Embassy is drafting a list of American officials for Trudeau’s ministers to lobby


Katie Simpson · CBC News · Posted: Jan 10, 2019

“Canada has engaged in a number of charm offensives … and so far, those efforts have yielded next to nothing” .

                                                                                                                                      -Marc Rowlinson

The prime minister’s inner circle is ramping up another lobbying push in Washington to terminate American tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Two senior government sources say that ministers with connections to American national security portfolios will be tasked with reaching out to specific U.S. officials to push Canada’s anti-tariff message.

The campaign is based on Canada’s long-standing position that the tariffs are both illegal and absurd.

Last June, the Trump administration invoked a rarely used national security provision — Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 — to impose 25 per cent tariffs on imported steel and 10 per cent tariffs on imported aluminum.

The tariffs are based on the argument that, in the event of a national emergency, the U.S. needs robust domestic steel and aluminum industries. Canada has openly attacked the tariffs, pointing out that Canada is not a threat to U.S. national security.

One source said the new lobbying campaign actually began when Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a visit to Washington in December.

Early in the new year, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan delivered a similar anti-tariff message over the phone to the new U.S. acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan​.

And Finance Minister Bill Morneau also made Canada’s case during a face-to-face meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in Washington yesterday.

Now, the lobbying push is seeking new targets. Officials at the Canadian embassy in Washington are drafting a list of influential Americans who may be open to Canada’s message.

Once that list is complete, individual ministers will be tasked with reaching out to those officials, by phone or in person, to press Canada’s case.

Both Freeland and Morneau will use the upcoming World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland as a forum to meet with their American counterparts and push them to nix the tariffs.

They won’t see U.S. President Donald Trump there. Trump announced on Twitter today that he would be skipping the forum to focus on the current federal government shutdown and a swelling dispute with House Democrats over his demand for a border wall.

Paul Moen, a principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group and an international trade lawyer, said Canada’s strategy makes sense — but it should also reach out to business and labour leaders and the new faces in Congress who took office in the November midterm elections.

“With the new Congress in place, that’s a new opportunity to build some new relationships, build on some old ones, but also to broaden the engagement with the business community, with the labour community,” he told CBC News.

But Mark Rowlinson, a spokesman for United Steelworkers Canada, said the window for charm offensives has long since closed and it’s time for Canada to draw “a line in the sand” by refusing to ratify the revamped North American trade deal until the tariffs are dropped.

“I’m skeptical​,” he said. “It’s clearly the case that Canada has never posed a threat to U.S. national security, and I don’t think anyone on either side of the border has ever really taken that seriously. Canada has engaged in a number of charm offensives … and so far, those efforts have yielded next to nothing.

“What they should be doing is saying, ‘We will not sign, we will not ratify the new Canada-U.S.-Mexico trade agreement, unless and until these tariffs are dropped.”

In fact, neither of the two senior government sources who spoke to CBC News is optimistic that Trump will abandon his enthusiasm for tariffs any time soon.

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted a defence of his tariff policy by quoting an interview on Fox News with Mark Glyptis, a local president of the United Steelworkers union from West Virginia.

One of the sources said that Canada will be stepping away from any arguments that connect the tariffs to the updated North American free trade agreement.

Some American lawmakers and business leaders who oppose the tariffs have said publicly they should be dropped, since they were meant only to serve as leverage in the trade negotiations.

One of the sources told CBC that Canada doesn’t want to touch that argument because it’s too similar to the line Mexican officials are taking in their own push to end the American tariffs.

Canada does not want to be lumped in with Mexico, the source said, because Mexico might end up agreeing with American demands for export quotas on steel.

CBC News has reported that American trade officials want both Canada and Mexico to accept caps on how much steel they can import into the United States, based on a portion of what was imported in 2017.

“That’s crazy,” said the source, adding Canada will not entertain the idea of accepting quotas.

Texting

In the mail-out you received from the local regarding the C.A.T team and texting program, we just wanted to inform everyone that this is a NEW texting program. If you were signed up before on the old program you will need to sign up to this one. All the info is on the card in the mail-out.

Benefit Society General Meeting

The United Steelworkers Southern Saskatchewan Benefit Society is have a general meeting on Tuesday April 24 at 7:30 PM
The meeting will be held at the Union Office at #26 395 Park Street.
The agenda is as follows:
Update on Society Business
Financial Report
Report from Auditor
Nominations for President, Vice President, Treasurer and 5 directors
General Q&A

THE MEETING IS OPEN TO “ACTIVE” USW BENEFIT SOCIETY MEMBERS ONLY.

Family Information Day December 17

 

DATE: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2017

TIME: 12:00 NOON – 5:00 PM

LOCATION: Italian Club, 2148 Connaught St., Regina

FACE PAINTING (1:00-4:00 pm), DINO BOUNCER, SANTA, INFORMATION BOOTHS, FOOD FOR ALL (HOTDOGS, HALAL, VEGETARIAN & FILIPINO), TREATS AND DRINKS.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS CALL THE UNION OFFICE AT (306) 569-9663.

 

COLA 4th Quarter

COLA
The CPI figure for October was released on November 17, 2017. As per the Collective Agreement the following calculation will apply.
October 2017 135.4
July 2017 133.9
Difference (1.50)
(Divide difference by .063) = ($0.23)
Effective with the first pay period after the release, COLA will be $0.41 per straight time hour worked as it was previously $0.18.

Tentative Agreement Reached

Locals 5890 and 6673 have reached a tentative agreement with Evraz. The bargaining committee would like to thank all its members for their support and patience over the past 16 months. The Bargaining Committee fully supports this contract. Please attend your regularly scheduled shifts. The strike has been averted.

There will be a ratification meeting next Wednesday Sept. 13 at the Italian Club .  Meeting times will be at 3:00 and 7:30.

Kris Kups

It was with heavy hearts we bid our brother Kris Kups farewell today, as a celebration of his life was held at the Turvey center at 2pm. We would like to thank all brothers and Sisters who provided a donation for Kris’s son Lundyn. It is because of you we were able to present the Kups family with a gift of $1180 at the celebration. There is still a card available to sign if anyone would like to make a donation but hasn’t had the chance to. Those brothers and Sisters can contact the steel side Chem or Physical labs. Thanks once again.

Strike Notice

The Union has served strike notice to the Company for 6:00 AM Friday September 8. The last shift worked for 5890 members will be the Thursday night shift September 7.

Kris Kups

We are saddened by the passing of our brother Kris Kups. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family right now. Donations will be graciously collected for his son Lundyn by Scott Trenaman, physical lab or chem lab. Our hopes is the company will match our donations.

RIP Brother

Mediation has Broken Down

After 3 days the mediation process of negotiations with Evraz has broken down.
Mediation started off this week with the Union wanting the concessions to be removed from Evraz’s monetary package.
Not once throughout the 3 days of bargaining did the Union sit down face to face with Evraz.
On the 2nd day of this process the Union even invited the Employer back to the bargaining table and Evraz declined.
All of the discussions held between the Union and Evraz went through the Mediator.  The Mediator would meet with one side than relay that message to the other side.
It took 2 trips from the Mediator into Evraz’s room to convey the message that their concessions need to be removed from their monetary package.
Evraz sent a monetary package back down with 1 concession remaining, transition wages for new employees, and 1 new concession tied to all members… A hybrid pension plan.
Evraz has decided to offer no real money and has taken the step to attack all of our pension plans by adding very little money to future pension years and nothing to pension years all ready accumulated.
Evraz’s monetary package contained next to nothing in real $$$.
Evraz has decided to play with each and every one of our lives, both now and in retirement.

Through the mediator we received a wage proposal.
Wage Increases;
2016 0%
2017 0%
2018 1%
2019 1%
Because of all of this, we said “NO” and this is what the Union walked away from!

Under the Labour Relations Code of the Province there is a 14 day cooling off period that follows Mediation, the fourteen days start, the first day following the date on the letter from the Mediator excusing himself from the bargaining process, we hope to have that letter on Aug. 11th 2017.

 

Summer School Travel Itinerary

We are meeting at 6:30am, leaving at 7 am, at the office on June 10th. Coming back June 16th, late evening. We have to pick up a member from 5917 out of Moose Jaw on the way as well.

We have rooms booked at the Super 8 in Fernie again this year for the 10th as we could not get rooms at the lodge. We would like to leave  at 9:00 am on the 11th to Kimberly.

Also I have booked a tee time at the trickle creek golf resort for 11:09 am if anyone would like to join. There’s room for 2-6 more players.
If you want to add anything else to the message feel free to do so.
Kael Dolejsi
President
USW LU5917

CBA BOOKS

​The Union has filed a grievance under Article 18.04 Copies of Agreement

The Company and the Union desire every employee to be familiar with the provisions of this Agreement and his rights and duties under it. For this reason, the Company will have the Agreement printed in booklet form and Management will give a copy to each employee.

Bargaing Update

A Bargaining Update will be given at the monthly membership meeting on Nov. 21st.

Changes have been made to the lines of progression in the Steel Division.  For the EAF, LMF and the new position, Degasser.

We also have an update on the status of the current CBA.
Please come out to our monthly meeting and be the 1st to know what has transpired from last week’s, 4 days of meetings with Evraz.
Come out and ask any questions that you may have, to the bargaining committee.

Grievance Protocol Practice

Recently as you may know the the Union filed a complaint to the Saskatchewan Labour Board regarding Evraz engaging in unfair labour practices. Before a hearing with the  Labour Board an agreement was reached with Evraz. It is as the following:

GRIEVANCE PROTOCOL

In the interest of encouraging constructive grievance handling and resolution, the parties agree as follows:

  1. If an employee wishes to discuss an active grievance with a supervisor, the supervisor will ensure that a shop steward or member of the union executive is present for the discussion and, regardless of who initiates such a discussion, the discussion will not occur without the presence of the shop steward or member of the union executive.
  2. If it appears that the terms of paragraph 1 are not being followed, the Local President will inform the Senior Human Resource Manager or Senior Divisional Operations Manager for attention.
  3. The parties affirm the importance of the grievance process and remain committed to ensuring its integrity.
  4. Nothing in this protocol is intended to affect or restrain regular operational communications on the shop floor, nor alter the terms of the collective agreement related to grievances and arbitration.

DATED October 6, 2016.

Sept Bargaining Update

On September 20th your bargaining committee met with the company for 3 days with much of the discussion forming around Article 9.09{overtime distribution} and Lines of Progression language. The parties have agreed to new language under Article 9.09.

During this discussion the Union informed the Company that the Mandatory Overtime they have proposed is a non- starter. In response the company replied that it will be there till the end. Brothers and Sisters it is and will be the stance of this bargaining committee that all Overtime is Voluntary!

Your committee is working on dates to continue the discussions on Lines of Progression. When dates are finalized with the company we will communicate that information to you as well.

C.O.L.A

The CPI figure for July 2016 was released on August 19, 2016. As per the Collective Agreement the following calculation will apply.

July 2016 132.8

April 2016 132.3

Difference 0.50 (Divide by .063 per each 1 cent) = $0.07

Effective with the first pay period after the release, COLA will be $0.58 per straight time hour worked as it was previously $0.51

CUPW’s struggle is our struggle

CUPW is one of the largest unions in the country and as such might as well have a bullseye painted on it’s head. If we allow our own government corporation to shut down this union and take away their pensions and continue to pay women 30% less than male workers it will be the death knoll of the labour movement in Canada. Every neoliberal of course salivates at the thought of our perfectly good crown corporations being defunded to the point of nonfunctioning and then sold off to the lowest oligarch bidder. Crown corporations were created to fulfill a need OTHER THAN seeking profit. This dominant culture of the individual has divided us into winners and losers, and even the losers are brainwashed into thinking they are winners by embracing greed and entitled superiority as their own, even when they are slowly but surely enslaved and economically compromised by the very politicians and elites that they support and vote for. Continue reading CUPW’s struggle is our struggle