U.S. Steel tables offer to USW Local 1005 workers

U.S. Steel tabled an offer to United Steelworkers Local 1005 on Tuesday as the two sides met for the first time since steelworkers were locked out 10 months ago.

Rolf Gerstenberger, president of Local 1005, said the union is crafting a comprehensive response to the offer.

Trevor Harris, U.S. Steel spokesperson, said it’s expected the two sides will meet next week to discuss that response.

The site of the talks  was not made public and neither side would comment on the negotiations.Earlier this month, U.S. Steel arranged for a provincial mediator, Simon Clark, to be present at the talks. The key issue is pensions.The future of Hamilton Works and hundreds of families hangs in the balance. Soon, unemployment insurance will expire for many workers who will be facing a $200 weekly paycheque, the amount the union offers in strike pay.

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Thompson Manitoba Workers settle difficult contract

THOMPSON — The nearly 1,100 members of the United Steelworkers union in Thompson have ratified a three-year contract with Vale Ltd.

Workers will receive a salary increase of 7.5 per cent over three years as well as pension improvements and cost of living allowances, the union said Friday.

The deal includes hiring clauses meant to help workers laid off when the nickel miner — the former Inco Ltd. — shuts down its Thompson smelting and nickel refining plant permanently in 2015.

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More Trouble at US Steel- USW Local 1005 Weighs In

In approving an injunction against USW Local 1005, the judge declared that Local 1005 had provided no proof that the bricklayers crossing its picket line were scabs. This is a hilarious statement given, as the judge said, scabbing is legal in Ontario and that refuting proof of scabbing is not a requirement to grant an injunction! Despite this, several affected parties seem to think they have been vindicated by the judge’s pronouncement – notably Hamilton’s own Benedict Arnold, U.S. Steel’s “I lost my GPS” Trevor Harris and now several others who seem to think the bricklayers deserve an apology for being called scabs. So we thought we would weigh in on the matter.
By any definition one wants to use, performing the work of Local 1005 members, or facilitating others to perform the work of 1005 members, is scabbing.

Continue reading More Trouble at US Steel- USW Local 1005 Weighs In

Jack Layton

Jack Layton

As you are probably aware Jack Layton died this morning. He was a great Canadian who fought tirelessly for social justice for Canadians, especially working Canadians like us. He was a great friend to the Unions and the  the Labour movement in general.

When Jack realized he was not going to survive his Cancer he wrote the following letter:

Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination.

Unfortunately my treatment has not worked out as I hoped. So I am giving this letter to my partner Olivia to share with you in the circumstance in which I cannot continue. Continue reading Jack Layton