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Chinese firm to hire 60 for Essar repairs

Tuesday, May 13, 2014   by: Kenneth Armstrong

Essar Steel Algoma has contracted a Chinese company to repair coke oven through walls at the plant.

Over 60 tradespeople are to be hired for the work, said Brenda Stenta, manager of corporate communications for Essar Steel Algoma.

The positions are not being offered directly from Essar Steel Algoma, but they are assisting in the hiring process for Sinosteel, the China-based company contracted to undertake the project.

The project will include the repair of coke-oven battery through walls and should take approximately one year, said Stenta.

Positions include brick setters, crane operators and electricians as well as general labourers.

Although the particular batteries which are being worked on won’t be operated during the renovation, overall coke production will continue throughout the project, said Stenta.

Sinosteel has a Canadian office and Stenta expects that they will travel to Sault Ste. Marie to conduct the hiring.

Although Essar Steel Algoma have not contracted Sinosteel locally in the past, their parent company Essar Steel has on other projects, said Stenta.

“They are world-renowned for their expertise in steel-making manufacturing and engineering and have extensive experience in coke ovens and blast furnaces,” said Stenta.

Postings for the positions can be viewed on the Essar Steel Algoma website.

(File photo: Armstrong)

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Grizz72 5/13/2014 1:54:03 PM Report

This is just the beginning of contracting out the jobs to over seas contractors with in Essar it is only a matter of time before they bring in there own contractors and employees from around the globe to operate the steel mill (e.g; Masonry, is #1 on the hit list) all Trades are going to be affected in due time.
mikethedike 5/13/2014 1:54:19 PM Report

Hounds Fan 5/13/2014 1:59:18 PM Report

They took our jerbs!!
MuddFlap 5/13/2014 2:00:23 PM Report

SCABS. The health and safety and working conditions will be sub par at best. Poor Canada.
Mr. Poster 5/13/2014 2:11:44 PM Report

My positive opinion of ESSAR just went through the floor. What a terrible thing to do when so many Canadians are out of work. Perhaps I am this a field whereby only SPECIALIZED workers can do the job and NONE can be found in Canada?
Right Winger 5/13/2014 2:13:17 PM Report

Ya, those 60 local guys should be ashamed of themselves!
KMF61MCF 5/13/2014 2:15:25 PM Report

SinoSteel, a China-based Company is seeking experienced individuals for fixed term employment at Essar Steel Algoma in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario who are assisting SinoSteel in their recruitment efforts...........FIXED TERM is the key word big deal short term jobs figures
mallet 5/13/2014 2:21:51 PM Report

Grizz72 and Mr Poster...

The writing has been on the wall for a long time regarding this, when you post a job and requirements are a special language, say Hindu or Mandarin, you have shut out 99.9 per cent of local trades people. This has been done before in British Columbia where a mine advertised for miners and then said a requirement was that you had to be able to read and write Mandarin Chinese. Local Unions and others took this to court and lost and the company brought in some 80/100 Chinese miners under the "Foreign Worker Program" at the time there were miners in Sudbury who applied for the jobs but were turned down for "lack" of the special language reqirement..
ThinkAgain 5/13/2014 2:22:03 PM Report

Surprised it never happened sooner
mpa 5/13/2014 2:22:47 PM Report

Thank Mr Harper for this legislation.

Keep voting PC people and see what happens. Its plain and simple!!
stakeholder 5/13/2014 2:23:38 PM Report

wonder what kind of a tax credit this company would qualify for if Hudak and his progressive convervatives got into power?
go-on-get the money and run?!
Mr E 5/13/2014 2:31:02 PM Report

Its a temp job. What difference does it make who does the hiring. Now we complain about jobs? Cripes.
cathyh 5/13/2014 2:43:29 PM Report

If I read the news release correctly it doesn't say the workers are going to be from China it says the company is coming here to hire workers. Am I missing something?
kodak11 5/13/2014 2:45:46 PM Report

its a Chinese firm that is hired for their experience in said repairs,all the workers are going to come from the local job pool from the Soo and surrounding area.
Right of Centre 5/13/2014 2:47:04 PM Report

I saw these jobs posted on the HRDC job bank recently. I don't recall seeing anything about having to speak a language other than English.

If anyone is that concerned foreign workers will fill the jobs, get off your butt and contact Hayes' office to be sure they don't use the TFW program.

If you're going to complain, at least do something about it.
Pebbles1 5/13/2014 2:50:36 PM Report

"They are world-renowned for their expertise in steel-making manufacturing and engineering and have extensive experience in coke ovens and blast furnaces,” said Stenta.

How many years has this plant been open?

ranny 5/13/2014 2:54:14 PM Report

A Foreign company is hiring people in the Sault. People complaining about a job posting? Sad we're living in a society people prefer to receive a pay cheque for doing nothing than work.
iamtc 5/13/2014 3:02:49 PM Report

Why repair something that is going to close soon
tosimple 5/13/2014 3:05:13 PM Report

Threw wall jobs were done many years ago about 94. The Germans were brought in to over see the job.Threw walls have been going on for years now.It has not been local companies running the jobs ever. The steel work yes,but not the masonry work. But it has been local bricklayers doing the job.The Chinese are coming in, its my understanding they have a better brick and materials to be used on this job. A lot of you folks do not understand how the cokeovens work. The pressures inside and the temperatures they withstand. Its gona be local bricklayers doing the job... They has not been much going on for the outside bricklayers lately. So let them work!!!!
Battler213 5/13/2014 3:19:29 PM Report

mpa: Harper has nothing to do with that. You're spouting off pure ignorance and making yourself look like a fool. Please do some research before looking as such.
IB-fine 5/13/2014 3:42:28 PM Report

Relining the coke ovens for decades have been a short term job done by unions including the Labourer's Union. Heck my son's father did that the first year of my son's life and my son is now 25!
What's the deal with not only contracting out to non-union companies but ones from China???
Yes I feel when the Conservatives brought in NAFTA and then recently cancelled alot of labour and environmental laws they did the local people and unions in.
Why aren't the Steelworkers' unions protesting this??
steelworker 5/13/2014 3:49:10 PM Report

Some people can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Others can't read and comprehend.
IB-fine 5/13/2014 3:49:54 PM Report

Just checked the job site and they are only paying General Labourers $18 an hour! This is a dangerous job and everyone working the reline should be paid alot more than they are advertising!
I know my son's father in a 3 month reline would go through a pair of steel toed/shanked workboots every other week as it was still so hot, it would melt the boots! Let alone the heights they had to climb!
OMG if your son/husband/boyfriend is going to apply it's not worth getting killed or maimed for! especially at $18 an hour with no benefits or union protection!
sportsman 5/13/2014 3:51:03 PM Report

Why blame your prime minister you got to be kidding lol
Mr E 5/13/2014 3:52:54 PM Report

A monkey can do general labour. 18 Bucks is a pretty nice wage for grunt work.
sportsman 5/13/2014 3:53:42 PM Report

For many years they brought in experts to do these jobs we worked with them.
Market 5/13/2014 4:11:34 PM Report

@steelworker ...LOL Love it!
sinikka 5/13/2014 4:25:26 PM Report

You people complain for the sake of complaining. What is actually possibly good news for some local unemployed trades is being looked at in an negative fashion. Read the damn article and then comment. Even the heading should help some of you armchair lawyers and doctors. Chinese firm to hire , yes hire 60 for Essar repairs.
Frio 5/13/2014 4:57:19 PM Report

It sounds like many of the posters are just bitching about nothing and didn't bother to follow the link "Postings for the positions can be viewed on the Essar Steel Algoma website" as to the jobs being offered in Sault Ste. Marie for up to year for the work required at the steel plant. Is that because none of them are qualified to do any of the jobs posted or want to work when an opportunity appears right in front of their faces??? Big hairy deal if a Chinese firm was hired to oversee the project, they are looking for local qualified workers to do the job. Reading and comprehension skills must be real difficult to find in SSM. When upgrading or rebuilds are done in papermills, a whole crew of workers would arrive on site to do the work, staying in hotels for several weeks until the required contracted out job was completed and leave.
sledman92 5/13/2014 5:32:11 PM Report

The rates that they are offering are $8-$10 lower than what the average trades person makes in Ontario. So they are not going to fill a lot of the job positions. This will allow them to bring workers from China. The government should make sure that they are paying in the same pay rate or close to it..
Our government has to do more to help people get apprenticeships so they can get the training they need. I know programs exist but it's not enough.
Sam C 5/13/2014 5:46:34 PM Report

tosimple... thank you for that explanation.

The article states they will be hiring locally. However, as with previous contractors, if they need to bring in skilled tradespeople because there aren't any here, then that's what needs to happen.
Dictionary 5/13/2014 5:51:31 PM Report

They are hiring scabs! Locals or not!
And when trades refuse to work outside of their union they'll open it up to Temporary Foreign Workers... It's ingenious!
tosimple 5/13/2014 6:35:30 PM Report

I have worked in the coke ovens for a long time. I have not looked at the job postings. But I certainly will! I am not sure if they are not using the labours union guys. I certainly hope they will. I do know that they will require qualified trades people to do masonry work,steel work. The Sault has both here!! If we can get guys working for a good stretch its good for every one... To complain about a kid getting 18 bucks an hour for labour work. McD's or Tims pay anyone that kind of money??Plus they have to pay overtime after so many hours!!! We have summer students starting with us now. Essar pays 10 bucks and the gov pays ten bucks an hour.So the students get 2 bucks an hour more. Let the younger guys see what goes on with these big jobs. Maybe we could get some more badly needed trades people!!!!!
cheri 5/13/2014 6:42:10 PM Report

my son's father?
wandering 5/13/2014 6:42:43 PM Report

Everyone just get ready for the closure of this place
Keep your money you will need it soon when they close the door
just a matter of time
coming sooner than what you think
They are in debt so deep there no way they will come out of it except packing in the middle of the night flee to their own country with all your pension plan
they are doing it in every Country so the Sault plan is nothing for them
tosimple 5/13/2014 6:59:27 PM Report

Yes I think most all the people that work there worry about them shutting down. But when we are this far into it, what do you do?? I for one am glad to see them fixing stuff. The coke ovens is vital to the production of steel. If the steel markets down and they were able to sell coke on the open market it's very smart. I am glad to see the younger people coming in to work at essar.. I hope they are able to have a job for many years......
ducky58 5/13/2014 7:00:12 PM Report

With the kids of today Essar will be lucky if they fill the jobs even at 18 bucks an hour. that's a dirty job and most don't won't to get that dirty.
Wisenheimer 5/13/2014 7:22:31 PM Report

I believe it says a Chinese Comp. will hire 60 local tradespeople to do the work.
The majority of them will be retired Essar people with experience doing coke oven relines.
Been there done that.
Take a pill !
Bruins Nut 5/13/2014 7:38:25 PM Report

Sledman92 has it right.
No one will apply for the low paying, no benefits,no pension scab jobs which in return they will bring in foreign workers.
The writing is on the wall.
I worked on thru walls and the tradesmen are pros of their jobs and not just anyone can do it.
Its not just the coke ovens. The stoves are next. Its a four year 1 billion dollar project.
Essar promotes scab labour like they did with S&T double dipping gravy sucking pigs that wiped out a generation of young tradesmen that could be working at home instead of all over the country.
WAKE up people.
We have great young generation of tradesmen and apprentices but essar will not hire them or a reputable company to hire them.
It is that generation that will be buying a house and cars and raising a family here in Sault Ste Marie
Do you think Essar has something to gain?
Did Essar mention the Chinese are giving $700 million dollars and in return they hire 70% Chinese workers.
They forgot that part...convenient?
Get a hold of your government and city reps before its too late.
This will drive the economy straight down.
Next time you see an S&T truck, wave to them and say thank you for taking your son and daughters job.
Next time you see an Essar rep tell them to wake up and call their local union to stop this.
6 fan 5/13/2014 7:45:57 PM Report

Bruins nut has hit the nail on the head 100 %
duckrtin 5/13/2014 7:48:50 PM Report

I am a union bricklayer and have been doing the coke ovens for years..this really grinds my gears big time! Now iam out of work more work and this goes the same for my brothers in my hall and probably the labor union too is out..frigging scabs!
Tito 5/13/2014 8:13:10 PM Report

The headline should actually read 60 workers being "replaced" This was work that was always done by our local trades, now it will be done for half the money ,no benefits, no pension, no overtime and no rights....Don't let the headline fool you of what's really happening here.....and its just the start of things to come.
Dictionary 5/13/2014 8:37:16 PM Report

here's a question for someone with a better understanding of labour unions.. is there going to be anything preventing the people hired from signing union cards once this project begins?
Tito 5/13/2014 9:05:30 PM Report

@dictionary.....This Chinese firm would not allow any union in of course even if it happened they would delay it through courts for the year, It's the same plan as SnT industrial...but's selling out our own people.....
Tito 5/13/2014 9:05:36 PM Report

@dictionary.....This Chinese firm would not allow any union in of course even if it happened they would delay it through courts for the year, It's the same plan as SnT industrial...but's selling out our own people.....
mr.monty 5/13/2014 9:12:33 PM Report

foreign workers have the inside track when it comes to Canadian citizenship. what does the union say about this?
Tito 5/13/2014 9:25:22 PM Report

The TFW program is easy to abuse and companies like Essar will be sure to continue abuse it once they realize how easy it is....The people of the Soo will be systematically weeded out of any good paying jobs at the plant.
Working Man 5/13/2014 9:42:08 PM Report

Well, they're hiring the labourers at $18/hr, which is a lot better than paying average people, who don't know anything, $25+/hr. It's a smart move.

I personally think trades people make a tonne of money for just being 'specialized' ordinary workers. They aren't smart like engineers or anything.

The labour union's workers gets paid 'way' too much' also! It grinds my gears, when I have a technical degree. I also have over a decade of hard labour experience yet, i'm not quite 25/hr, but close.

What grinds my gears the most, is that society does not reward effort, hard work, or intelligence. Those people who have pride in their accomplishments will argue with me, yet i'm probably smarter than most of them(ok, i'm not as smart as an engineer, a professional pilot, or a specialized doctor; but I can beat anyone's ace in Calculus)!!!
Koolaid 5/13/2014 10:16:24 PM Report

Essar workers are crybabies !! and their union is just a maphia in disguise. Squezzing the company for everything it has. The fall of the company is inevitable, and the blame will be on the union shoulders.
Tito 5/13/2014 10:19:25 PM Report

@working man... you have never "worked" in the Coke ovens have you?.... you will know what work is really like and why people command good wages to work in that hell hole.
duckrtin 5/13/2014 10:37:02 PM Report

ive caught on fire so many times in the regen. Thats with layers and layers of fire protection on its only a cool 500 to 1000 in the regen but only people that have been in the belly of the coke ovens would understand...we burn for are dollar ..and so do the Labours.
Bruins Nut 5/13/2014 10:50:28 PM Report

they will not close..
8000 ton a day produced X$800/ ton.
Low paying jobs just increase profit.
Working man can tell you how much that is per day,per week then per year.
Working Man
Supply and are a smart man that went in the wrong field.
Try to do what the tradesmen's do daily then tell me what the pay scale should be.
Then they can retire and let the next generation work...not work till they die because they have no pension.
6 fan 5/13/2014 10:50:32 PM Report

Koolaid is an asshole , Essar is run by the cheapest idiots just like every Indian company around the world , research there rep. They care nothing about quality . All they are worried about is how cheap they can get it down for and then not pay for it . They are very rude and 2 faced , this S/T group is putting a lot of young people out of a trade job
young guy 5/13/2014 11:08:29 PM Report


I have never worked in the coke ovens. You're right.. And I assume it would be extreme heat conditions to work in, obviously.

What is your point exactly? I would do that type of work for that type of wage. But, NO WAY am I going to be a labourer for $18 per hour in there. If they are going through hell for that wage, they deserve it!!! They don't have any skills or anything!!
Tito 5/13/2014 11:15:29 PM Report

@young guy, just because they don't have "skills" doesn't mean they should be treated like slaves, no humane being should have to go in there for those wages.....but I'm sure you know how India and China feel about Human rights....and are clueless of the real world.
Koolaid 5/13/2014 11:27:09 PM Report

6 fan

Please.. resort to name calling.. just shows how educated you are. We all know Unions are the downfall of society present. They were a good idea in the past, but there are so many labour laws, we don't need unions anymore. Lets let everyone work. People who work in a union complain about people on Welfare and unemployment..... THE UNION PUT THEN THERE !!!!
young guy 5/13/2014 11:29:07 PM Report


Where did you go to school? And what did you take? What do you even do, and where do you work? How much money do you even make?

If you don't have any skills, you should be happy to work in there. Or maybe you'd rather work for Mcdonalds. If so; you go do that then!!!

Work on your decision making skills. It's a no-brainer! What is a slave to you?? This is Canada! If you think being a 'slave' is to work for 50grand+ a year, well, what about the people who are born and raised here who work at Tim Hortons, or even consider the manager at Tim Hortons... They aren't immagrants. But, they dont' make very much money...

What do you mean by slave? Because most people are slaves, aren't they?
Tito 5/13/2014 11:39:08 PM Report

I am a skilled tradesmen who makes decent money and I don't even work in the coke ovens but have been near by when they come out after a shift covered in black from head to toe. I think these people should be paid well and shouldn't have a "firm" from China come in and take away their jobs to someone who will work for less.
Working Man 5/13/2014 11:46:10 PM Report

Bruins nut

I know exactly what a tradesman has to go through as I have worked with them a great deal.. They 'still' aren't worth as much money as they think they are worth(and they 'still' complain about their wage; eg $34/hr "I struggle paying off my mortgage"., Or, w/34+/hr, "I love my job but hate my wage"...

Those people are stupid and ignorant as anything... I can be a millionaire with their wages no problem(and yes, I swear on my mothers grave)!!
Shadows89 5/13/2014 11:53:39 PM Report

Bruins nut

Your an idiot get your head out of your ass
judoka 5/14/2014 12:01:01 AM Report

Nice company to work for eh? I was told years ago, of their reputation for doing this sort of shit...and it would only take time.
soowat 5/14/2014 12:54:54 AM Report

Right Winger

Are you suggesting that people need to have English comprehension skills before posting? Wow what a neat
s.m.k. 5/14/2014 1:52:55 AM Report

Anyone thinking they wont fill these spots quicker then they can post them online is nuts. Before I started at Essar I would have begged to make $18 an hour for labor work. Its a short term, well paying job for general muscle work. Sure its not $30+ an hour like Essar employees get with benefits and pension, but that is how short term labor jobs work. Adding 60 jobs to the local economy is always a good thing, and helping repair some very aged parts of Essar is also a good thing for the community. As the steel plant goes, so does this city.
boilertyme 5/14/2014 9:05:57 AM Report

Don't knock Unions , safety , fair wages and general worker rights were created by the Unions. Benefits for dental, eyeglasses , prescriptions etc which help maintain general good health are provided by Unions. They set a quality of life that effects all workplaces Union or not, when a worker gets hurt he is not dumped and replaced, he is taken care of and made whole without having to go hungry. In the country Essar comes from everyone that is not rich is expendable and easily replaced, therefor creating a lower standard of living, that is what Essar would like to implement here in Canada. Is that what we need ? Remember Unions are the people that brought you the weekend.

6 fan 5/14/2014 9:11:28 AM Report

Right Winger 5/14/2014 9:18:53 AM Report


Battler213 5/14/2014 9:47:08 AM Report

No need for Unions any more. Period. These are 60 jobs for labour, skilled labour, skilled trades etc. The $18/hr is for the general labourers. NOT SCABS. NOT NON-TRADES PEOPLE Stealing your work. Just labourers.

With this mentality, i'm surprised the human race in the Sault has survived so long.

This company is in huge debt (Read the posts). People warned you to not spend and save your money because 'it's written on the wall' that the company will go under.

So when they do cost saving measures to keep the place running - of course it's the Union members beaking off the hardest about no fair wages.
wandering 5/14/2014 10:33:52 AM Report

so glad i am not working there
Mr E 5/14/2014 11:07:54 AM Report

Kids nowadays need these labourer jobs to teach them to appreciate what a real job is. When I hear people cry about a desk job being tough I only need to think back at doing a furnace tearout in the rail mill. These jobs will be snatched up faster than you can say unemployment.
foryinfo 5/14/2014 7:26:41 PM Report

It does not surprise me, that Essar has taken this path. the writing has been on the wall for alone time. Not to many companies might be willing to take on this job, and if Essar default on the their financial commitment, the Chinese would love to have Essar Algoma in their pocket. But the real issue is, Will these repair bring Essar emission under the environmental guidelines? Sault Ste Marie can't afford, another 15 years of poorly monitored pollution control, with the high volume of cancer incidence in the area. Essar needs to clean up it's act, and stop playing Russian roulette with our present and future health.
guestwho 5/14/2014 8:41:52 PM Report

doesn`t SIS or S&T have a scab section of their companies to do this ,they scab everything else!!
Bruins Nut 5/14/2014 9:00:42 PM Report

SIS is union S&T are SCABS
judoka 5/18/2014 12:55:03 AM Report

Nice. Employment solutions looking for industrial electricians for this job.....for.....$28.75. Its all about the dollars folks....yes indeed!!
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