April Bargaining update

 Local 5890/6673

CHAIN BARGAINING UPDATE

 On April 24th to 28th your bargaining committees from USW 5890 &6673 met with the company to conclude common non-monetary proposals. Your union was prepared to exchange monetary proposals but unfortunately the company was not prepared so the exchange will be delayed. Although some progress was made with non-monetary language, the week didn’t go as anticipated. The company was not prepared to exchange monetary proposals because of the changes in management. That should be concerning considering there was more representation from the Camrose plant then our own Steel division.

We have a confirmed date to meet with the company on May 17th, 2017 to exchange monetary proposals. If you will remember we exchanged non-monetary proposals with the company on May 19th, 2016.

As always collective bargaining is an important process for all of our members and their families. Your bargaining committee is committed to getting a fair deal for all of our members.

Your solidarity is important in everything we do. We would like to remind the membership that these bargaining updates come directly from your bargaining committees.

 

 

Why a labour leader who backed Hillary Clinton is now drawn to Donald Trump’s side

AARON P. BERNSTEIN/REUTERSi

DAVID SHRIBMAN

PITTSBURGH

SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL

APRIL 21, 2017

What’s wrong with this picture from the White House Thursday?

There’s President Donald Trump, sitting at his Oval Office desk, the iconic yellow curtains behind him and a group of American grandees, including the Commerce Secretary, surrounding him. And at the centre of the picture is Leo Gerard, who’s not even an American and who is president of a union that backed Hillary Clinton in the November election.

That picture – capturing an unusual, even uncomfortable president-to-president moment – is a glimpse of how the isms have become wasms in American politics. Mr. Gerard, who grew up near Sudbury in Lively, Ont., and is the chief of the 1.2-million-member United Steelworkers, was plainly uneasy in the Trump White House. But on a day in which the 45th President also launched an unscripted attack on Canadian dairy-trade practices, Mr. Gerard felt he had a vital role to play.

“The important thing for my being there is that Canada’s not the problem that the United States has in the steel industry,” Mr. Gerard said in an interview Friday in his office, a 12th-floor aerie with a spectacular view of Pittsburgh’s three rivers. “The problem with the steel industries of both countries – Canada and the United States – is the onslaught of unfairly traded steel, primarily from China but also from Japan, South Korea and India.”

The occasion for Mr. Gerard’s White House appearance was Mr. Trump’s signature on a memorandum calling for an investigation that could lead to barriers to steel imports from China and other nations with steel industries – a move that pleased Mr. Gerard and that Mr. Trump said was aimed at helping the American workers who he said were “one of the primary reasons I’m sitting here today as President.” Mr. Trump cited national security and invoked half-century-old statute for the basis of his initiative.

Mr. Gerard’s union may have opposed Mr. Trump’s election, but its members supported many elements of the Trump political appeal – not so much a contradiction as a commentary on the impatience and frustration that blue-collar workers have in the second decade of the 21st century.

“In the industrial heartland – and I refuse to call it the Rust Belt – a number of our members voted for Trump because he talked about doing the things they believed needed to be done, especially rebuilding manufacturing,” Mr. Gerard said.

“No one really was as aggressive or assertive as he was. He spoke directly to their concerns.” Then he added: “Part of the difficulty is that he’s got to deal with a Republican majority in Congress that over the time I’ve been around has never really lifted a finger to make life better for workers. In fact, they’ve done the opposite.”

The route from Mr. Gerard’s youth, as the son of an Inco Limited miner and volunteer labour organizer, to Mr. Trump’s office took him through negotiations involving Wilbur Ross, now the Commerce Secretary in Mr. Trump’s cabinet. Labour leaders such as Mr. Gerard sometimes are exceedingly wary of commerce secretaries – Herbert Hoover was perhaps the most famous – and often are more congenial to labour secretaries.

But Mr. Gerard considers Mr. Ross, who has a history of rescuing bankrupt manufacturing companies, as a vital ally.

“Back in the start of the 21st century, we had a huge crisis in the steel industry – again – and we worked with Wilbur Ross and were able to save the majority of LTV and Bethlehem Steel,” said Mr. Gerard. “I can remember they were going to close LTV’s Cleveland operations, and we got support to keep it going from Wilbur Ross. Today, that Cleveland mill is one of the most modern, efficient mills in the world – and they were going to bulldoze the thing.”

It was the involvement this spring of Mr. Ross, and the contemporary crisis in the steel industry, that drew Mr. Gerard to Mr. Trump’s side, at least for a signing ceremony.

“Part of the reason I was willing to go to the thing with Trump was to make it understood that it’s not just steel,” Mr. Gerard said. “The same thing’s happening in aluminum, cement, glass. The trade laws don’t work. On both sides of the border, we have to fix the trade laws. The American and Canadian worker should not have to pay this price.

“Don’t tell me we can’t compete,” he continued. “We can’t compete against cheaters.” Mr. Gerard, who during the 2016 campaign criticized Mr. Trump’s companies for using imported steel, isn’t the only North American labour leader to find himself by the new President’s side. Leaders of the United Auto Workers and the Building Trades Union have favoured Trump initiatives in his first hundred days on behalf of the automobile industry and energy-pipeline interests, respectively.

In his youth, Mr. Gerard, now 70, sat on the basement stairs listening to stewards’ meetings conducted by his father. He signed on with a contractor doing work in the local nickel smelter one summer. Eventually, he abandoned his dream of becoming an economics professor. He first visited Toronto when he began to advance in the Canadian labour movement.

Mr. Gerard, whose Northern Ontario accent would be unremarkable in Sudbury but is a colourful presence in Pittsburgh, knows he is playing a difficult role in Mr. Trump’s United States. But as the president of the largest industrial union in North America, he is an experienced political hand and believes he has both a strategy and a tactic.

“What we did, after the election, was to indicate that if the President wanted to renegotiate NAFTA and have a big infrastructure program and re-energize and rebuild the manufacturing base, we would be ready to help him,” he said. “But at the same time, if and how it gets done is important. If [Mr. Trump] is going to rebuild infrastructure by having toll roads and all that jazz, that would shift the cost back to workers, that would not be the best way to rebuild the infrastructure.” But Mr. Gerard speaks as much as a Canadian as a labour leader.

“Part of my role is to make sure I’m a voice for our members on both sides of the border,” he said. “Steel, rubber, cement, glass – I make it clear Canada is not part of the problem.”

 

Union Education

On June 1st , 2017 there is The Progressive Discipline Seminar for Stewards being held at the Hotel Saskatchewan. For any stewards that would like to attend this 1 day seminar please contact m.day@usw5890.com or call the office at 306-569-9663.

Vacation Pay

It has come to the Union’s attention that for anyone that has put in to receive their vacation pay at the start of May it won’t be paid out until May 19th, 2017. The Union believes this should be paid out on the May 5th pay, if it has been requested. The union intends on submitting a grievance on this matter.

Spring 2017 Safetalk

Attached is the spring safetalk from USW District 3. Please take a look and since it is now 25 years since the Westray Mine explosion there has been a book put out called Hell’s History about the Westray explosion. If anyone would like a copy please come down to the office or email m.day@usw5890.com.

 

Safetalk – Spring 2017

29th Annual SFL Summer Camp

The 29th annual SFL summer camp is slated for August 27th to September 1st. It’s a 6 day camp for kids aged 13-16 focusong on issues for young people including social injustice and equality. For more information please check the link below. If you are interested in submiting your childs name please call the office at 569-9663 or email m.day@usw5890.com

SFL summer camp

March Bargaining Update

 

 USW 5890/6673

CHAIN BARGAINING UPDATE

 Brothers & Sisters,

On March 21st to 24th your bargaining committees from USW 5890 &6673 met with the company and went over our common non-monetary proposals. This was a productive week and much was accomplished. We were able to sign off on language for articles 4.07,5.01,7.02,8.09 1{i},17.04,17.07,17.08,17.09,17.12 and Appendix “D” in the Regina CBA and articles 12.06,17.12, Appendix “A”, Lines of Progression and an accompanying letter on how the changes to Appendix “A” will be implemented in the Calgary CBA.

We have confirmed dates to meet with the company again on April 25th, 26th , 27th and 28th. With only a few non-monetary items left on the table, it is expected, after we work our way through those, that at some point during those dates we will be exchanging monetary proposals with the company. It must be noted, among other things, that the company still has a proposal for Mandatory Overtime on the table. Be assured that your Bargaining Committee will remain strong and continue to oppose this proposal through to the end.

As always collective bargaining is an important process for all of our members and their families. Your bargaining committee is committed to getting a fair deal for all of our members.

Your solidarity is important in everything we do. We would like to remind the membership that these bargaining updates come directly from your bargaining committees.

Support Your Bargaining Committee!

Remember

Solidarity Works!

 

House of Commons meeting on Chinese Steel dumping.

The president of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce will be raising concerns about Canada’s competition with the Chinese steel industry before a House of Commons committee Tuesday.

The chamber’s Matt Marchand said China dumping steel into Canada has been a significant issue for the country and the Windsor area.

The problem, according to Marchand, is Chinese companies do not follow the same labour and environmental regulations as Canadians and they have a surplus of steel which they are selling to other countries at much lower costs.

“They’re not a market economy and asking our entrepreneurs and business community to compete against China is something that I don’t think we should be asking them to do in the current context,” he said.

The federal standing committee on international trade is working on a report on the ability of Canada’s steel industry to compete internationally. Marchand said Canada is at a disadvantage because Chinese steel companies are essentially owned by their government.

“With all the power they have, they don’t respond to market forces, they’re not interested in profits or losses,” said Marchand. “Basically, it’s a government department that’s manufacturing steel.”

Locally, the Harrow community in Essex is home to home to steel producer Atlas Tube. According to Marchand, they employ over 200 people, have exports of $250 million per year and generate $1 million in taxes for the town.

“Why should we have one set of rules for Atlas Tube and then another set of rules for Chinese companies that don’t play by those rules?” he asked.

The chamber has previously brought this issue up with its counterparts in Hamilton and Sault Ste. Marie. They have sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and received national support at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting in September.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey, the vice-chair of the trade committee, helped set up the meeting for the chamber. She made the motion at the committee level to begin this study, which she expects to be completed in late spring.

“We are not the only country to be a target of this, but other countries have improved their trade remedy systems so they can address this in a better way and we are looking for Canada to do the same,” said the NDP’s trade critic.

Canada has become an “easy target” for the Chinese steel industry, said Ramsey, and the government should catch up to what Australia and the U.S. have done to limit the effects of dumping.

“Across all party lines, there has been a serious understanding of how important this is to the Canadian steel industry,” she said. “For myself, I just continue to highlight the importance of jobs that exist in my riding of Essex.”

Michael Cautillo, president and CEO of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, said in November 2015 all 22,000 tonnes of steel for the upcoming Gordie Howe International Bridge will come from the U.S. and Canada.

Ramsey said it’s important for the federal government to lead by example on all of its infrastructure projects in this context.

Marchand said he is also concerned the federal government is entertaining the idea of giving marketing economy status to China through the World Trade Organization. That would “give them even more access in terms of trade,” he said.

Governments of both the U.S. and China are taking “a very aggressive stance with their business community,” and Canada needs to think about how it will compete, said Marchand.

“I guess we’re going to be asking the question to the Canadian government: ‘To what extent are we going to aggressively defend Canadian businesses in the context of China dumping steel?'”

by Tom Morrison

Tom Morrison is a Windsor-based journalist. @TomMorrison12 on Twitter

Steel layoff notice

On Friday March 17th, the Union given notification of the upcoming layoff in the Steel division. This will take effect April 3rd and will roughly effect 100 employee’s. The information we were provided with Friday was that this would roughly be a 7 to 10 day outage. Please keep an eye on your schedule and if you have any concerns contact your supervisor or the Human resources department.

Steel Trade with U.S

Brothers and Sisters,

On March 16th  members from your executive along with District 3 director Steve Hunt and Staff Representative Leslie McNabb met with the Honorable Ralph Goodale to discuss the impact  Steel trade with the U.S has on Steelworkers in Western Canada.

Much of our discussion was about the impact a “buy american” policy in the U.S would affect our members and Evraz as a whole. Mr. Goodale was very receptive to the talks and we left him with a few things to take back to the cabinet and the Prime Minister. We made the point that like our American counterparts, Canada’s steel industry has suffered from global overcapacity and the dumping of steel products primarily by China, Japan, Korea and Turkey. Without maintaining fair trade, and fair access to markets the Canadian government must be as vigorous as our American counterparts in defending Canadian workers. In the U.S unions have the direct ability to file trade complaints and in Canada we can not. An issue we would like to see changed.

Recent discussions in the U.S regarding the Keystone Pipeline have often incorrectly referred to Canadian made pipe from Regina as “Russian” pipe. The discussions  ignore that a significant portion of the pipeline will also traverse within Canada. They also ignore that there is no comparable pipeline manufacturer within the U.S that can produce the volume and quality that we can.

 

We will continue to fight for our jobs!

In Solidarity

 

Education

The annual USW Summer School and Progressive Discipline Seminar for Stewards are coming up in June. Anyone that would like to put their name forward to attend please call the office @ 569-9663 or email m.day @usw5890.com.

Vacation Requests

As March 15th approaches please remember to get your vacation requests submitted in accordance with the following article.

 

Article 11.01
Each employee shall be entitled to an annual vacation with pay in accordance with the employee’s length of service as provided in the Saskatchewan Labour Standards Act. Eligibility shall be based on years of continuous or accumulated service as of May 1st of each year.
Annual vacation requests must be submitted by March 15 for the period of May 1 to April 30 of the following year. The approved schedule of annual vacations submitted by March 15 will be posted by April 1. Vacation requests submitted after March 15 will be approved on a first come first serve basis and a response will be provided within two weeks of the request.
The Company shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that an employee’s vacation request is approved, consistent with operational requirements.
Where an employee transfers from one department to another, they shall take their vacation in accordance with the schedule established in their old department, unless there is an adverse operational impact in their new department
The Company agrees to issue any prior year’s vacation pay upon the request of the employee. This request must be made in writing and submitted to the employee’s supervisor.

February bargaining update

 

Brothers and Sisters,

 

On February 14th your bargaining committee met with the company for 4 days of local non-monetary issues .Over those 4 days we were able to sign off on some language articles and what was left will be dealt with at main table common bargaining with the Calgary bargaining committee{USW 6673}  The Calgary committee will be meeting with the company on March 7th to 10th to discuss their remaining local non-monetary issues.

On March 1st and 2nd both committee’s are meeting to go over our common non-monetary proposals before we meet with the company on March 21st to the 24th to discuss common issues.

As we mentioned at our pre bargaining meetings, we will be sending out monetary surveys in the next couple weeks. Please take the time to fill those out and get them back to us.

 

In solidarity,

 

 

 

Your Local 5890 Bargaining Committee

Fatality

Fatality Alert

It with great sadness I inform you that on January 30, 2017, Ivor Lundin a member from USW Local 1-423 in Kelowna B.C. was fatally injured while working at Tolko Industries Ltd in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
Our condolences go out to the family and co-workers of the deceased.

Emergency Response Team member Ed Kent from Local 1-424 went to assist the family and the Local Union during this tragic event.
The Local Union, RCMP, Coroners Service, Transportation Safety Board, Transport Canada and Worksafe BC are still investigating this incident. Continue reading Fatality

Workers Compensation

Your Union executive is looking for any members who have had issues with their Workers Compensation claims. That could involve any number of reasons, but not through any fault of your own. If you have or know someone who has been or is on Workers Compensation and have had any issues please either email m.day@usw5890.com or call the office @306-569-9663

In Solidarity.

Trump probably can’t require pipelines to use U.S. steel: Kemp

MoBy John Kemp | LONDON

Reuters, Wed Jan 25, 2017 | 7:18am EST

President Donald Trump on Tuesday invited the promoter of the Keystone XL pipeline to re-submit its application for a permit and promised an expeditious review.

But Trump’s memorandum on Keystone was twinned with another ordering the secretary of commerce to develop a plan to ensure all pipelines built, repaired or upgraded in the United States use domestically made steel. Continue reading Trump probably can’t require pipelines to use U.S. steel: Kemp

2016 Industry Canada memo on steel industry raised “Buy Canada” policy

 

The industry department in a secret 2016 memo discussed a “Buy Canada” policy to aid the steel industry. The Access To Information memo cited “near-crisis conditions” due to dumping of China-made products.

“There are increasing demands from firms and other stakeholders for federal government action to support the steel sector, including strengthening Canada’s trade regime against unfair imports and adopting a ‘Buy Canada’ policy to favour Canadian steel in infrastructure procurement,” said the memo Steel Industry Update; “Global steel prices are expected to remain weak due to anemic demand and excessive production around the world. Conditions are not expected to improve until 2017 at the earliest.”

Canada since 2008 has imposed anti-dumping duties on steel products from China, the world’s largest producer. “This is not a fair market,” Paul Halucha, assistant deputy industry minister, testified at 2016 hearings of the Commons trade committee.

Steel Industry Update cited “hyper-competitive conditions” in the sector that have driven two of the country’s largest steelmakers into creditor protection, Essar Steel Algoma and U.S. Steel Canada.

“Near-crisis conditions in the global steel industry are posing significant challenges to the Canadian steel industry as it struggles with record low prices and competition from unfairly traded imports,” the department wrote.

Much of the four-page memo was redacted. Cabinet has publicly dismissed a “Buy Canada” policy as contrary to competitive bidding and trade policies.

Canada’s steel industry employs 17,000 and is worth $2.6 billion a year, by official estimate. MPs have advocated a “Buy Canada” policy on steel contracted for public works. Canadian-made product accounts for 19 percent of the steel used in construction of the $4 billion Champlain Bridge at Montréal.

“It is very strange the Government of Canada is importing steel while Canadian steel mills are laying off workers,” MP Erin Weir (Regina-Lewvan), New Democrat public works critic, earlier told the Commons. “If we are concerned about economic development in our country, if we are concerned about our environment, we should be using Canadian-made steel.”

Trade department officials have estimated Canadian steel mills emit 42 kilograms of carbon dioxide for every tonne of steel, compared to 152 kg in the United States and 598 kg in China.

“They can crank this stuff out,” Conservative MP Dave Van Kesteren (Chatham-Kent, Ont.), earlier told a trade committee hearing on steel imports. Van Kesteren recalled touring a Chinese mill fueled by high sulfur-content coal in 2007. “I really thought they were burning tires, seriously,” he said.

By Mark Bourrie

 

 

Bargaining Update

We have confirmed dates for the next set of local non-monetary bargaining talks with Evraz. Those dates are February 14th,15th,16th and 17th. Since our last set of bargaining dates the company has met with the local bargaining committee from Calgary {USW 6673}. That bargaining committee met with Evraz on December 19th,20th and 21st and is scheduled to meet with Evraz again on January 17th,18th,19th and 20th.

For those that are unaware, once local non-monetary issues are dealt with both the Regina and Calgary bargaining committee’s then meet together with the company for what is called chain bargaining. This is where we deal with what is called “common and monetary issues”

The next monthly membership meeting is on January 16th at The Regina Union Centre. 2709-12th Avenue. 7:30 p.m

In Solidarity