News, Developments and Information

Our New Year’s Resolution: Let’s Buy Canadian

BURNABY, B.C. – Let’s cut right to the chase. It’s time that we demand all levels of government adopt Buy Canadian policies to protect Canadian jobs.
Thousands of Steelworkers were laid off in 2020 not due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but due to the policies of governments across Canada.
Steel is being illegally dumped in Canada to lower its price. Governments at all levels are failing Canadian workers by allowing major public- and private-sector projects to import offshore steel and pre-fabricated parts, all at the expense of Canadian manufacturers and workers.
We produce steel using iron ore and metallurgical coal mined in Canada or by recycling scrap to use in electric arc furnaces. The foreign steel our governments are importing has a significantly higher environmental impact than steel made here at home. By using steel made in Canada we can save 12 million tons of greenhouse gases annually.
It’s time for governments to step up.
I find it deeply concerning that government procurement policies for major construction projects like the new Pattullo Bridge in Surrey, the Kitimat LNG project, replacement lines for SaskEnergy and the Northern Alberta TC Energy project do not prioritize the use of Canadian steel.
It’s disturbing to see that we have bridges, pipelines and other important infrastructure projects being built with foreign imported steel. We can and must do better and that starts with buying local.
We know the only way to get the economy restarted will be the injection of massive funding into infrastructure projects. And, that work must be done with workers in mind.
The Canadian steel industry employs 23,000 people directly and another 100,000 indirectly. The steel industry is essential not only to the Canadian economy as a whole, but it provides community-sustaining
jobs across the country. For every job in direct steelmaking, three-to-four spinoff jobs are created.
Many workers involved in making steel in Canada have workplace protections that come with a union – a voice on the job, better pay and benefits, respect and dignity at work – elements that would be often missing from some foreign steel manufacturers.
Major steel mills and service centres form the lifeblood of many small and medium-sized communities.
With government investments in our steel sector, we can keep our communities strong. Canadian workers cannot afford more job losses and having good-paying Canadian jobs moved offshore.
To have a strong economic recovery plan for 2021, governments will need to commit to investing in creating new jobs and building new infrastructure projects. When those projects are being planned and sent for procurement, let’s remember to Buy Canadian.
It’s time to act now to stand up for Canadian steel.

Grievances for improper layoff

Tubular Members,

Here is a list of members we have filed grievances for improper layoff. If you don’t see your name on this list please contact a steward or executive member.

ShannickChinskiLarsonHeshka
DeguzmanTangemanDoutkevichLeibel
TahirajDemyenOlsonAmon
JohannessonMcKenzieItongMoffatt
YbanezOlsenReederAffie
TedfordRenkasMoggeyBrewster
Kanu PenningtonMcFaddenS.Kumar
DizdariPatelAtkinsCabiles
TahirajCulhmanMarkwartPambrum
KumarSpelliscySavoieVelasco
CiprianoBezanKowalskiBruch
WhitehawkHussainBlackmoreMontgrand
CampbellPatelDela CruzBrodziak
BoschCaseSantiagoHighmoor
BurdzyFlorentinoLepitenPeterson
RitchieGroupCaronPatel
TurnbullNavalesLangitBodnar
PandoraMalaboMoranteGalloway
McRaduBascoGoodwinBatan
MacDonaldTahirajSiddiqueCody
BlackmoreBhatoaForsterKarchewski
CruzKlassenMisakaewiczVikraman
CantinVargasSaydarathCahill
MiddletonTumalaVonauJacob
ButalidSmithCardiffVorreiter
BearGullietSheraPalanisamy
Kieh
Roberts
Nomura
Collinge
Dudhat
Nugent
Briere
Zhabko
Witteron
Patraschuk
Horvath
Sopjani
Massier
Wahl

OCTG Trade Case against China

Friday we received the decision and the reasons for the OCTG expiry review regarding dumped and subsidized OCTG from China. The case was successful. SIMA duties will be renewed for 5 years on OCTG from China. 

The Tribunal held a hearing by way of written submissions. There was no video argument in this case, so a hearing without the presence of the parties took place on October 8, 2020. 

The USW filed substantial material in the matter – 5 witness statements (a statement from Mike Day, Robert Gosse, Cody Alexander and John Collinson and one from Mark Rawlinson regarding global oversupply). In addition, the USW filed a legal brief concerning the interpretation of “employment” that we argued should be adopted.

The Union’s position was given a fair hearing. There are multiple references to USW evidence and argument at various paragraphs of the Reasons. 

Our testimony is referenced at para. 96. Interestingly, our evidence was apparently given equal weight to the Companies’ testimony – with respect to impact on domestic industry. Our legal argument is specifically acknowledged by the Tribunal at the bottom of page 16.

I know that this is not an easy time for our members in Regina and Calgary, and that the OCTG market in Canada is not strong right now. I know that hundreds and hundreds of our members have been laid off, and we think first and foremost of those members and their families, especially at this time of year”.

“Nevertheless, I want to thank you for your work on this case (and others). We are the only union that is actively and regularly participating in these cases to protect our market.  It is thanks to you and your work that we are truly doing everything we can as a union to protect our steel market, now and going into the future”. {Mark Rawlinson, assistant to the national director}

Vacation Pay

Members,

The company has agreed to release your accrued vacation pay for those laid off or going to be laid off. Below is the terms;

  • One-time request and available for first pay in February only.
  • Available to only those union employees who are laid off
  • Advanced Payment is for “accrued portion of current year”

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS YOUR OPTION TO WITHDRAW OR NOT. IF YOU DO THIS WILL LIKELY HAVE IMPACT ON E.I

Benefit Premiums

Article 17.08


Should any employee be laid off their benefits will be maintained
by the Company to the end of the calendar month in which they are laid off. In addition, coverage will be maintained for a further
three (3) month period. After this three (3) month period, the
employee may, by arrangement with the Human Resources
department, continue their benefits for three (3) months
provided the premium payments are made by the employee.

HERE ARE THE RATES THAT WOULD APPLY

DivisionSingle CoverageFamily Coverage
Steel119.08282.51
Tubular113.03267.06
O&T146.90314.48

If you wish to continue your benefits please contact Human Resources or the Benefits Department at benefits.pension@evrazna.com or HRCanada.Support@evrazna.com

Health Spending Account

Members,

The Union and company had a discussion regarding the Health Spending Account this week and it appears the company has a new interpretation of eligibility come layoffs. The company believes that upon layoff, if the employee pays their premiums for major medical and dental benefits from months 4 to 6 their Health Spending Account will continue, if not you have no access to it. The company was informed this local in no way agrees with this interpretation.

Article 17.10 states,

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

That right there makes you eligible for your Health Spending Account. You work the 750 hours, $100 goes into your account. When asked what will happen to each individuals $100 the company had no response. This fund was developed when the Local caught the company with their “hand in the cookie jar” regarding E.I rebates. Looks as if they maybe trying this again.

Company Attack on Seniority

Members,

We understand there are many questions and uncertainty going on right now regarding Seniority, Layoffs, Rate Retention and Bumping.

Let’s be very clear here. We are in a Fight to Protect your Collective Agreement Rights. This company has decided to ATTACK your Seniority and rights for Rate Retention to the likes we have never seen before. The company has lied, intimidated and threatened our members with words like “voluntary layoff” if you don’t bump and you will not be entitled to E.I Benefits. Essentially the company is saying you give up your seniority if you don’t bump, which is simply not the case. Threatening a members E.I benefits is simply unacceptable. Seniority is the crux of the collective agreement and we will fight against this attack.

Article 12 is very clear. It is your RIGHT to bump or not. Displaced employees MAY apply by filling out a bump form. By not filling out a bump form that does not give up your right to Seniority. Filling out a bump form gives you rights to a “home”. By not filling out a bump form you are entitled to Rate retention but also at the companies whim to place you wherever needed, not lay you off without regards to seniority. You also have 10 days from displacement to fill out a bump form. This company seems Hell bent on taking your rate retention rights away from you.

Know your rights. We are in for a fight that none of us will forget. The companies tactics here only drive a wedge between the possibility of any working relationship.

IN SOLIDARITY.

E.I Benefits

Members,

Last week I had a conversation with a member from service Canada who offered to conduct a Rapid Response session with our members [which would have to be by zoom]. If you would be interested in this please indicate by emailing m.day@usw5890.com and we will try and get that set up. In the meantime below attached is information on applying for E.I and then some links for applying for services Covid related.

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-benefit/crb-how-apply.html

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-sickness-benefit/crsb-how-apply.html

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-caregiving-benefit/crcb-how-apply.html

Tubular Layoffs

To our Members,

As many of you have seen in the recent weeks the company has taken a different approach to the layoff procedure. Simply put, the company is attacking our Seniority. If you feel you have been laid-off improperly or displaced improperly please contact a shop steward.

A number of grievances have already been filed and we expect many more to come. The company is set on doing things the way they want regardless of what the C.B.A states. We have told the company that this local will not sit idly by nor forget this company’s attack on our members seniority. That’s what this is, an attack on your seniority rights.

Remember please contact a steward so we can get a grievance started on your behalf

In Solidarity

Wage Issues from COVID

Members,

The Union has inquired as to how the company plans on compensating our members for Covid related issues. Either being told to stay home and self-quarantine or whatever by SHA or Dr. Radford. Well below is the companies response to our inquiry. Once again, if you feel you have contacted Covid from work, we recommend you file a WCB claim.

The following is the Companies response…

Employees that had their Tuesday November 17th shift cancelled will receive 4 hours compensation.  This should appear on this next payroll run.

The company is not telling employees they are unfit for work due to COVID.  Through contact tracing, employees are in communication with SHA (811) or Dr. Radford and they are making the medical determination regarding requirement to self-monitor, self-quarantine or take a COVID-19 test.  We are communicating and reinforcing those directives from Dr. Radford and/or SHA when required.  Individuals who are not exhibiting any symptoms of illness and are asymptomatic are not eligible for Short Term Disability benefits through the company group plan with Canada Life and will need to apply for a leave through EI.  An ROE will be issued to these employees and there are EI leaves available for COVID-19 related reasons such as mandatory self-isolation. Symptomatic employees that are sick would qualify for the Short Term Disability plan and should apply for benefits.  There is also a COVID-19 related illness specific form that also needs to be filled out that initiates the application process without a formal Attending Physician’s Statement knowing that employees won’t be able to get in to see their doctor.

If there are members who have concerns with reaching their pensionable hours due to COVID-19 quarantines, please have them reach out to HR & Payroll and we can assess.

A Survey of Workers’ Experiences during a Pandemic

Please take some time out to participate in A survey put together from the USW designed to learn about your experiences as a worker during a pandemic.

The survey was put together by the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW), with help from researchers at the Institute of Work & Health and Duke University in North Carolina. We also had input from a number of health and safety union staff representatives, who told us about the concerns and questions their members have.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Pandemic_survey2

If you feel uncomfortable answering a particular question, please just skip it. The survey takes roughly 15 minutes.

All the information collected in this survey is confidential. Only the researchers directly involved in this project will see all the answers. The team will not keep any information that could identify you or others. All the data we collect will be stored on a secure server. We intend to use the data collected for research and to share with research organizations for the end purpose of improving pandemic working conditions. The data, analysis and related information may be used in presentations, websites, and union, trade, and academic publications.

COVID 19

To All Our Members,

With the rapid increase in the number of members being told to stay home for the 14 day self quarantine for close contact or whatever reason under the scope of COVID, your local is recommending the following;

If you believe you have contacted Covid 19 through a transmission at work apply for Workers Compensation. Nobody knows the lasting damage this will do on your health and you could need the paper trail later down the road. You also receive pensionable service on W.C.B

The other 2 options are to apply for Short Term Disability and E.I. Right now the company is pushing E.I and taking zero financial responsibility.

The local has inquired as to where the decision has come from to not cover under S.T.D and so far no response to that. We have also inquired as to the status of pay for the individuals who were told by management they would be paid for being told to stay home and also, no response to that.

We understand the frustration surrounding Covid and are working hard to get answers. The Union is also fighting to be involved with contact tracing and the investigations of each matter as the come up. The company believes the Union has no right to participate or right to know. Health and Safety is a joint effort, regardless of what some people in the company believe.

COVID-19 UPDATE

Brother’s and Sister’s,

In recent days we have seen a spike in cases and members being directed to self-isolate. Please, for the protection of your co-workers, family members, friends ,etc follow the guidelines and STAY HOME if you are sick.

We must all work together to stop/reduce the spread of COVID-19.

  • Wear your mask – inside, on your way inside, all the time.   
  • Maintain your social distance, wherever possible
  • Wash your hands often
  • Stay home if you are sick

Displacement Memo

Brother’s and Sister’s

Last week in Tubular the company put out a “Displacement Memo” and it says below,

Due to economic conditions, we will be reducing the workforce in Tubular and Maintenance. As a result, the following employees will be impacted by this reduction and will be displaced effective end of shift November 28, 2020.
As per Article 12.10 (m) Displaced Employees, and in accordance with the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between U.S.W. Local 5890 and Evraz Inc. Na., in the event that an employee cannot retain a position in their own line, or a job which is not within a line of progression, a displaced employee may apply (by filling out a bump form) for another job. A displaced employee wishing to exercise their bumping rights must do so within ten (10) calendar days from the time of displacement

Let us be clear, under 12.10 [l]

Production and Maintenance Employees Only
In the event of cutback or lay-off, an employee shall be
deemed to have the right to a position that is lower in that line
of progression and will regress down their line to a position
which they can hold. You shall regress as you progress and
progress as you regress.

Another words you are not Displaced until you can not hold in your Line of Progression.

Business Update

Brothers and Sisters,

Yesterday afternoon members of your Executive met with the company regarding business conditions and manpower. Below is a run-down of what was discussed.

STEEL DIVISION,

Melt Shop will run on 4 crews through February 2021

Rolling Mill will go down to 2 crews in Mid December 2020

Slitter is going up to 2 crews

TUBULAR

Spiral Legacy Mills will be idle on Nov 25, 2020. Layoff notices should be out today for roughly 35-45 members. In 2 weeks they expect to take the Finishing 1 line down and the company expects to issue layoff notices for roughly 70 more members then. On December 15,2020 they expect Mill 5 to be run out and that will affect roughly 60 members. Finishing 2 line is expected to run until Jan 15,2021 which would then have layoff notices for the remainder of Spiral. Wasco coating is roughly 30 days behind so they are unsure how many will be needed in the Yard at this time.

24 Inch Mill, they will go up on Jan 9, 2021 for roughly 2.5 months running at 2 welding and 2 finishing crews

2 Inch Mill is expected to stay on current level till spring break up.

Please remember to work safely

3rd Qrt Profit Sharing 2020

3rd Quarter Results

Our financial performance for the third quarter of 2020 resulted in profit sharing payment for employees under the plan.  The payout will be $0.76 per eligible hour bonus payment for qualifying employees deposited into your bank account by November 6, 2020.

Our Q3 financial results benefited from accounting adjustments permitted under the plan and from payments received from the Canadian government under the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy program, which offset some of Q3 expenses. Without these adjustments, our financial performance would not have resulted in a payment for the quarter under the terms of the plan.  

BENEFITS UPDATE

Brother’s and Sister’s,

Yesterday afternoon we received an update regarding the number of questions and concerns relating to response times and members’ benefits. The company has hired 2 new members to the Benefits Department. Melissa Albert and Melanie Lamoureux. It is our understanding though that these individuals will be based out of Calgary assisting Karen Graham Banman who is here in Regina.

If it is unclear whether a backlog issue has been resolved, the Benefits Team will reach out to our employees with an inquiry along the lines of: ‘We’re working through the Benefits backlog and want to make sure we are addressing any open issues. We want to confirm your question has been answered, please let us know if that is not the case’.
We also ask that our employees continue to use the department contacts rather than reaching out to individual team members within the departments. This will help to en-sure the best possible coverage and response times.

Payroll Department Email Address for Canada
Payroll.Canada@evrazna.com
Payroll Department Toll-Free Phone Number
1-888-305-1767
Benefits Department Email Address
benefits.pension@evrazna.com
Benefits Department Toll-Free Phone Number
1-844-924-7636

Their initial priority is to focus on resolving medical and dental coverage issues. All necessary updates have been made in Workday for medical and dental coverage through at least October 9 and will continue to be updated.

If you are emailing one of the company contacts please include one of your top 5 executive members to that email,

Mike Day- m.day@usw5890.com

Ryan McKenzie- r.mckenzie@usw5890.com

Steve Olson- s.olson@usw5890.com

Dana Faul- d.faul@usw5890.com

Tory Sand- t.sand@usw5890.com


Sask. Party must come clean on plans for working people

With only a week until the provincial election, the Sask. Party needs to be clear about their plans for working people in the province, and whether or not they are planning on bringing forward anti-worker labour legislation and privatizing public services that Saskatchewan people rely on, should they be re-elected.


“We’ve seen past Sask. Party governments pass labour legislation that attempted to take away a workers right to strike, and make it more difficult for workers to unionize,” said Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) President Lori Johb. “We’ve also seen past Sask. Party governments sell-off crown corporations and make deep cuts to health care and education. “With the provincial election just days away, the Sask. Party needs to come clean on their plans for working people in the province.”


Johb pointed to Alberta, where the UCP government has passed draconian labour legislation that weakens worker rights, takes away overtime pay for workers, and limits a unions ability to advocate on behalf of its members. At their convention last weekend, the UCP passed a resolution to support American-style “right to work” legislation that lowers wages and limits worker rights. The UCP also recently announced plans to fire 11,000 public healthcare workers.

“The Sask. Party needs to be upfront with Saskatchewan people about whether or not they would support introducing similar anti-worker legislation and if they would support making cuts that put jobs and healthcare at risk during a pandemic like their Conservative counterparts in Alberta,” Johb said. “Working people in Saskatchewan deserve to know what the Sask. Party’s plans are before they cast their ballot.”

Brother Brent Evans

Brothers and Sisters,

It is with great sadness that I inform you that on Wednesday Oct 7,2020 we lost one of our brothers, Brent Evans. Brent has been a member of 5890 since 1990 and gone to soon at the age of 63. Today there is a private service to remember Brent. Please keep Brent, his wife Bridget and the rest of the Evans Family in your prayers.

https://leaderpost.remembering.ca/obituary/brent-evans-1080425819