Steel Mills

USW Local Rejects New Labor Pact at Stelco Lake Erie Works

Written by Michael Cowden

A local USW chapter representing Stelco Inc.’s Lake Erie Works in Nanticoke, Ontario, has rejected a tentative labor agreement with the Canadian flat-rolled steelmaker.

USW Local 8782 said 52% of its members voted to reject a proposed new labor contract.


USW Local 8782-08, responsible for Stelco’s pickling operations, narrowly approved a new deal. One member voting in favor of the new contract broke a 50-50 tie.

That information comes from the latest update to union members, dated July 28, which you can find here.

It was not immediately clear what the next steps would be after Local 8782 rejected the proposed new contract.

Neither Stelco nor Local 8782 replied to requests for comment from SMU on Friday, July 29.

A prior contract with Stelco expired at the end of June.

The move comes a day after USW Local 1005 president Ron Wells said his union was “less optimistic” about avoiding a labor dispute with the company.

Local 1005 represents union workers at Stelco’s mill in Hamilton, Ontario.

Recall that Local 8782 and Local 1005 previously voted 99.1% and 96.1%, respectively, in favor of a strike mandate.

Lake Erie Works spots a blast furnace, No. 1, with daily iron making capacity of 6,575 tons per day, according to SMU’s blast furnace status table. It also makes sheet products such as hot-rolled coil.

The blast furnace at Stelco’s Hamilton Works was shut October 2010. Hamilton continues to operate its “Z-line,” a coating operation with annual capacity of 470,000 tons of galvanized and galvannealed steel sheet.

Contract talks are also underway at Canadian flat-rolled steelmaker Algoma Steel. USW Local 2251 represents hourly production workers at the mill. And Local 2251 president Mike Da Prat has told SMU he is not optimistic about a new deal being reached with Algoma before the current pact expires at the end of July.

Talks are also underway between the USW and US steelmakers Cleveland-Cliffs and US Steel. Those talks are still in their early stages. Labor contracts between the USW and the two US steelmakers don’t expire until Sept. 1.

Pittsburgh-based US Steel made no mention of USW contract talks during a conference call with analysts on Friday following the release of its Q2 earnings on Thursday.

By Michael Cowden,

Michael Cowden

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