U.S. President Donald Trump has exempted Canada and Mexico from his steel and aluminum tariffs pending the renegotiation of NAFTA, simultaneously offering his continental trading partners a welcome reprieve and tightening the vise on them at the bargaining table.
Mr. Trump unveiled details on Thursday of his tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum, which will take effect in 15 days. For now, only Canada and Mexico will escape the levies; other countries will have to negotiate for exemptions.
The President is citing national security – the need to secure a domestic supply of metal for military equipment – as the reason for applying the duties under an obscure 1962 law. Continue reading Trump uses tariff exemption to leverage NAFTA outcome
OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau intends next week to tour regions of the country that are heavily reliant on the steel and aluminum industries in a show of solidarity for those who would be hurt the most by the imposition of stiff U.S. tariffs.
Prime ministerial spokesman Cameron Ahmad says Trudeau plans to meet with workers, business leaders, industry leaders and union leaders to demonstrate his support for those who may be affected by the tariffs.
Ahmad would not speculate on whether Trudeau’s tour will proceed if Canada wins an exemption.
The tour is to begin Monday in Alma, Que., home to one of Rio Tinto’s seven aluminum smelters in the province.
On Tuesday, he is to visit Hamilton, where the head of Steeltown’s chamber of commerce has predicted the tariffs could put 40,000 jobs in jeopardy, and Sault Ste. Marie, where Algoma Steel is the city’s largest employer.
He is to head Wednesday to Regina, where Evraz Steel — which bills itself as the largest steel company in western Canada — has operations.
U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to impose a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminum imports, with details expected to be unveiled Thursday.
The Trudeau government has been lobbying aggressively for Canada to be excluded from the tariffs, but there have been conflicting signals from the White House about the possibility of any exemptions. Trump himself has said an exemption for Canada and Mexico is possible if negotiations to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement are concluded to his satisfaction.
Canada is the biggest supplier of steel imported by the U.S. each year. But Canada is also the biggest foreign buyer of American steel.
The Canadian Steel Producers Association says trade in steel between Canada and the U.S. was worth $12 billion in 2017 and was “evenly balanced” between the two countries.
President Trump is planning to offer Canada and Mexico a temporary exemption from new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, reversing his original insistence that the measures apply to U.S. allies as well as nations like China, administration officials said Wednesday.
One version of the plan, which was still being finalized ahead of an expected announcement on Thursday, would give Canada and Mexico a 30-day exemption from the tariffs, the officials said. The exemptions could be extended based on progress in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The move comes as the White House signaled a new flexibility after a six-day drama that has roiled relations with the country’s closest allies, triggered the resignation of National Economic Council chief Gary Cohn and spooked investors. Republicans in Congress have been urging the president to narrow his proposed global tariffs to avoid boomeranging on U.S. businesses and consumers.
Peter K. Navarro, the director of the White House’s Trade and Manufacturing Policy office, said Wednesday night on Fox Business that the president would meet Thursday at 3:30 p.m. with steel union workers and “sign the proclamations.
And within about 15 to 30 days, the tariffs go into effect. The proclamation will have a clause that does not impose these tariffs immediately on Canada and Mexico.” Other officials said the timing of the announcement and details of the plan remained fluid and subject to change.
In advance of the meeting, Trump tweeted that it was important to “protect” the U.S. steel and aluminum industries, while also offering concessions to “real friends.”
But Trump also revisited the idea of using tariffs as leverage in trade bargaining and other talks — without specifically mentioning NAFTA. Trump wrote that flexibility is extended only to countries that “treat us fairly in both trade and the military.”
The White House shift came after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a last-minute appeal for flexibility, saying that overly broad tariffs would damage key security ties with U.S. allies.
On Capitol Hill, Republican lawmakers accelerated their efforts to pull the president back from a potentially costly trade war that he has insisted would be “easy to win.”
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, released a letter signed by 107 House Republicans that urges the president “to tailor” the tariffs to address market distortions caused by Chinese surplus production depressing global metals prices.
“We urge you to reconsider the idea of broad tariffs to avoid unintended negative consequences to the U.S. economy and its workers,” the letter read. “Because tariffs are taxes that make U.S. businesses less competitive and U.S. consumers poorer, any tariffs that are imposed should be designed to address specific distortions caused by unfair trade practices in a targeted way while minimizing negative consequences on American businesses and consumers.”
The party’s extraordinary internal split was underscored when the Republican Study Committee, representing more than half of House Republicans, released a statement defending free trade and labeling tariffs a “tax on American consumers and businesses.”
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the Freedom Caucus and one of Trump’s most trusted allies in Congress, has spoken with the president multiple times over the past week in opposition to the tariffs, said three people briefed on his efforts who were not authorized to speak publicly.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. ‘Chaos’ doesn’t really do it justice,” said Claude Barfield, a resident scholar at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute.
Government lawyers have struggled in recent days to reconcile Trump’s public comments with the legal provisions they have been told to enforce. For example, Trump is trying to use the tariff threats to force Canada and Mexico to offer unrelated concessions in NAFTA. By publicly acknowledging this, he has potentially spoiled the legal standing of the tariffs, a senior administration official said, making it harder for them to design the prohibitions.
Earlier in the week, Trump suggested that he would exclude Canada and Mexico from the new levies only if they made concessions in negotiations aimed at reaching a new NAFTA deal. Officials from both countries rejected the demand, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling the new tariffs “absolutely unacceptable.”
Major business groups that are normally allied with the Republican Party joined the anti-tariffs chorus.
“These new tariffs would directly harm American manufacturers, provoke widespread retaliation from our trading partners, and leave virtually untouched the true problem of Chinese steel and aluminum overcapacity,” said Tom Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“Alienating our strongest global allies amid high-stakes trade negotiations is not the path to long-term American leadership.”
The Grocery Manufacturers Association warned that the import taxes would disrupt global supply chains and raise costs for consumers, while the Beer Institute chimed in with predictions of 20,000 job cuts by its members.
The American Institute of Architects said the import levies would “drastically increase” the cost of building materials, threatening the viability of the president’s infrastructure proposal.
Republican lawmakers also want the president to establish a “robust exclusion process” when he announces the tariffs so that businesses can apply for waivers to import products that cannot be obtained from domestic sources.
The president may sign the official tariff order as soon as Thursday, but details of additional exclusions may not be ready for 30 days, according to one former U.S. trade official.
When the U.S. last imposed tariffs on imported steel in 2002, George W. Bush’s administration had a waiver process in place six months before the tariffs took effect.
“In the short term, it’s going to be chaotic,” said William Reinsch, a former Commerce Department official now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The situation left lobbyists and economists alike unsure of the road ahead. By themselves, the tariffs are likely to have little impact on a $20 trillion economy that is already at full employment.
But with the European Union, Canada and China vowing retaliation, there is a danger that a costly global conflict could erupt, said Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics, who expects the economy to expand by 2.9 percent this year.
“My fairly positive forecast for the economy assumes it does not turn into a major confidence-sapping trade war, with equities plunging etc.,” O’Sullivan said via email. “I think the equity market will be an important signaling device here.”
For now, the stock market — after plunging by 586 points when the tariffs were announced — appears sanguine. The Dow Jones industrial average fell by less than 1 percent on Wednesday and remains higher than on March 1, when Trump first disclosed his tariff plan.
The president signaled in a pair of tweets that his attention may soon shift to China. “The U.S. is acting swiftly on Intellectual Property theft. We cannot allow this to happen as it has for many years!” he wrote.
The administration has been considering for weeks various measures intended to punish China for compelling foreign companies to surrender their trade secrets in return for access to the world’s second-largest economy.
Among the options under review are tariffs on a variety of Chinese products and new restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States, according to individuals familiar with the discussions.
The most radical steps would attempt to unwind existing Chinese investments, not just limit new ones, but that would raise legal questions, they said.
The debate follows Trump’s request in August for Robert E. Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, to examine whether China’s intellectual property policies unfairly discriminated against U.S. companies. That probe could continue until August, but a decision is expected by the end of this month, according to a former U.S. trade negotiator.
In striking at China, the administration can expect more uniform backing from corporate leaders, who have grown frustrated with the country’s less welcoming stance under President Xi Jinping.
Earlier in the day, the president also tweeted inaccurately about the overall trade balance between the United States and China.
“China has been asked to develop a plan for the year of a One Billion Dollar reduction in their massive Trade Deficit with the United States. Our relationship with China has been a very good one, and we look forward to seeing what ideas they come back with. We must act soon!” the president wrote.
In fact, China last year had a $375 billion trade surplus with the United States. Reducing it by $1 billion would have no appreciable economic consequences.
The overall U.S. trade deficit rose to $56.6 billion in January, the highest monthly figure in more than nine years, the Commerce Department said.
Steel industry leaders are split over whether to exclude Canada. The United Steelworkers union, which has numerous members in Canada, is urging the administration to exclude Canada, arguing that America’s northern neighbor trades fairly.
“There’s no rational reason to have Canada sanctioned, because Canada never broke the rules,” said Leo Gerard, international president of the USW. “We want to encourage the administration to go after the cheaters.”
But steel executives are more leery of an exemption for Canada, the largest source of imported steel. The country’s mills could become an even larger source as companies in the United States scramble to find new suppliers if the tariff goes into effect only on Asia and Europe.
Trump should do a “fixed tariff across the board,” said Dan DiMicco, chairman emeritus of Nucor, one of the largest U.S. steel producers. “If I had my way, we’d be doing a 50 percent tariff on the really bad actors and 20 percent on the rest.”
Bush exempted Canada and Mexico from his steel tariffs in 2002. At the time, Bush’s advisers felt it wouldn’t be fair to put the tariff on such close allies and free trading partners. However, economists say there were still negative impacts on the economy, even with the carve-out for Canada and a handful of other nations and products.
“I don’t think it’s a game changer to get Canada excluded from tariffs,” said Doug Holtz-Eakin, who has advised GOP candidates for president. “We did that under Bush. It was still the case that domestic harm to steel-consuming industries outweighed the gains to steel producers.”
Erica Werner, Robert Costa, Josh Dawsey and Brian Murphy contributed to this report.
Pension Townhall with MP Scott Duvall
7pm, Wednesday, March 7
Royal Saskatchewan Museum
2445 Albert Street (at College Avenue)
If you have any questions on Pension come out and ask. In attendance will be Erin Weir and Scott Duvall, NDP members of parliament and also part of the Steel Caucus in Ottawa. Please come out, get informed and ask questions.
WASHINGTON, March 5 (Reuters) – The U.S. International Trade Commission on Monday voted to continue anti-dumping and subsidy investigations into imports of large-diameter welded pipe from Canada, China, Greece, India, South Korea and Turkey, it said in a statement.
The U.S. Commerce Department said last month it was examining whether manufacturers from those countries are selling the pipe in the United States at below-market rates or are being unfairly subsidized by their governments.
The trade case comes amidst global trade jitters after U.S. President Donald Trump said last week he would impose broad tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum to protect U.S. national security under a Cold War-era trade law, a move that could raise consumer prices and ignite a trade war. Imports of the welded steel pipe, used to build oil and gas pipelines, in 2016 totaled $441.4 million from the six countries, department data show.
The probe was launched after a petition from a group of privately held U.S. producers and covers welded carbon and alloy steel pipe larger than 16 inches (406.4 mm) in diameter.
The pipe can be used to transport oil, gas, slurry, steam or other fluids, liquids or gases.
The investigation is one of around 100 the Trump administration has opened since taking office, which it says are aimed at protecting U.S. manufacturers in global markets.
The Commerce Department estimated that in 2016 imports of large-diameter welded pipe from Canada had a value of $66 million, China $139 million, India $26 million, Greece $70 million, South Korea $150.3 million and Turkey $116.1 million.
It estimated dumping margins at 50.89 percent for Canada, 120.84 percent to 132.63 percent for China, 41.04 percent for Greece, 37.94 percent for India, 16.18 percent and 20.39 percent for South Korea and 66.09 percent for Turkey.
“Dumping” is the practice of selling goods below market price.
The Commerce Department is scheduled to make its preliminary subsidy decision by April 16 and its preliminary dumping determination by June 29.
Trump campaigned on a platform of restoring a level playing field to trade relations, in particular with China. Even before the steel and aluminum tariff proposals, his administration was accused of courting a trade war by vetoing new appeals judges at the World Trade Organization, hobbling the trade dispute settlement system and running the risk that trade friction will explode into tit-for-tat actions.
TORONTO: Canada’s steel sector could be wounded by US tariffs even if the country is exempt from the 25 percent duty promised by President Donald Trump, as cheap steel previously sold south of the border floods into Canada, industry leaders said on Friday. Canadian officials are trying to secure an exemption from potential US tariffs on steel and have threatened retaliation if the plan goes ahead. But even a deal that protects exports from Canada, the biggest steel supplier to the United States, would not solve all of the industry’s problems. “It would significantly harm Canadian producers in our home market, just swamping the marketplace with that imported steel,” said Canadian Steel Producers Association President Joseph Galimberti on the proposed tariff. A letter from nine Canadian steel executives sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other government ministers on Thursday warned that the tariff could displace 13 million tonnes of steel currently sold in the United States. The letter, seen by Reuters, called for targeted trade cases and also raised the possibility of new legislation to defend the industry. Galimberti said the Canada Border Services Agency would need more resources to quickly investigate and enforce trade rules, including rules against dumping.
March 1, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:
“As a key NORAD and NATO ally, and as the number one customer of American steel, Canada would view any trade restrictions on Canadian steel and aluminum as absolutely unacceptable.
“Any restrictions would harm workers, the industry and manufacturers on both sides of the border. The steel and aluminum industry is highly integrated and supports critical North American manufacturing supply chains. The Canadian government will continue to make this point directly with the American administration at all levels.
“Canada is a safe and secure supplier of steel and aluminum for U.S. defence and security. Canada is recognized in U.S. law as a part of the U.S. National Technology and Industrial Base related to national defence.
“The United States has a $2-billion surplus in steel trade with Canada. Canada buys more American steel than any other country in the world, accounting for 50% of U.S. exports.
“It is entirely inappropriate to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the United States. We will always stand up for Canadian workers and Canadian businesses. Should restrictions be imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum products, Canada will take responsive measures to defend its trade interests and workers.”
TORONTO, MONTREAL, 1 March 2018 – Canada’s steel and aluminum producers clearly must be excluded from U.S. import tariffs announced today by President Donald Trump, the United Steelworkers (USW) says.
“The evidence is clear that Canadian steel and aluminum imports are not part of the problem that the U.S. administration is trying to address through its Section 232 investigation,” said USW National Director Ken Neumann.
U.S. President Donald Trump today announced plans to impose tariffs of 10% on aluminum imports and 25% on steel imports. Key details, such as whether fair-trading allies such as Canada will be excluded from duties, have yet to be disclosed.
“The investigation heard extensive evidence that Canada is a key U.S. ally that should be excluded from tariffs. Canada clearly is not one of the ‘bad actors’ that engage in unfair trade and dumping of aluminum and steel into the United States,” Neumann said.
“On the contrary, Canadian steel exports are part of deeply integrated supply chains for U.S. products. Imposing tariffs on Canadian exports risks causing significant economic harm and job losses on both sides of our border,” he said.
“The aim of the U.S. government’s Section 232 investigation is to respond to countries whose trade practices represent a threat to American national security. The evidence confirms that tariffs and punitive actions are warranted against ‘bad actor’ countries that engage in illegal dumping and unfair trade practices, including China, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Korea, Russia, Turkey and Vietnam.”
“Canada is not the problem,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.
“The United States and Canada have integrated manufacturing markets. In addition, the defence and intelligence relationship between the countries is unique and integral to our security. Any solution must exempt Canadian production,” Gerard said. “At the same time, Canada must commit to robust enforcement of its trade laws and enhance its cooperation to address global overcapacity in steel and aluminum.”
Steelworkers’ Quebec Director Alain Croteau asserted that “U.S. tariffs against Canadian aluminum producers would not serve the interests of the American economy.
“Canadian producers represent a stable, secure and environmentally favourable source of aluminum that benefits American industry and consumers,” Croteau said.
“Canadian and American workers and consumers should expect that the U.S. government will do the right thing and exempt Canadian aluminum and steel exports from tariffs or quotas,” he added.
The USW reiterated its call for the Government of Canada to act decisively to defend Canadian industries and jobs.
“U.S. tariffs threaten to increase the dumping of cheap foreign steel into Canada,” Neumann said. “The federal government must act to protect Canadian industry and jobs from this potential diversion of cheap imports into our markets.”
Brothers and Sisters,
Since the start of your employment with the company, if you have had a beneficiary status change or questions regarding your beneficiary on your benefits please contact the office at 306-569-9663.
Brothers and Sisters,
Your union is executive is in search for another Anti Harassment Officer. If anyone would be interested or like more information please either call the office @ 306-569-9663 or email email@example.com.
Remember, It’s Your Union!!
TORONTO (Reuters) – Teck Resources Ltd, the world’s second-biggest exporter of steelmaking coal, said on Wednesday that growing global steel production is expected to boost demand for its coal in 2018, though coal trade competition will also likely rise.
Vancouver-based Teck, which also mines copper, zinc, gold and oil sands, said it is “feeling pretty good about 2018” after reporting in-line financial results.
“Most of us forget what this feels like, but it’s certainly very good for commodity markets, and they are now demand driven, rather than supply driven,” Chief Executive Don Lindsay said on a conference call.
“We see continued strength in commodity prices and Teck is certainly well positioned to take advantage of that.”
Steelmaking coal demand is expected to keep climbing in 2018, Teck said, while ongoing logistics and production issues at key Australian mines support prices.
It is unclear how an expected recovery in Australian exports this year and coal trade rebalancing will affect pricing, but Teck said it can respond to changing markets.
Teck sold 6.4 million tonnes of steelmaking coal in the fourth quarter, at an average realized price of $170 per tonne.
It sees 2018 output of 26 million to 27 million tonnes of steelmaking coal. Production in 2019 to 2022 will range between 26.5 million and 27.5 million tonnes, despite this year’s closure of Coal Mountain operations.
Copper production is forecast at 270,000 to 330,000 tonnes in 2018 and 270,000 to 300,000 tonnes for 2019 to 2022. Zinc production is seen at 645,000 to 670,000 tonnes in 2018, dropping to between 575,000 and 625,000 tonnes in 2019 to 2022.
Teck expects its share of production from Fort Hills oils sands mine at 7.5 million to 9 million barrels of bitumen in 2018 and 14 million barrels in 2019 to 2022.
It holds a 20.89 percent stake in Fort Hills, which produced its first oil in January, with partners Suncor Energy and Total SA. Production is seen reaching at least 90 percent of capacity by year-end.
Lindsay said he hopes Teck will build up cash reserves from high commodity prices and see copper supplies tighten before moving ahead with its US$4.7 billion second-phase Quebrada Blanca project. Permits are expected in the first half of 2018 and a decision in the second half.
Shares of Teck, up nearly 15 per cent year-to-date, were about 1 per cent higher at C$37.72 at mid-session.
Reporting by Susan Taylor and Shubham Kalia; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli
USW states that Canada is a ‘partner,’ not a threat to American national security
TORONTO and MONTREAL, Feb. 16, 2018 /CNW/ – Canada is not among the “bad actors” engaged in unfair trade and dumping of aluminum and steel into the United States and must be excluded from potential U.S. tariffs and quotas, the United Steelworkers (USW) says.
“There is no justification to include Canada with countries that systematically violate trade laws and engage in the dumping of illegally subsidized aluminum and steel,” USW National Director Ken Neumann said following today’s release of a U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) report on the impact of imported steel and aluminum on U.S. national security.
The DOC’s Section 232 report has recommended three separate options for American President Donald Trump to consider regarding steel and aluminum exports to the U.S., ranging from across-the-board tariffs, to tariffs for “bad actor” countries and exclusions for “good actor” countries. The president also can implement modified versions of any of the recommendations, or take no action at all.
“The intent of the DOC’s report is to respond to countries whose trade practices represent a threat to U.S. national security,” Neumann said.
“The report, as well as testimony provided by expert witnesses during the investigation stage, demonstrate that Canada is not one of the ‘bad actor’ countries that threaten U.S. interests,” added Marty Warren, USW District 6 Director (Ontario and Atlantic Canada).
The DOC report includes several positive references to Canada, characterizing it as a partner and supplier to the American aluminum industry, rather than a threat.
During the DOC’s Section 232 investigation, retired U.S. army brigadier general John Adams urged that Canada’s steel sector not be hit with tariffs.
“The one supplier in whom I have complete confidence is Canada. Not only do we currently have a steel surplus with Canada, but we share a border and have synergistic strategic, economic and national security interests,” Adams testified.
USW International President Leo W. Gerard also said Canada should be excluded from punitive actions that should be focused on bad actor countries including China, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Korea, Russia, Turkey and Vietnam.
“Our economies are very closely intertwined and we hope the U.S. government won’t threaten the steel and aluminum industries by taking punitive action,” said Steve Hunt, USW District 3 Director (Western Canada).
U.S. trade action against Canadian aluminum and steel would not serve the interests of the American economy, Steelworkers’ Quebec Director Alain Croteau said.
“Imposing tariffs or quotas on Canadian exports will result in job losses in the U.S. manufacturing sector and will increase prices for many goods and products. Workers on both sides of the border will lose,” Croteau said.
“Compared to other producers, Quebec’s aluminum sector is more environmentally friendly and produces much lower greenhouse gas emissions,” he added.
The USW also is calling for a strong response from the Canadian government to defend the Canadian aluminum and steel industries from unjustified tariffs and quotas.
“The government of Canada must act decisively to defend fair trade and the tens of thousands of Canadian families whose livelihoods depend on the aluminum and steel sectors,” Neumann said.
“The Canadian government should work with the U.S. in fighting the predatory and destructive trade practices of China and other bad actor countries.”
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
Brother’s and Sister’s
We are saddened by the news of the passing of our brother Rob Allcock. As a senior 24 inch Mill Operator Rob was well respected and liked and will be missed by all. Our condolences go out to all the Family and Friends on Mr. Allcock.
Ontario coffee drinkers are rightfully dismayed that the owners of some Tim Hortons franchises have chosen to cut back on their workers’ benefits, paid breaks and even tips in response to the minimum wage increase to $14 an hour.
Ontario workers are right to be concerned that there is nothing illegal about the behaviour of Tim Hortons franchisees in reducing benefits and paid breaks. That’s because Tim Hortons employees do not have the benefit of an enforceable collective agreement — they largely work at the mercy of their employer.
If Tim’s workers did have a union, these cutbacks would, of course, be in violation of their union contract and the union would ensure Tim’s was prevented from making such miserly and unilateral cuts.
The reason Tim’s employees and so many other workers don’t have the benefit of a union contract is that Ontario’s labour laws make it virtually impossible for workers in franchise operations to join unions.
The recent package of labour law changes passed by the Wynne Liberals did some good things for Ontario workers — most notably it included a long overdue increase to the minimum wage. But it is unfortunate that the government did virtually nothing to provide service sector workers, like the thousands of Tim’s employees, with real access to unionization and collective bargaining.
Our current system of labour relations was designed in the 1930s and ’40s when workplaces were very different — and it is profoundly ill-suited to accommodate collective bargaining at thousands of retail franchises across the province. It is very difficult to generate any real bargaining power by trying to unionize one Tim’s store at a time — let alone trying to negotiate at one, or even five, Tim’s stores among the hundreds spread across Ontario.
As a result, the overwhelming majority of retail franchise workers in Ontario are not unionized. And it is not for a lack of trying, both by unions and workers. Many unions have organized Tim Hortons, McDonald’s and Starbucks franchises, for example. But those efforts have ultimately failed to create any real union density in the sector because labour laws remain stacked against Ontario’s most vulnerable workers.
The Ontario government promised its labour law reforms would address the challenges created by growing precarious employment in small workplaces. In reality, it has left vulnerable workers exposed to precisely the unfair treatment we are seeing today.
The government took no action even though its own task force — the Changing Workplaces Review — received numerous submissions from unions and other organizations calling for legislation to allow broader sectoral bargaining in Ontario, similar to laws found in some sectors in Quebec and across much of Europe.
The government’s own task force also concluded that the current system of bargaining with a single franchisee is “unlikely to be viable.” The task force recommended a small change that would have allowed bargaining with multiple franchisees of the same franchisor. Sadly, the government rejected even this modest proposal.
Finally, the Wynne government also rejected a proposal from the entire labour movement that workers in all sectors should have the opportunity to join a union without employer interference, by simply signing a union membership card. The government’s rejection of this proposal virtually assures Tim’s workers who want to join a union that they can expect to be subjected to a legal campaign of anti-union coercion and harassment by their employer.
Premier Wynne claims to have modernized labour laws to protect Ontario workers and grow the middle class. But simply increasing the minimum wage will not stem growing inequality.
History demonstrates that unionization and collective bargaining are the most important factors in reducing inequality and growing the middle class. On that score, the Ontario government has given retail workers less than half a cup of coffee.
Marty Warren is the Ontario Director of the United Steelworkers
SASAKTOON, Sask., 12 January 2018 – The United Steelworkers Potash Locals have concluded two days of successful and productive meetings in Saskatoon, Sask., where local unions came together to discuss a number of issues important to Steelworkers who work in potash mines in the province.
USW Locals 189, 7458, 7689, 7656, 7552 and 7916 were joined by District 3 Director Stephen Hunt, Assistant to the Director Scott Lunny, Staff Representatives Mike Pulak, Phil Hayden and MC Breadner to take part in the strategic discussions.
The meeting follows on the heels of the merger between employers Agrium and Potash Corp. The new employer is Nutrien and the USW sees the merger as an opportunity to strengthen the collaboration between all potash locals.
“The importance of standing together, shoulder to shoulder, was recognized by the leadership of all USW locals. We know that by co-ordinating our efforts like never before we can ensure Steelworkers are treated with the respect and fairness they deserve,” says Darrin Kruger, President of USW Local 7552.
As USW members employed by Nutrien and Mosaic prepare to go into bargaining, the meeting was an opportunity to build power and create even greater synergy among potash workers. USW locals at Nutrien let the Mosaic locals know in no uncertain terms that they have their backs and vice-versa.
That unwavering, mutual support will help all locals achieve good things for members over the coming years, says Kim Wehner, President of USW Local 7689.
“When we stand united, we can achieve tremendous things for our members.”
A key discussion during the meetings was the rise in potash prices and the positive outlook for the industry.
USW District 3 Director Stephen Hunt congratulated the locals on their commitment to working together and says it’s how workers will continue to make progress at the bargaining table.
“From stem to stern, in every one of our potash locals and in every facet of our union, there is a strong commitment to speak with one voice and to stand united and together. I’m very proud that the leaders of all of our potash locals are working in solidarity to co-ordinate their efforts. It means good things ahead for our members,” says Hunt.
The USW Potash locals represent 2,500 potash workers in Saskatchewan.
Korean Steel Treated Like Doormat
Major steel importing countries such as Canada, India and Japan are joining the US in bashing Korean steel.
26 December 2017 – 10:00am
While the United States is highly likely to mount its pressure on outh Korea by way of Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, major steel importing countries such as Canada, India and Japan are joining the US in bashing Korea. Korea’s steel export environment is also expected to get tougher next year as China reduced export tariffs.
According to the steel industry on December 25, Canada imposed anti-dumping duties of up to 88.1% on Korean carbon and alloy steel pipes, which will hold until 2022. Therefore, additional tariffs of 52.5%, 27.5% and 12.9% were levied on products of Hyundai Steel, SeAH Steel and Nexsteel, respectively.
Of note is an attitude of the Canadian government that is following the United States’s lead. The Canadian company which filed the lawsuit claimed a dumping margin of 58.2% of Korean products but the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) imposed an anti-dumping duty rate of 88%, saying that some Korean companies were not cooperating in handing in information to the CBSA. This is similar to a US case that imposed an anti-dumping duty of more than 60% by using the “adverse facts available (AFA)” provision, saying that POSCO did not submit data requested by the US last August. Canada recently tightened regulations on steel trade, including the final decision to impose an anti-dumping duty of up to 45.8 percent on Korea’s industrial steel structures in April.
It is not only Canada that imposed an anti-dumping duty on Korean steel products. On November 19, Japan made its preliminary determination of up to 74% of anti-dumping duties on 19 Korean steel pipe fittings. In April, India imposed anti-dumping duties of US$ 478 to US$ 561 per ton on hot rolled steel plates from Korea by 2021. Of the total 193 cases where export control measures were imposed on Korean products by countries around the world, 87 cases or 45% are involving steel and metal products. The United States is the largest country with 20 cases, followed by Canada (9 cases), India (8 cases) and Australia (8 cases). To top it off, Korean steel products are highly likely to become a common target all over the world if the US believes that Korean steel products will affect its security at the beginning of next year using Section 232.
To make matters worse, China, which had been the main culprit behind steel product oversupply in the world, decided to lower its export tariffs on its steel products starting next year. The Chinese government imposed 15% export tariffs on semi-finished products from 2007 as China’s steel exports rose but the tariffs were reduced to 5% to 10% by products. A recent recovery in Korea’s steel exports was largely attributed to Chinese authorities’ restraint on a flood of low-priced Chinese steel products as the Chinese government initiated a restructuring of the Chinese steel industry. If China’s steel products flood again, countries’ protectionism for steel products may become even stronger. “All major steelmakers are based on their domestic markets,” an industry official said. “If the steel industry becomes sluggish, nations will have no choice but to choose protective trade.”
Meanwhile, the US Department of Commerce will submit a steel industry survey report to US President Donald Trump in mid-January of next year in accordance with Section 232 and Trump will finally determine whether or not the US will impose sanctions against Korean steel products by April 16 of 2018. When Section 232 is triggered, Korea will lose a market amounting to 3 trillion to 4 trillion won a year. Thus, the Korean government is planning to file a lawsuit against the US AFA provision at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has been reportedly working to institute a lawsuit at the WTO after America’s application of the AFA provision to POSCO’s hot rolled steel plates in August of last year. Korea has refrained from bringing this case before the court of the WTO to reduce unnecessary friction with the United States in terms of diplomatic and security cooperation with the US and a renegotiation over the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA). However, as when the United States triggers Section 232 on Korean steel products, other countries including those of the European Union will follow suit and launch investigations into Korean steel products. Thus, the Korean government is clarifying its position to appeal to the WTO to cut off the vicious cycle.
Season’s Greetings from your USW 5890 executive. We would like to wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. All the best to our brother’s and sister’s .
Please take a look at the below article and make sure any receipts you have are sub-mitted before Jan 1.
Article 17.10 Health Spending Account
The Employer established an individual health spending
account on March 31, 2012. For all employees active on the
seniority list who have completed at least 750 hours of work
in the previous calendar year, the Employer will contribute
$100 to the employees individual Health Spending Account
by January 1 of each calendar year. Canada Revenue Agency
rules governing Health Spending Accounts will apply. The
parties agree that this will satisfy the Company’s obligation
regarding EI rebates.