NANTICOKE, Ont. – A third group of workers at steelmaker Stelco Inc. has filed for conciliation and scheduled a strike mandate vote as a result of the slow pace of negotiations for a new collective agreement.
Approximately 100 members of United Steelworkers union (USW) Local 8782-03 will hold a strike mandate vote Wednesday, July 13, to back up their demands for meaningful negotiations and a new contract. The workers continue to work under the terms of their previous collective agreement that expired on June 30.
The members of USW Local 8782-03 work at Stelco’s pickling operations, which treat steel coils to remove impurities and prepare the steel for finishing and for industrial and manufacturing uses, including automaking.
“Bargaining has been slow, to say the least,” said Troy Cooper, president of the USW Local 8782-03 bargaining unit which negotiates on behalf of the workers at the Stelco pickling operations.
“We committed to continue negotiating following the expiry of our previous contract, but to date we have not been able to make the kind of progress that should be expected under the circumstances,” Cooper said.
“As a result, we have requested the assistance of a Ministry of Labour conciliator and we are holding a strike mandate vote,” he added.
The strike mandate vote is intended to demonstrate solidarity and support of union members for their bargaining committee in its efforts to negotiate a new collective agreement. The workers are not in a legal strike position, nor is the company in a legal position to lock out its workers.
The workers at Stelco’s pickling operations join two larger groups of Steelworkers at other Stelco plants whose contracts also expired June 30 and who have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike mandates.
Members of USW Local 8782, who work at Stelco’s steel-production operations in Nanticoke, voted 99% in favour of a strike mandate to back up their demands for a fair contract.
Members of USW Local 1005, who work at Stelco’s steel processing and finishing operations in Hamilton, voted more than 96% in favour of a strike mandate in support of their contract demands.
“Much like our colleagues in the other two bargaining units, our members expect a fair contract that recognizes that times are very, very good for Stelco, and that it is the workers who are primarily responsible for the company’s success,” Cooper said.
Troy Cooper, president, USW Local 8782-03 bargaining unit, 905-928-5696, email@example.com
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Denis St. Pierre, USW Communications, 647-522-1630, firstname.lastname@example.org