New trade era lies ahead for Canada’s steel and aluminum sectors

The tit-for-tat steel and aluminum tariffs between U.S. and Canadian may have been lifted, but uncertainty remains for these industries and the Canadian businesses they support — at least until a final trade agreement is signed.

Tariffs of 25 per cent on steel aand 10 per cent on aluminum exports to the U.S, implemented by the Trump administration, took effect for Canadian producers May 31 last year under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. (The tariffs had previously been in place since March, but Canada, Mexico and a few other nations had been given temporary exemptions.)

In response, Canada put in place similar tariffs on more than $16-billion of U.S. steel and aluminum imports, and many other products including felt pens, maple syrup and ketchup.

The duties were lifted in May this year, but not without some consequences: Canadian steel and aluminum exports to the U.S. fell to their lowest level in almost a decade, according to Statistics Canada.

Although exports are rebounding, and both industries are breathing a collective sigh of relief, many companies are concerned about the future of free trade, especially with a new agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) awaiting approval by U.S. legislators.

“You can’t turn sentiment around on a dime,” says Catherine Cobden, president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association, which represents the $15-billion industry responsible for about 23,000 jobs in the country.

NAFTA has been the foundation for the integrated market for more than 25 years, and Canadian steel and aluminum producers have been linchpins in the manufacturing supply chain for American and domestic companies alike, industry associations say.

Ms. Cobden believes the new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) — known as the United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement (USMCA) south of the border — would help modernize trade. But it must still be ratified by U.S. Congress, which may not happen soon with the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives focused on impeaching U.S. President Donald Trump, who considers the agreement a key achievement of his administration.

Aluminum producers are also stuck in a holding pattern, says Jean Simard, president of the Aluminium Association of Canada, which represents an industry generating about $5.5-billion annual revenue and employing about 8,500 people.

“The market is very slow,” Mr. Simard says, noting 90 per cent of the approximately 3.2 million tonnes Canada produces is exported to the U.S.

While demand in the U.S. is growing, Mr. Simard said companies are hesitant to hire more workers and expand operations until there’s more certainty with the trade deal.

One key issue for producers is country of origin rules requiring products have an increased, minimum percentage of components from the U.S. to avoid trade penalties under the new agreement. For example, automobiles shipped within North America would have to include at least 75 per cent regional content, Mr. Simard says.

But many firms are uncertain how rules apply to them or how they will be enforced. One worry for the Canadian industry, he adds, is foreign aluminum products coming into the Canadian market and making their way into the U.S. through manufacturing supply chains, resulting in trade violations and tariffs.

“It is a regulatory headache for Canada to ensure its producers can meet the rules and not run into trouble,” he says.

Yet, the need is real to protect the North American market from dumping aluminum, which happens when foreign companies sell their product at below-market prices, negatively affecting domestic producers.

“Canada and the U.S. share the same problem, which is Chinese overcapacity and its impact on the cost and price structure of the global market,” Mr. Simard says.

Government of Canada data from last year show China produces more than 50 per cent of world’s aluminum annually. By comparison, Canada is the third largest producer, accounting for about five per cent of global product.

Mr. Simard notes China embarked on a major urbanization strategy about two decades ago that included hiking its aluminum production dramatically.

Now economic growth in the world’s second-largest economy has slowed. As a result, China’s aluminum industry is faced with excess capacity and is looking to external markets. The U.S, concerned about dumping and under-cutting domestic producers, included China among nations subject to the tariffs.

The same challenges of oversupply apply to steel, Ms. Cobden says.

Continue reading New trade era lies ahead for Canada’s steel and aluminum sectors

Tubular Yard B12

Yesterday members from the Yard and Shift and Seniority committee met with Evraz upper management to discuss the petition signed by the members in the Yard to stay on the B12 2/3/2 days schedule. Points were made from both sides but the long and short of it is the company is basically implementing the new schedule.

Over the next couple days Brad Forster and Justin Carr are to come out and speak to the Yard crews regarding this matter. This is your opportunity to voice your concerns regarding this. Take this opportunity to have your voice heard.

In solidarity.


As the new schedule is going to be implemented at the end of the month, the Union is recommending that anyone who will be negatively affected by this change contact the Human Resources Department or your Supervisor.


The company is going through an HR transition away from Ceridian to a new Worday program. Some of you may have been through the training on this application already but everyone should by the implementation on Oct 1, 2019 have gone through it. In the Unions first discussions with the company we had some issues with this program. Initially, they were refusing to issue paystubs and T4’s and their response was “we will be setting up kiosks if the employee wishes to print off a stub or T4’s”. Well our response was, no you are legally obligated to provide T4’s and obligated under the C.B.A to provide paystubs so we can not support this program. Well after another meeting the company finally realized their legal obligations when it comes to T4’s and have agreed that paystubs will still be available.

So no matter what is being told to you in these training sessions, the company WILL STILL BE providing stubs and T4’s.



The local would like to thank Dennis Carrigan for his time and dedication as President of SOAR Chapter 19 and wish him all the best on his future plans. Dennis worked tirelessly to build the chapter up to what it is today and if you see Dennis please thank him for all his work.

We would also like to welcome Al Majore as the Chapters new President.

Apprenticeship Program

Brothers and Sisters,

Your Local knows there has been lot’s of questions about what is happening and where the Apprenticeship Program is as the bids closed on July 29th. Well, the company asked the Union when it could meet in the next 2 weeks on Aug 27th, the Union responded on the 3rd that we are able to meet on the 13th. To date the Union has heard no response from the company.

This comes to no shock to the Union. The company fails to realize that individuals on this committee will be doing this on their personal time. Either this is another delay tactic by the company or????


Call In Procedure

The local has been getting inquiries if the company’s call in procedure has changed and security is asking our members to call in for each day you are absent. Below is what the current policy states,

 If you are absent for more than 1 day, you are only required to call in the first day and
the day that you will be returning.


Labour/Management Meeting

Brothers and Sisters,

Yesterday members from your Executive, along with members from Executive members from USW6673[ Calgary] and Staff Reps Keith Turcotte and Patrick Veinot met with Human Resources Management from both plants and the Director of Human Resources John Demarco. The Union from both plants voiced our concerns over the company’s handling, or lack there of, of grievances, the grievance process in general and the lack of accountability on their managers. We pointed out that in Regina, it’s an average of over 40 days before the local gets any communication at all from the company and how could we still possibly be waiting for responses on over 40 grievances? The company feels there has been progress made but both locals strongly disagree. The Company has committed to an improvement and both sides agreed to set up more meetings to deal with these and other issues in more of immediate fashion. We told them we have heard all this before and the proof will be in the pudding and with bargaining on the horizon, the ball is in their court to make the improvements needed.


Please be advised Regina Steel operations will not be working on Sunday, September 1st, 2019, resulting in a one day lay-off in accordance to Article 12.13 of the Collective Agreement between EVRAZ and USW Local 5890. Also steel operations will be shut down for the statutory holiday on Monday, September 2nd, 2019


Aug 26,2019

Effective with the first pay period after the release, COLA will be $1.22 per straight-time hour worked, as it was previously $1.21


The local has now received the lost pensionable service records from the company. If anyone has any questions regarding their “rewards statement” please get in touch with the pension committee members [Kurt Chernishenko & Dan Morin] or call the Union Office.


On September 21st your local is inviting our members down to the Union Hall for a Burger and Dog B.B.Q celebrating the day our charter was signed, September 21st,1959. This event will run from 3 p.m to 8 p.m.

Please come down, show your solidarity and pick up some swag .

#26-395 Park Street.

In Solidarity


Below is a listing of steel employees who elected to temp transferring to tubular. They will be scheduled in tubular for the week of August 4th. You are sequenced for indoc based on your seniority number (highest seniority are first to be indoc’d). Phone calls will start some time today. There may be a few probationary employees added to this list yet.

Name Status Current Position Tube Indoc Date
DRECHSLER, JESSE Transfer to Tubular w/ recall Roll Builder – Rolling Mill Thursday, August 1, 2019
YOUNG, RICHARD Transfer to Tubular w/ recall EAF Helper – Melt Shop Thursday, August 1, 2019
CARR, BRYDAN Transfer to Tubular w/ recall Bander – Slitter Thursday, August 1, 2019
KAYTER, COURTNEY Transfer to Tubular w/ recall Mill Line Helper – Rolling Mill Thursday, August 1, 2019
NEPPER, TRAVIS Transfer to Tubular w/ recall LMF Helper – Melt Shop Thursday, August 1, 2019
TIAN, JORDAN Transfer to Tubular w/ recall Lab Relief Man Thursday, August 1, 2019
HALL, DONOVAN Transfer to Tubular w/ recall Switchman – Yard Thursday, August 1, 2019
LUTHER, LYNDON Transfer to Tubular w/ recall Ladleman – Melt Shop Thursday, August 1, 2019
BOURASSA, DAN Transfer to Tubular w/ recall Mill Line Helper – Rolling Mill Thursday, August 1, 2019
SLAWSON, CODY Transfer to Tubular w/ recall Mill Line Helper – Rolling Mill Thursday, August 1, 2019
ELSNER, BRENT Transfer to Tubular w/ recall LMF Helper – Melt Shop Thursday, August 1, 2019
ANDERSON, ADAM Transfer to Tubular w/ recall Yard Inspector Tally Man – Yard Thursday, August 1, 2019
CARTERI, JOSEPH Transfer to Tubular w/ recall Switchman – Yard Thursday, August 1, 2019
SCHMIDT, DARREN Transfer to Tubular w/ recall Ladleman – Melt Shop Thursday, August 1, 2019
GROHS, CRAIG Transfer to Tubular w/ recall EAF Helper – Melt Shop Thursday, August 1, 2019
WENDLAND, TYRONE Transfer to Tubular w/ recall Switchman – Yard Friday, August 2, 2019
CHAYKOSKI, CURTIS Transfer to Tubular w/ recall EAF Helper – Melt Shop Friday, August 2, 2019

Indefinite transfers:

Name Status Current Position Indoc Date
HEMPHILL, NATHAN Indefinite Transfer to Tubular Lime Blower (Yard) Friday, August 2, 2019
URBANCZYK, WALTER Indefinite Transfer to Tubular ID Bander Recorder (Slitter) Friday, August 2, 2019
KUMASSAH, ETORLI Indefinite Transfer to Tubular Plate Processor (Heavy Plate) Friday, August 2, 2019
FELSKE, JAYSON Indefinite Transfer to Tubular EAF Helper Friday, August 2, 2019
MACMILLAN, BRYCE Indefinite Transfer to Tubular EAF Helper Friday, August 2, 2019

700 Workers Have Voted to Join the United Steelworkers

Jul 22, 2019

700 workers have voted to join the United Steelworkers in the past month in several major successful organizing campaigns in British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
At the Red Chris mine near Dease Lake, British Columbia over 330 workers are joining USW local 1-1937. As Canada’s mining union, the Steelworkers are leading the way to ensure that miners make gains at the bargaining table and have the strongest health and safety protection possible.
“Mining is an incredibly important industry and economic driver of our country. And it’s miners who make it all happen. We’re proud to grow our ranks and will be working with workers at other non-union mines to provide them the opportunity to join the Steelworkers and improve their working lives,” says District 3 Director Stephen Hunt. 

USW Local 2009 has also won certifications at Terrapure Environmental sites in North Vancouver, North Delta and Prince George, B.C. 

Another effort in Kamloops, B.C. was secured by USW Local 1-417. Over 100 workers at Active Care, a community care centre, voted to join the United Steelworkers earlier this month.

Over in Prince George, B.C., 30 workers working at the Northwest Wood Treaters were verified last month and now join USW Local 1-2017.

“These organizing victories speak to the strength that our local unions have. Together, they want to build better working lives for people living and working in their communities. They are helping in growing our diverse union that fights for all workers,” says Hunt.

In Saskatchewan, the USW continues to be the union of choice for taxi workers seeking fair treatment, safe working conditions and a better future.

175 taxi workers at the ride hailing app RIIDE in Saskatoon are the newest members of the Steelworkers. Despite employer attempts to say that RIIDE drivers are not employees, the union was successful in this groundbreaking organizing campaign. They join drivers at Comfort Cabs and United/Blue Line as members of USW Local 2014. 

“As times change and technology changes our working lives, more and more workers find themselves in vulnerable positions where their rights as workers are regularly violated and their work is not respected. The answer to these challenges is to organize, unionize and bargain collectively. USW is leading the way in this area,” Hunt concluded.    

Organization Update

Brothers and Sisters,

As you may or may not know on July 12th a Notice of Layoff was issued for the Steel Division effective July 26th for 111 members. This is sudden and unexpected news and hope to work with the company for as smooth a transition that can be possible.

There has also been a change in Leadership at Evraz. CEO Conrad Winkler is leaving the company later in the summer and Senior V.P of Human Capital, Dario Cruz, will also be leaving the company effective July 17th. As of right now there has been no replacement announced for Mr. Cruz but there has been a replacement for Mr. Winkler and that is Skip Herald.

In Solidarity!!!


The CPI figure for April was released on May 15, 2019. Per the Collective Agreement,
the following calculation will apply:
April 2019 140.6
January 2019 137.4
Difference 3.2
Divide difference by .063 = $0.50
Effective with the first pay period after the release, COLA will be $1.21 per straight-time
hour worked, as it was previously $0.71.

Joint Statement by Canada and the United States on Section 232 Duties on Steel and Aluminum

After extensive discussions on trade in steel and aluminum covered by the action taken pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (19 U.S.C. §1862), the United States and Canada have reached an understanding as follows:

1. The United States and Canada agree to eliminate, no later than two days from the issuance of this statement:

a. All tariffs the United States imposed under Section 232 on imports of aluminum and steel products from Canada; and

b. All tariffs Canada imposed in retaliation for the Section 232 action taken by the United States (identified in Customs Notice 18-08 Surtaxes Imposed on Certain Products Originating in the United States, issued by the Canada Border Services Agency on June 29, 2018 and revised on July 11, 2018).

2. he United States and Canada agree to terminate all pending litigation between them in the World Trade Organization regarding the Section 232 action.

3. The United States and Canada will implement effective measures to:

a. Prevent the importation of aluminum and steel that is unfairly subsidized and/or sold at dumped prices; and

b. Prevent the transshipment of aluminum and steel made outside of Canada or the United States to the other country. Canada and the United States will consult together on these measures.

4. The United States and Canada will establish an agreed-upon process for monitoring aluminum and steel trade between them. In monitoring for surges, either country may treat products made with steel that is melted and poured in North America separately from products that are not.

5. In the event that imports of aluminum or steel products surge meaningfully beyond historic volumes of trade over a period of time, with consideration of market share, the importing country may request consultations with the exporting country. After such consultations, the importing party may impose duties of 25 percent for steel and 10 percent for aluminum in respect to the individual product(s) where the surge took place (on the basis of the individual product categories set forth in the attached chart). If the importing party takes such action, the exporting country agrees to retaliate only in the affected sector (i.e., aluminum and aluminum-containing products or steel).

US 232 Steel and Aluminum Tariffs lifted

As you may have heard, the Canadian Government just announced that the U.S. 232 tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum will be lifted in 48 hours. This is good news for the hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers whose jobs depend on the production of steel and aluminum.

As a Union we have been pushing as hard as we can in both the US and Canada to get these governments together to lift these tariffs. It is a credit to our Union’s efforts in Washington, Ottawa and across North America that we have put sufficient pressure on both governments to see that these tariffs between Canada and the U.S. were harmful and made no sense.

So we are pleased that the tariffs have been lifted and there will be no quotas going forward. The agreement also includes a mechanism to monitor import surges in steel and aluminum, but the details of that mechanism have not been finalized. This is important because we continue to see a global overcapacity in the steel market, and the US and Mexico have taken measures to close and protect their steel market from surges and the dumping of steel from other countries like China, Turkey and India.

We remain concerned that unlike Mexico and the US (and Europe) Canada has not yet taken measures to stabilize and protect the vast majority of our steel market from import surges caused by overcapacity and the closing of other markets.

CBSA reveals final trade safeguards for heavy plate, stainless steel wire

The Canadian Border Services Agency announced Friday the final ‘safeguard’ surtaxes meant to shield the domestic steel industry from competition from cheaper foreign imports of heavy plate and stainless steel wire.

Canada’s steel producers had been hoping the federal government would protect its market for other kinds of steel as well.

But the Canadian International Trade Tribunal investigated the merits of provisional safeguards placed on five other products earlier this winter and reported it found inadequate evidence to support claims that surges in foreign steel imports posed a serious threat to the domestic industry.

“Canadian steelworkers can count on this government,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in the House of Commons last month after he confirmed that the final safeguard surtaxes would be applied only to two kinds of steel.

Continue reading CBSA reveals final trade safeguards for heavy plate, stainless steel wire

Safeguards only to continue on heavy plate and stainless steel wire

Only two kinds of foreign steel imports, heavy plate and stainless steel wire, will continue to face trade remedies to protect Canada’s steel industry, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced Friday.

His decision on final safeguards follows the advice of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, which earlier this month found no justification to continue a surtax on five other products that have also been subject to a provisional 25 per cent surtax since last October.

That provisional surtax on concrete reinforcing bar, energy tubular products, hot-rolled sheet, pre-painted steel and wire rod ends on Sunday. The surtax was triggered only when import volumes exceeded historical averages.

Friday’s release from the Finance Department did not specify what form the final safeguard action against these two products would take. Morneau’s office said that would be announced “in the coming days.”

Continue reading Safeguards only to continue on heavy plate and stainless steel wire

National Day of Mourning

Every year thousands of people gather around the world on April 28th to observe the National Day of Mourning. This Sunday please come out to Queen Elizabeth Court II City Hall, 2476 Victoria Ave @1:00 pm to honor the workers that have been killed, injured or made ill by work.

1 is to many!! We at the United Steelworkers commit to Fight for the Living and Mourn for the Dead to make work safer for all of us.

2019 Q1 Profit Sharing

The financial performance for the 1st quarter of 2019 resulted in profit sharing payment for employees under the Quarterly Bonus Plan. The payout will be $0.40 per eligible hour bonus payment for qualifying employees deposited into your bank account by May 3, 2019.