Mediation at US Steel Canada began last Thursday to try to resolve the issues that have plagued the CCAA protected entity.
The mediation will address the consider the restructuring and sale of US Steel Canada, US Steel’s claim that it is owed $2.2 billion by USSC, and US Steel’s decision to shift 15,000 tons of monthly production from the Canadian mills to the United States.
In addition, US Steel Canada is asking for an extension of its credit protection and suspension of property tax payments. It would like to put the sale of the assets on hold until market conditions improve. The company has also requested permission to suspend pension contributions and stop payments for retiree health benefits. Without a court order, US Steel Canada says it will have to cease operations at the end of the year.
The talks are being held closed door with participants revealing little.
“There’s nothing we can say right now other than things are progressing along positively,” said Gary Howe, president of USW Local 1005 in Hamilton in a comment to CBC. “We’re trying to come up with a solution to everything.”
Due to unspecified developments late on Monday, a court proceeding regarding suspension of benefits for retirees has been tentatively rescheduled for Thursday. Workers at Hamilton and Lake Erie Works are planning to attend in force to show their support.
“While the date of court proceedings has changed with little notice, our members, retirees and supporters are ready to join us on Thursday, or any day, any time, to fight for the pension contributions and health benefits they have earned and that they deserve,” said Gary Howe, President of USW Local 1005 in Hamilton in update to USW members.
“We are working hard to ensure our members and retirees, who have worked their lives in dangerous, hazardous conditions, are not abandoned by this company. We will use this delay to organize and spread the word, so our members and retirees can witness proceedings in court on Thursday,” said Bill Ferguson, President of USW Local 8782 in Nanticoke.
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