Something to think about before it happens in this country

30 Years Ago Today: The Day the Middle Class Died …a letter from Michael

Friday, August 5th, 2011


From time to time, someone under 30 will ask me, “When did this all
begin, America’s downward slide?” They say they’ve heard of a time when
working people could raise a family and send the kids to college on just one
parent’s income (and that college in states like California and New York was
almost free). That anyone who wanted a decent paying job could get one. That
people only worked five days a week, eight hours a day, got the whole weekend
off and had a paid vacation every summer. That many jobs were union jobs, from
baggers at the grocery store to the guy painting your house, and this meant
that no matter how “lowly” your job was you had guarantees of a
pension, occasional raises, health insurance and someone to stick up for you if
you were unfairly treated.

Young people have heard of this mythical time — but it was no myth, it was
real. And when they ask, “When did this all end?”, I say, “It
ended on this day: August 5th, 1981.” Continue reading Something to think about before it happens in this country

Bargaining Update

Your Joint Bargaining Committee has finished another three days
of negotiations (Aug 3, 4, 5) on Non-Monetary issues. We have not begun to
bargain monetary issues yet.

Negotiations are progressing slowly but are still progressing.
The committee was able to come to tentative agreement on the following issues

  • Article 5.02- Small improvements
  • Article 5.03- Improvements to Reasonable Discipline
  • Article 10.01 – housekeeping andaddition of Family Day

The parties have agreed to meetagain August 31, Sept 1, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14.

In the meantime both parties have agreed that the Co-operative Wage Study (C.W.S.) committees for will meet, address and resolve all
the outstanding issues before bargaining begins again.


The Collective Bargaining agreement expired last night at midnight. At this point negotiations between Evraz and the USW bargaining chain is still progressing.  Chain Bargaining in conjunction with Local 6673 is scheduled to resume on August 3 (Wed) to continute to negotiate  outstanding local issues and common issues along side the Calgary local with Evraz.

Everyone in our local is to report to work as usual at this time.

Bargaining Update

Your Bargaining Committee met with the company on July 26th and 27th in Regina.

All non-monetary proposals common between LU 5890 and LU 6673 were reviewed and discussed.

As well unresolved local issues were reviewed again.

Several other outstanding issues were brought forward to the company and the company outlined a list of their upcoming proposals.

We are hopeful that with an improved understanding of each other’s positions we will be able to begin to solve these issues.

Both parties have agreed to meet again Aug. 3, 4 & 5th.


Bargaining Update

Your Bargaining Committee just completed another two days of non-monetary (no money) negotiation with the Company. There are several local issues still outstanding that the parties are very close to a resolve. There is a sub-committee meeting being scheduled next week to attempt to bring a resolve closer and a possible agreement before main table bargaining. If no agreement is reached then these issues will move as well to main table bargaining.

The parties have agreed to meet again on July 26, 27 and August 3, 4, 5 to begin main table bargaining of the remaining non-monetary local and joint proposals in conjunction with Calgary LU 6673.

Bargaining Update

The Bargaining Committee just completed another 2 days of non-monetary (no money) bargaining with the Company. During the last 2 days we have clarified and strengthened the language in the following articles:

  • 12.05- Temporary Employees (new language is clearer and adds improvements to rights of new hires)
  • 12.08 (e) Job Posting Procedures
  • Joint Seniority, Shift and Overtime Committee (clarification)

We have been unable to come to agreement on roughly half of the issues which will now progress to the next level of negotiations which is called “non-monetary main table” when local non-monetary bargaining is completed.

The parties have agreed to meet again on July 14 and 15 for another round of non-monetary local bargaining.


Tubular Division Line of Progression

The Tubular Divsion Line of Progression is now posted on “My EVRAZ”. As per the Collective Bargaining agreement everyone in the Tubular division has an opportunity to dispute their job seniority according to the LOP list for 30 days (starting Wednesday June 15). After the 30 day period no changes will be made except through the course of regular business in the future.

Bargaining Update

The Bargaining Committee just finished another 3 days of non-monetary bargaining with the Company.

We have clarified and strengthened the language surrounding articles:

  • 9.09-OT distribution language
  • 9.11-OT lunch (clarified and simplified language)
  • 11.07-Labour Act (modified the language),
  • 12.04- Establish and Maintain Seniority (strengthened probationary language)
  • 14.03- Personal Protective Equip. (made minor gains in PPE however we still have unresolved issues to be negotiated)
  • 14.05- Right to refuse (improved language to protect this right)
  • 18.08-access to personal files (created new language)
  • Letter of Understanding-dead shift (achieved improvements to the Tubular dead shift agreement)
  • A new shift schedule in excess of 8 hours was agreed to

There is also a number of “housekeeping” articles that have been resolved.

We have been unable to come to agreement on some issues which will progress to the next level of negotiations when local bargaining is completed.

Bargaining is to resume again on June 27, 28 and 29

Rumours about Gretchen

Let’s Go-Rumour Ministry

I was in the plant Thursday and Friday…have to say, I find it funny that the rumour mill is running as efficient as ever!!!

For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter, (usw5890vp) I feel the need to clarify some of the creative and entertaining “stories” I’ve heard.

1-I am NOT angry or disgruntled with the rest of the Executive!

2-I am NOT quitting and going to MOSAIC potash!

3-We have NOT agreed to 3.5% over 3 years.  We have NOT even discussed monetary at all with the Company!

 Please remember, unless you personally hear it from a member of YOUR bargining committee or Executive it’s probably just a rumour.

Feel free to come out to the next meeting on June 20 for answers to any and all questions you may have.


Bargaining Update

Your Bargaining Committee met with the Company on May 24, 25 and 26th to discuss and bargain non-monetary issues. The Committee and the Company discussed roughly 15 articles of which we have reached tentative agreements on several . As far as the question that a lot are asking “how are things going at the table” the most accurate answer your Bargaining Committee can give is bargaining is progressing at a steady pace and we are looking at further progress when we meet again on June 7, 8 and 9th.

Bargaining Update

Your Bargaining Committee and the Company Representatives met on May 10-12 to commence bargaining on non-monetary issues (no money issues yet).  The bargaining process is moving forward at a reasonable pace. Your Bargaining Committee is committed to securing you the best possible collective agreement and appreciates your support and patience. The parties have agreed to meet again on May 24, 25, 26

We will provide updates as negotiations progress.

Don’t forget about the REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING held on May 16 7:30 PM at the Regina Union Center 12th and Angus St

Bargaining Update

The United Steelworker Locals 5890 and 6673 Chain Bargaining Committee met today with the EVRAZ Bargaining Committee to exchange Non-monetary proposals and negotiation topics. The parties will meet again on May 10, 2011.

 Your Bargaining Committee is working hard to negotiate a fair and equitable Collective Bargaining Agreement for all members of USW LU 5890.

EVRAZ Unity Council


 BURNABY, BC – Earlier this week, leaders of four United Steelworkers (USW) local unions certified to Evraz NA operations in the USA and Canada met for two days in Las Vegas, Nevada to form a “Unity Council,” in order to deal with the Moscow-based multinational on a common front. The union leaders represent over 2,600 workers at Evraz steel and pipe plants in Pueblo, Colorado; Calgary, Alberta and Regina, Saskatchewan.

“This is an important step in bringing workers together across borders to share information, strategies and plans with respect to a common employer,” says USW District 12 Director, Robert LaVenture, chair of the Unity Council.

“Steelworkers across international boundaries know that they need to work together if we want to balance our interests against powerful global companies like Evraz,” says LaVenture, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The local unions, staff and leadership agreed to form a Unity Council that will formalize their relationship and take steps to expand the council to include other Evraz NA workers, some of whom are represented by other trade unions and others without union representation.

“Ultimately, we would like to see a worldwide group of Evraz workers that is able to meet regularly and work to ensure that the company’s workforce, regardless of country or nationality, is treated fairly and has strong union representation,” says USW Western Canada (District 3) Director, Stephen Hunt. “This meeting is an exciting step in building global solidarity among workers at Evraz.”

The USW local unions that participated in the meeting were: USW 6673 (Calgary), USW 5890 (Regina), USW Local 2102 (Pueblo) and USW 3267 (Pueblo).

Contact:  Scott Lunny  604-329-5308 /