Lockout Continues at U.S. Steel Hamilton Works
The lockout at U.S. Steel Hamilton Works (former Stelco facility in Canada) is now in its third day and the rhetoric is starting to build between USW Local 1005 which represents the workers and U.S. Steel. The Company wants the union to allow their membership to vote on the contract on the table and the union leadership is refusing to do so.
In their most recent blog post on the Local 1005 website, the union leadership had this to say to both the Company as well as their union members:
“…When Local 1005 USW refused to put this offer to a vote, the company not only locked the workers out and calls this being "realistic" but, sounding like a replica of the right wing ideologues, it calls the union's stand "ideological." Of course, its interpretation of what is realistic is not ideological at all! We are to believe the company cares about the plight of the workers and, because of this, the workers should be "realistic" and turn against their "big bad union" which is merely being "ideological." Like Rolf says, this is ridiculous.
To agree with this dictate would sink us to the level of abject slaves and leave the door open to worse and worse treatment and subjugation. Last night, Rolf said Local 1005 confidently believes Canadian workers are strong enough and bold enough to exercise their right to say no and not agree to any of this nonsense coming from a foreign conglomerate acting like a viceroy.
On behalf of Local 1005, Rolf said: "U.S. Steel is deliberately trying to split us. They are saying that we should have a vote, that we should be democratic. How is it democratic that we would have 900 people voting to attack 9,000 pensioners who have got no vote? If you decide to vote against your own working conditions this is one thing but how can you vote to attack the living conditions of 9,000 people who have worked all their life and will have no say in that decision? What kind of outlook is it that we should take a vote to force those who are not even hired yet to go on a savings plan instead of a real pension plan? This is their dictate and how they see things... What we are saying now is that we are looking after the younger generation and we want to ensure that our pensioners are able to live in dignity and are not being attacked and forced to worry about what is going to happen to their pensions. We are all in this together. "
We live in the new internet age and those whose voices may be drowned out by the rhetoric are finding they have a way to communicate not only to their union leadership but to the larger steel community. Blog posts like ours exist to provide those who have something to say about industry events and opportunity to voice their opinions.
Steel Market Update wants to take the process one step further and provide the steel community as a whole the opportunity to vote on what you think is fair for the union membership at USS Hamilton.
SMU is offering the following link – which is totally confidential and anonymous to those who would like to participate – as we pose the question: Do you think the union workers of USS Hamilton Works (Canada) should be able to vote on the USS contract offer on the table? (answer: yes or no)Click here to take survey
You are welcome to post comments on this site as well and, if you prefer you can send comments directly to our office at firstname.lastname@example.org