Update will continue to follow this story through the weekend and until its ultimate conclusion. You can read more about not only this story but other news and trends facing the North American steel industry in our SMU newsletter which is published three times per week. You can register for a free 4-week trial on our website by clicking on the "free trial" logo. None of the information collected is shared with any third party.