Steel Mills

Contract for USW Local 2251 Expiring Before Algoma Sale Concludes

Written by Sandy Williams

The contract for USW Local 2251, the biggest union representing 2,207 steelworkers at Essar Steel Algoma, will expire on July 31, 2016. President of Local 2251, Mike Da Prat, says it is not a foregone conclusion that workers will agree to continue working under the expired contract.

The second largest union, Local 2724, representing 457 salaried workers at Algoma, agreed on March 31 to extend contract talks while the company undergoes restructuring.

Da Prat told Soo Today, that the union has served notice to the company to bargain and that preparation of proposals and meeting schedules is underway.

“Don’t forget that both parties have to agree to extend their collective agreement beyond the 31st,” he says.

“A lot of people don’t understand that. They simply think it’s there for the asking. The first order of business is always to try and get it resolved. Hopefully, things will be concluded. But matters have to unfold the way they unfold.”

The sale of Essar Steel Algoma is proceeding, with bids closed and being reviewed. The sales process is expected to conclude by August 31.

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