USW Seeks Mediation as Evraz Negotiations Reach Impasse
Calgary, Alberta – Two Local Unions of United Steelworkers at Evraz steel facilities in Calgary and Regina have reached impasse in negotiations with their employer over the company’s outrageous concessionary demands. The union will be seeking the assistance of a mediator through the Saskatchewan Minister of Labour to advance negotiations, with the prospect of a labour dispute if mediation is unsuccessful.
Both USW 6673, representing 300 workers at Evraz Calgary, and USW 5890, representing 900 workers at Evraz Regina, have secured strike mandates, with votes of 100% and 99.3%, respectively. Evraz Calgary is a critical supplier to the North American energy market, specializing in oil and gas well casing, tubing, heat treating and EVRlock connections. Evraz Regina produces steel plate and coil, small and large diameter pipe, and oil and gas well tubing for the energy sector.
“Evraz management needs to wake up and realize that, as a profitable company, with a productive, hard-working workforce, they don’t need to attack benefits and working conditions,” says USW western Canada Director Stephen Hunt. “It’s despicable that the company is trying to squeeze out even more profits by going after benefits of young workers, retirees and surviving spouses.”
The two locals met jointly with Evraz negotiators in Calgary this week in the hopes of advancing towards a fair renewal of their Collective Agreements. Talks broke off on Tuesday morning with the company continuing to insist that concessions on the existing contract be part of the discussions and ultimately form part of any settlement. The Union has adamantly rejected rolling back benefits and terms of their existing Collective Agreements.
“Whether it’s in Calgary or Regina, Steelworkers do the hard work that makes Evraz profitable and all they are looking for in return is a fair deal that respects their work,” says Keith Turcotte, USW Staff Representative. “Rolling back benefits and conditions is not fair and the membership has said they will not accept it.”
“Evraz management needs to re-think their strategy,” adds Hunt. “We will not betray young workers and roll-back wages and benefits for new hires.”
Stephen Hunt, USW Director, 604-816-2554
Keith Turcotte, USW Staff Representative, 403-999-616