News, Developments and Information

Right to Refuse

All Canadians workers have three basic health and safety rights:
• the Right to Know: what are the hazards that a worker may face
• the Right to Participate: to investigate and participate in health and safety activities
• the Right to Refuse Unsafe Work: if a worker has reason to believe that work is dangerous, the worker has the right to refuse that work without fear of repercussions.
The United Steelworkers have always been proud to call ourselves the health and safety union. We’ve always had to be; we have seen to many workers seriously hurt or killed on the job. That’s why we continue to be; hopefully you have all learned of our union’s “Stop the Killing, Enforce the Law” campaign. Almost 45 years ago our members forced a Royal Commission that first created the three basic rights listed above – we’ve used those rights every day.
Today, no matter your worksite, these rights are critical in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and these must be workers’ bottom lines when on the job.
Thankfully in most cases, responsible employers will work with us to resolve work refusals quickly and without issue, using common sense and cooperation. However, we have some employers who need government regulators to learn that workers’ health and safety comes before profits and production deadlines.
Sometimes that’s still not enough, and as workers, we have to know and be prepared to use our rights. The USW has produced “Right to Refuse” cards for every health and safety jurisdiction in Canada. The processes are outlined and require you to follow the steps that are established by health and safety legislation. Across Canada, Steelworkers have Health and Safety Coordinators that will assist you and your local. Their information is on our website at www.usw.ca, as well as information on covid-19 at www.usw.ca/members/coronavirus-resources.
Every day on the job, your health and safety should come first. Getting through this global pandemic means we all have to be more afraid of the virus than the boss. You should be, we all should be—it’s our right.

April 6 Production Update

On Friday[ April 3rd] the Company issued layoff notices in the Office & Technical Department listed below;

The following is what the Company has discussed with the Union in terms of current an upcoming work.

TUBULAR-

* 2″ Has a couple weeks worth of work then will be down for the foreseeable future.

*24″ Has a small order that will start about 10 days after the 2″ goes down. That will be at 1 welding and 2 finishing crews

*Spiral Legacy Mills are booked until the fall

*Mill 5 is booked until 2021

STEEL

Although recalls for every area have been happening there has been some challenges to get back up to pre cyber attack production levels. The hope was to have the Melt Shop running already and the Rolling Mill up for the middle of this week running at 4 crews. After about 3 weeks the company has told the Union it plans on running at a 3 crew level for the foreseeable future also. The Union Shift and Seniority Committee has requested a meeting to discuss scheduling. The company has implemented the 3 day clause in some areas of Steel over the past weekend. If you have exceeded 3 working days please contact a Steward.

This is a very challenging time at all the Evraz facilities. Layoff notices in Calgary were issued last week for 90 members as well. Continue to work safe. Your executive will continue to send out updates as we get them .

TO RECEIVE UPDATES TEXT 5890 TO THE NUMBER 32323

STAGGERED SHIFT LOU

In attempts to relieve the amount of people in the change room during this pandemic, the Union and Company have agreed to the below Temporary Letter of Understanding

Shift start times are going to look as follows;

Melt Shop, Caster & Steel Yard- 5:00

Rolling Mill & Roll Shop- 5:30

Spiral Mills & Yard-6:00

Spiral Finishing & 2″ Mill- 6:30

Slitter, Heavy Plate and many Day Shifts- 7:00

PLEASE CHECK YOUR RESPECTIVE SCHEDULES FOR CHANGES

Social Distancing and Staggered Shifts

Brother’s and Sister’s

With the constant changes from the government on social distancing with the Covid outbreak, the company and union are in discussions for a Letter of Understanding to discuss staggering shift times. This will hopefully alleviate issues within the operations building change room facilities. Our goal is to keep everyone safe while still operating.

This will be based around Article 8.05[ definition of a shift] and Article 15.02[ shift premiums]. With the intent to keep our membership safe all while working within reasonable start times. We currently have a draft from the company and the union needs to make some amendments to it. Once we have reached an agreement we will post on this website.

COVID 19

Brother’s and Sister’s,

There are many questions regarding what the company is doing in regards to the COVID Pandemic and keeping our members safe. The company is trying to follow the guidelines set out by the Government which seem to be changing daily. This a very trying time for all of us and must remain calm. Panic and Rumors will not help the situation. This is the time to look out for one and other and we should all be following the below guidelines,

  • Employees should notify the company and stay home if they are sick.
  • Anyone identified to have had close contact of someone with Covid-19 shall go into mandatory self isolation for 14 days fro date of being exposed.
  • In cases of fever (100.4° F / 37.8° C or greater using an oral thermometer), do not come to work until you are free of fever, signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Maintain SOCIAL DISTANCING, Keep 6 ft apart
  • Self- disclose to the company if you are feeling any symptoms.

We want to make sure the company is providing a Safe and Healthy work environment for all. If you feel that is not being accomplished, talk to your supervisor/manager. Give them the opportunity to address the situation properly first. If you are not satisfied or hit a road block with them, every employee has the Right to Refuse[ article 14.05]. This has to be done by the individual. There is a process that must be followed which could include bringing in the Provincial OH&S Officer.

With the company expected to crew up in areas in the next few weeks the plan is to meet with the company to try and alleviate the issue of the change room. For the time being try and maintain that 6 feet of distance for everyone’s safety. This is an unprecedented time we are in right now. The Cyber Attack and Global Pandemic have put stress and strain on everyone. Take this opportunity to help each other and look out for each other.

In Solidarity.

Production Update

Members of your Executive met with the company this afternoon for a production/business update. Below is an overview of what was discussed.

STEEL;

Melt Shop- Still looking at start up for April 1st

Rolling Mill- Company is hopeful for April 9th and 10th.

Heavy Plate- Recall for Tuesday, March 31st

Slitter- 1 crew Monday the 30th

TUBULAR;

24 inch Mill- Mid April for 1 weld crew and 2 finishing crews

2 inch- It has been communicated that there will be recalls for 2 crews to start Monday March 30th.

COVID UPDATE

As you know the government has issued a State of Emergency regarding to COVID-19 Pandemic. This release came after our meeting with the company yesterday morning and I asked the company this morning what precautions the company is taking to abide by the guidelines outlined by the Provincial Government?

I wish I had more to report but there has been no response as of yet from the company. If you have concerns that the company is not doing the upmost on this, please contact your Supervisor, Human Resources or someone from the Safety Department.

P&M Update

Yesterday members from your Executive met with the company regarding where things stand with the shut down and layoffs and the following is what we were told;

TUBULAR

  • 2 INCH MILL- Company is hoping to start up in the first 2 weeks of April
  • 24 INCH MILL- Company is looking at the end of April for a start up.

STEEL

  • MELTSHOP- The April 1st date is still on target
  • ROLLING MILL- Is looking like April 13th.

COVID-19 UPDATE

Sisters and Brothers

Members of your local Executive and Health & Safety Representatives met with company regarding COVID-19[Coronavirus] earlier today. The majority of what we have been told to this point is practicing good hygiene such as;

  • Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
  • In cases of fever (100.4° F / 37.8° C or greater using an oral thermometer), do not come to work until you are free of fever, signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

The company is following the direction of the Canadian Government standards at this point and is asking for self- declaration if you have returned on or after Saturday March 14th from travel outside Canada.  Dr. Radford will be assessing each person on a case by case basis. There has been questions regarding contractors on site and the company has informed us they have gone through intake interviews and critical contractors have been turned away.  If you are feeling ill please follow the proper call in procedure. Also the 811 Health line is there to help in the process.

We asked how the company planned on dealing with the loss of income for individuals. If you are in Self Quarantine with no symptoms, apply for E.I. If you have symptoms apply for Short Term Disability. If you have been sent home by the company as a precautionary measure with no symptoms or sickness, those will be addressed also on a case by case basis. Childcare was also brought up and the company’s response was they expect the employee to bring those situations to the company early to address concerns but expect people to be working.

This is time for solidarity. By watching each other’s back and doing what’s right for one and other we Can and Will get through these times .

Sincerely

Mike Day

Article 17.06 Supplementary Unemployment Benefit

The following language outlines the SUB fund agreement with the Company

The Company agrees to fund a joint Supplementary
Unemployment Benefit (S.U.B.) plan. Under this plan the
Company will pay ten (10) cents an hour per employee on all
straight time hours worked into a S.U.B. fund. In the case of layoffs,
eligible employees will receive $110.00 per week from this
fund. The Company will establish a line of credit up to a maximum
of $500,000 to be drawn on by the S.U.B. Fund on an “as
required” basis in order to maintain a benefit level of one hundred
and ten dollars ($110) per week. Any draw down of the $500,000
line of credit will be reimbursed through future contributions

The Union has inquired about the plan and as of yet no response from the company. Please don’t hesitate to contact HR regarding this and how or who it will be administered by.

Tubular Update for March 15th

Recalls should be ongoing. Yesterday afternoons conversation with the company went as such,

MONDAY[16TH]- Hope to recall all Mills

WEDNESDAY[18TH]- All Finishing Lines.

2 inch mill they are unsure of start up date. Employees should be exercising their bumping rights.

Note, the following employees will not be recalled until the 2 inch mill is recalled as those employees have been displaced:

T. BARKER [545] 
Kar. SINGH [551]
K. CARNOCHAN [552]
D. MCCLARE [553] 
A. BOOKER [555] *
B. MONKA [556] Sun
M. RENOMERON [557] 
T. THOMPSON-GALE [558] Fri/Sat/Sun
J. SIDLOSKI [559] 
Ch. WITKOWSKI [560] 
M. VONAU [562]
S. GRETCHEN [564] 
R. PERRAULT [566] * 
W. JOHNSTON [567] T *
A. LUFFMAN [571] Fri
C. PARISIER [572] 
T. EBERLE [579]
V. OMIH [580]
C. EDWARDS [582]
R. SMOKE [583]
A. KARCHEWSKI [585]
A. SALEH [581] 
J. FELSKE [610]

TO GET UPDATES FROM THE LOCAL TEXT 5890 TO THE NUMBER 32323

TUBULAR & O&T UPDATE

I’ve just received a call from HR and Brad Forster and here is the latest.

O&T

They are extending the layoff notice for 1 week and all O&T personal are to report tomorrow, March 13th

TUBULAR

They are recalling enough for Mill 5 and F2 finishing line for Friday [13th]morning.

Monday the 16th hope to recall all mills

Wednesday the 18th all finishing

2 inch Mill they are unsure and employees in that area should exercise their bumping rights.

Layoff Update March 12

You local is trying to get the most up to date information to you our members as quickly as possible and as we get it from the company. The company was going to send us the updates bumping schedules in Steel every morning which we have no received as of yet and will get posted once we do.

TUBULAR

We met with the company yesterday and have been waiting for the schedule from the company as well. It is our understanding that recalls have been happening for the Mill 5 and F2 areas which they hope to have up and going either Thursday[12th] or Friday[13th] and the Legacy Mills and F1 Monday[16th]. Expectation is for the 2 inch Mill for Wednesday[18th]. If you feel there is an issue and you should have been back before a junior employee please contact a shop steward or email all the information to either m.day@usw5890.com or r.mckenzie@usw5890.com or k.fisher@usw5890.com.

We our also compiling names of individuals who were not contacted withing the cancellation of their shift under 15.05 [reporting pay]. This applies to all departments. So please get in touch with a shop steward or member of the Executive.