Steel Mills

Final Labor Contracts Ratified at Stelco

Written by Sandy Williams

Union members at Hamilton Works approved a new contract on Tuesday. June 7, 2017, bringing Stelco, the former U.S. Steel Canada, a step closer to emerging from three years in CCAA protection, Canada’s version of Chapter 11.

Ninety percent of the membership cast ballots with 63.8 percent voting in favor of the new collective agreement. The new contract maintains wages, benefits, pensions and other terms for the 540 members of USW Local 1005, but only reinstates part of the benefits for its 15,000 pensioners and dependents.

“There was definitely a lot of negativity expressed by people voting,” Howe told the Hamilton Spectator following the vote. “A lot of retirees were obviously watching this vote intently as well … There is still work to do before this (restructuring) deal is finalized.”

Workers of USW Local 8682 at Great Lakes Works ratified their agreement last Friday. Health benefits will be completely restored for the pensioners and dependents from Local 8682.

“This has been a difficult and challenging process for thousands of workers and pensioners. While these agreements represent a step forward, there are still hurdles to overcome before Stelco’s restructuring is completed,” said USW District 6 Director Marty Warren.

“These collective agreements are not perfect, however, our members have decided they are the best-possible option in a fundamentally unfair system that does not prioritize the interests of workers, pensioners and communities,” Warren added.

A sanction hearing is scheduled for Friday, June 9, at which Justice Wilton-Siegel is expected to approve the takeover of Stelco by Bedrock Industries.

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