Unity in Collective Bargaining

As we are currently in collective bargaining we thought you would enjoy the attached video below. As our union and all its members do many important things to improve the lives of our members and their families. Collective Bargaining is one of the biggest strengths we have to achieve our goals for a better life for everyone. We hope you enjoy the video

SOLIDARITY

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.

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

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.

Shop Steward Education

The annual GRJ Labour Law conference is going to be held on Jan 26,2017 at the Queensbury Centre here in Regina. Any shop stewards wishing to attend please call the office @569-9663 or by email to m.day @usw5890.com.

PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE

Anyone interested in attending a Progressive Discipline for Stewards Seminar please email m.day@usw.5890.com or call the office at 569-9663. The seminar takes place on June 28th at The Hotel Saskatchewan and is geared to help front line stewards put the principles of progressive discipline into action.

This is your Union, get involved and educated.

Education and Conference

The USW summer school dates are out. June 5th to 10th, 2016 in Kimberly BC. Membership has approved up to 10 to attend. If you are interested in going please contact Mike Day at 306-569-9663 or m.day@usw5890.com.

The Regina &District Labour Council is hosting it’s 4th annual Equity and Human Rights Conference in Regina on February 19th & 20th. Membership has approved up to 6 people to attend. If you would like to go please contact Mike Day at 306-569-9663 or m.day@usw5890.com. There will be a panel discussion with Carol Landry who if you are unaware is the USW International Vice President.

In solidarity

 

Union Education

On January 15th there is a Labour Law conference to be held at the Queensbury Centre here in Regina. The membership has approved up to 15 people to attend. This is the put on by the GRJ {Gerrand,Rath & Johnson}Law firm. Shop stewards wishing to attend please contact the office or email m.day@usw5890.com.

We also have an OH&S level 1 course scheduled for January 27th &28th in Regina. Anyone interested in attaining their level 1 also please contact the office or email m.day @usw.5890.com

 

In Solidarity

United Steelworkers National Health, Safety and Environmental Conference Oct 6-8, 2014

Oct 6, 2014 Toronto:

Today marked the opening day of this conference that has brought together hundreds of USW delegates from across Canada who are hearing about the latest issues and trends affecting workers. They are participating in workshops, sharing ideas and gaining new incite to practical skills and knowledge that will help make our places of work safer. Continue reading United Steelworkers National Health, Safety and Environmental Conference Oct 6-8, 2014

26th Annual SFL Youth Summer Camp

Once again the local has three (3) openings to sponsor your son or daughter at this camp. Please review the details below and return the application form to the USW office at 26-395 Park St. Regina SK. ASAP. *Spots are not guaranteed and fill quickly for this. We encourage you to act fast to secure yours*

This six day camp focuses on issues relevant to young people. The SFL
Summer Camp addresses challenges facing youth including social justice and equality issues. It combines learning with cooperative recreation activities and lots
of guaranteed fun!

Young people between the ages of 13-16 who are daughters and sons of union
members are eligible to attend.

Continue reading 26th Annual SFL Youth Summer Camp