Steel Mills

USW Local 1005 Inches Closer Toward Possible Strike at Stelco

Written by Laura Miller

The United Steelworkers Local 1005—representing workers at Canadian flat-rolled steelmaker Stelco’s processing and finishing operations in Hamilton, Ontario—will soon be in a legal position to strike.


The most recent bargaining update from Local 1005 said their negotiating committee has asked its government conciliation officer to file a “no board report,” putting the Local in a legal position to strike as of August 16.

“The proposed date is August 16, 2022, but there is a possibility that this could change. We will update you immediately if this occurs,” Local 1005 said in the update to members dated Tuesday, July 26.

Stelco workers have been working with an expired contract since June 30.

“Although we are far less optimistic today of avoiding a labor dispute then we were three months ago, we feel that there’s still time for the employer to engage in meaningful talks and agree to a contract we can take to our membership to recommend for ratification,” Local 1005 president Ron Wells wrote in an email to Steel Market Update on Thursday, July 28.

“We have been very reasonable in respect to our requests during this set of negotiations. We are only asking to be compensated relative to other workers in the steel industry,” he added.

Wells also noted that Stelco has been extremely profitable.

Stelco did not respond to a request for comment for this article.

The blast furnace at Stelco’s Hamilton works has been out of commission for some time. But the site continues to operate its “Z-line,” which has an annual capacity of 470,000 tons of galvanized and galvannealed steel sheet.

USW Local 8782—representing workers at Stelco’s Lake Erie Works integrated steelmaking and pickling operations in Nanticoke, Ontario—held contract information meetings this week, with votes scheduled for Thursday, July 28.

The general environment in this year’s labor negotiations seems to be that steelworkers want to see their fair share of the record profits North American steelmakers have been making over the past couple years.

Stelco reported in its preliminary earnings report that it expects its second quarter results to be notably higher both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year. But with falling prices for steel sheet, the company is warning that it anticipates lower results for the remainder of the year.

By Laura Miller,

Laura Miller

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