Workers at U.S. Steel say "We need an employer that will put us back to work - as was promised to the federal government."
HAMILTON - As Lakeside Steel files in court for a
chance to purchase the former Stelco, the United Steelworkers employees remind
Minister Clement and the Canadian public that in keeping with U.S. Steel's
promise to the government of Canada the workers should be brought back to work
"The Steelworkers will work well with any company that is willing to work
with us, honours our collective agreement, funds our pension plan, and
demonstrates a commitment to the community," said Bill Ferguson, President
United Steelworkers Local 8782.
"For a company to live up to its commitments to workers and community is
what we call the 'net benefit to Canada test'. That is the test the federal
government is required to enforce with foreign takeovers of Canadian resource
companies, like Stelco," insisted Tony De Paulo, United Steelworkers Area
"U.S. Steel failed that test when it locked-out its remaining employees,
after laying-off more than 800 workers," said De Paulo. "Breaking its promise
of employment and output guarantees puts U.S. Steel in default of that
"What is important for the community, the workers and the economy is to
have our members back at work and an employer that is committed and able to
keep our plants operating now and in the future," said Ferguson.
"If U.S. Steel can live up to this test, as it promised, it should - and
it should do it now. If Lakeside Steel is able to meet that test, and is able
to operate the plants effectively, we are more than willing to work with it,"
"It's time that Minister Clement stood up for Canadians and their
families, and intervened in this lock-out and ordered U.S. Steel to get back
to the bargaining table," said Wayne Fraser, Ontario & Atlantic Canada
District Director for the Steelworkers.
"Our workers show up for work on time, U.S. Steel should show up on time
to keep its promise," reminded De Paulo.