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Employees turn down Tenaris offer

Friday, May 30, 2014   by: SooToday.com Staff

NEWS RELEASE

USW LOCAL 9548

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Yesterday, USW Local 9548 voted to reject Algoma Seamless Tubular Inc’s (Tenaris Tubes) final contract offer.  

The union is willing to return to the bargaining table at any time to negotiate a fair and reasonable contract.

The current contract expires at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, June 1, 2014.  

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Comments
35
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
The Youth Online Club 5/30/2014 9:20:04 AM Report

I wish the bargaining team well and hope that a contract can be ratified in the near future. Stay strong.
saultbie25 5/30/2014 9:35:33 AM Report

Don't give up!

No one would want to work 8 hour shift work with a mash of one day shift, night, afternoon, night, day. Barely leaves a day off, shorted on time off. They need one week of days, a week of afternoons, a week of nights, and full days off.

You have my full support gentlemen, and ladies!
MarcHandthefunkybunch 5/30/2014 10:09:00 AM Report

Freakin'' joke. You know how many people would kill for a job like that? 40 hours a week, vacation, pention, etc. I, like majority of reasonable people, hope you lose more then you gain. If you have it so bad, quit and find something better. There are thousands of people who would take that job. Oh yeah, you won't because there isn't much better out there.
The Youth Online Club 5/30/2014 10:21:10 AM Report

I don't begrudge anyone trying to improve working conditions and wages. We are fortunate enough to live in a country where we have the right to request improvements. The divide between the rich and poor would be so much more unbelievable if we didn't. Not to mention the risk to workers. My family is affecteed by this. The last thing anyone wants is to be on strike. I hope things can get worked out to a more reasonable contract. The workers have my full support.
franker24 5/30/2014 10:51:37 AM Report

Saultbie , your whining to the wrong people about scheduling. Take it to the union and grows some balls follow thru with your argument. Maybe you didnt notice that scheduling isnt part of what the offer was turned down for. Pay attention and quit whining !!
Koolaid 5/30/2014 10:55:48 AM Report

Oh it will all work out, the union always wins in the end. I don't think I have ever seen a union lose to a big corp. in Canada. The company realizes how much money they are losing, then they bend over to the union. Such a shame.
back4more 5/30/2014 11:06:38 AM Report

LOUD88Z.....I for one am glad you don't work here anymore....you have the brain capacity of a smelt.
kingzilla 5/30/2014 11:37:30 AM Report

marchandthe loser bunch
are you kidding me dude,do you even know what your talking about. if people would kill for a job there well come and put your resume in and see for yourself. oh wait you did and did"nt get a call.
just because we make good money does not mean they get to treat us like crap,do you want to work 6 days a week 2days 2 afternoons then 2 nights with only one day off ? and to quit and look for another job does not fix it dumb ass

brfore you open your mouth think about what we do there all the crap we breath in,were not asking for much,
kingzilla 5/30/2014 11:39:33 AM Report

marchandthe loser bunch
are you kidding me dude,do you even know what your talking about. if people would kill for a job there well come and put your resume in and see for yourself. oh wait you did and did"nt get a call.
just because we make good money does not mean they get to treat us like crap,do you want to work 6 days a week 2days 2 afternoons then 2 nights with only one day off ? and to quit and look for another job does not fix it dumb ass

before you open your mouth think about what we do there all the crap we breath in,were not asking for much,
justsomeguy 5/30/2014 11:57:30 AM Report

The reality of employment in Ontario is that employers are constantly focusing on their bottom line (some rightly so, others out of greed) and many employers often expect the employees to be the first to sacrifice.

Particularly in Sault Ste Marie where jobs are difficult to come by, employers all too often treat their employees not as assets but assh*les.

As whiney as many unions come across, they are one of the checks & balances for employers. In the past few years, I've seen decreases to my compensation package, reductions in available time off, removal of sick days, reduction in benefits and I'm not responsible for 100% of my group benefits premiums. Outside of the unionized environment, my employer can do pretty well anything they want provided they give appropriate notice.
MYPOINT 5/30/2014 12:43:07 PM Report

I used to be a union steward for USWA and I can tell you from experience that being such is not always an easy job. Many of your fellow employees expect you to get them things that are simply out of reach. ( I am NOT saying this is the case here ).

There are a lot of posters on here that I like to call the 'unwise'. I believe that most of those people have never held a union job because they were not accepted for employment wherever there actually was a union ( I freely admit that this is just my opinion, I have no facts to back it up ).

Are there greedy unions out there? You can bet your @ss there is but this does NOT include all unions by any stretch of the imagination.

Let us examine this HYPOTHETICAL SCENARIO for a moment ...

Now there will be some on here who will say that the union is there to protect the workers only but that is actually FALSE! The union is there for BOTH the workers and the company. Let us carry on ... Your union contract ends in 6 months or so. Bargaining begins and from the results of a questionnaire of sorts, it is learned that the employees want the company to give them a 10% increase in hourly rate. Obviously what they truly want is a 5% increase but it is always best to ask for double and then try a little negotiating with the company. After rigorous negotiating, the best that the union can get it's members is an increase of 4.75% in their hourly rate. Although some employees do not like this offer and reject the proposal out of hand, there are some who will accept it and after a final vote on the proposal, the members decide to accept the company's proposal.

Now let us examine what the end result might have been if the union had, in fact, gotten their members this 10% increase in pay. Firstly, it could very well have bankrupted the company OR at the very least, caused a huge drop in the number of employees at the company. What would have been gained? There would be LESS members paying union dues, LESS employees making whatever product the company usually made, LESS money being spent in the community, MORE unemployment being paid out for those who lost their jobs due to this greedy offer and the list could go on and on. ( Again, I am NOT saying this happened in this case ).

As for Tenaris, I have no idea what the working conditions are at that place since I have never worked there. I tend to believe that IF the company's proposal meant employees would work 2 day shifts, 2 evening shifts, 2 night shifts and then get 1 day off that it would never pass in most unions! That would be a proposal that was being unfair to the workers for damned sure! Someone said something about there should be a week of days, a week of evenings and a week of nights which in my humble opinion, IS something that most union members would gladly accept. As I said, I never worked there so I can not comment on the 'safety issues' but surely the union has enough members on it's 'safety committee' to ensure that the company does not force it's workers to work in unsafe conditions? In fact, I do believe that there is a law already on the books in this Province which states something like 'no worker shall be forced to perform any unsafe work or be forced to work in an unsafe environment' or words very similar ( I do not know the exact wording of course )

Therefore, let the 'unwise' make all the accusations they wish to make concerning unions but keep in mind, they have no clue what being part of a union feels like and what the duties of a union actually consist of on a daily basis.

I wish the members of the union involved all the best of luck and hopefully this dispute can be settled amicably and soon so that there is no real loss for either group.

As always, this is only MY opinion :)
MarcHandthefunkybunch 5/30/2014 12:54:40 PM Report

Kingzilla,
Hey, if it's so awful, then quit! Oh ya, you won't because you won't find anything better.

I don't need to work there, I already have a great job with all the bells and whistles. I'm just not greedy and know how lucky we are to have what we have.
hank 5/30/2014 1:10:16 PM Report

Let me clear up a couple things for all..........A) The schedule is a non issue with this agreement, that was taken care off last month and language added to support this. B) The entire issue is money (greed)............

I am also an employee at Tenaris and have watched my wage increase 65% over 14 years of employment, that is a 4.64% increase per year, sounds fair to me, not to mention the other increases to pension, benefits etc........... this to me sounds like a classic example of the you owe me generation!!!!!
travelingman 5/30/2014 1:15:40 PM Report

You are right. It is always the union that wins in the end. Never the union members. The union members get conned into going on strike when it is in the best interest of the union. Trouble is the union is supposed to look out for the members interest when it is usually looking out strictly for itself. Does anyone not do the math? As soon as you are off work for a couple of weeks you cannot possibly make up through wage increases what you already gave up by going on strike in the first place! Secondly trying to hurt and damage your employer through strike accomplishes nothing for your jobs future and longevity. If you successfully hurt their business, how do you believe that it increases the chances that they will need you in the future? How does the union get people to believe that it is in their best interest to go out on strike rather than continue to negotiate?
camiol 5/30/2014 1:30:27 PM Report

I'm a former (thank God for small favours) Tenaris non union employee, and my spouse still works there. I agree that it's all about greed. Nowadays big pay increases are unheard of. They just want to suck the money out of them when the getting is good, but think about it boys and girls....what about when times are tough? Who's going to be whining because now they're laid off? Tenaris is a huge corporation that can make the union sit out for months. If you think it's not possible, think again people. Orders can be moved to other mills, don't kid yourself into thinking it can't be done. In time when you're begging to go back to work because you can't pay your bills anymore, you may have to settle for less. I do on the other hand know that the working conditions suck, you're treated like nothing more than gum stuck on the bottom of management's shoe and it's a shitty place to work, but it's a pay cheque and they do pay fair. You'll NEVER get back the money you're losing by being on strike. Good luck to you. You're in it for the long haul now. This is coming from someone who knows both sides of the Tenaris coin.
Slim Shady 5/30/2014 1:43:06 PM Report

For a person to make a living, a wage has to make sense for the service they provide whether they are Union or not. It has to be commensurate with their training, knowledge, certification and level of experience. Wage has to ensure that a worker makes enough to provide for their future costs as well as the present (ie. pension or RRSP) so that the taxpayer doesn’t have to take care of you 50 years from now because your employer didn’t do their job by paying you the right wage. Flooding the market with substandard labour or labour provided at too low of a wage will harm the long term stability of Society. All people need to pay their own way… workers, owners and companies and the end consumer. When a company does not pay what they should and shove all the profits in their own pockets, you and I pay in the long run. Just my thoughts.
happydeek 5/30/2014 2:12:06 PM Report

What do you think would be a good time to ask for what you want? Wage increase or not the company will lay people off when times are slow. So when times are good you have to ask for what you want. It may have been easy to send orders to other mills before getting a dumping case against other countries. Any other mills the orders could be sent to more than likely don't run at partial capacity so that they could take on all the orders from Algoma. The thing that may happen is that Tenaris may lose orders,then everyone loses. Cost of living is not greed but a reality. In order to keep up, wages have to go up. The price of pipe and gas went up but somehow it is wrong for wages to go up...
The Youth Online Club 5/30/2014 2:12:23 PM Report

Hank, your 20 and 21 turn schedules is a letter of agreement. That makes it non-grievable. I think it is good to have it in the contract as a stepping stone to get it into the agreement next time around. However, for now you will still be at risk of your employer not following the letter and justifying it. Good luck with that. The wording of some of the changes in your agreement that is non-monetary is weak for the worker and favors the employer.

As for the greed part of your and camiol’s points I think that it is not greed to ask for a fair wage. I don’t see the workers asking for a 10% wage increase and $10,000 bonuses. For me the signing bonus is a problem for some. It would benefit the workers more to have that as a % as this will keep paying out over the life of their work at the mill. I would imagine that this alone would change the outcome of the vote to ratify without breaking the Tenaris Bank.

I have a question for you Hank (I honestly am not sure what the answer is), I understand you have been given increases over the last 14 years, however, is the wage you are at comparable to other steel plants for the same work with the same credentials and when you do the cost of living math, is your wage fair?


As with any establishment there will be some people on both sides that are in it for greed.

MYPOINT made some great points. Thank you!
LillyGirl 5/30/2014 2:19:16 PM Report

I don't think its greed at all. With them not wanting to pay anything more into the employees pensions and not to mention a couple other big issues, I would be feeling the same way as well. Not everyone is going to agree, everyone will have their own opinions. But I think its the right thing to do.
Koolaid 5/30/2014 2:39:59 PM Report

Oh it will all work out, the union always wins in the end. I don't think I have ever seen a union lose to a big corp. in Canada. The company realizes how much money they are losing, then they bend over to the union. Such a shame.
The Youth Online Club 5/30/2014 3:06:33 PM Report

You don't have to cut and paste. We heard you the first time Koolaid.
SuGa 5/30/2014 3:10:21 PM Report

The current contract has been extended until jun 7 to avoid a strike.
hank 5/30/2014 3:25:18 PM Report

You are correct Youth, that this language is a stepping stone to tweek in the future , all companies will manipulate language to their benefit, Tenaris being the worst I've seen. Our agreement has come a long way since our first which included the deadly appraisal system and no mention of seniority. As for the greed part, we have in the last 2 years increased by 7%, we have averaged 2% a year for the last 5, this time around the senior people would like to get a 5th week of vacation after 15 yrs. of service, that comes at a cost. Everyone will someday reap the benefits of the 5th week. So IMHO with the 5th week added the 2% and 2% increases, along with the rest of the package, I felt as though it was a fair deal, is there more available, sure there is and I guess we'll see what that is next week................ As far as my wage goes, I refuse to compare my wage to Essar, they make steel, we work steel into a product........... I was online last night checking into jobs in my field and was shocked to see how much lower the wages were...........So I for one was content with the offer that was put forward, I just hope we don't lose that 5th week, because as time rolls on that will be a tough sell to Tenaris as more and more people reach the 15 years of service plateau.......... We shall see what they change next Wednesday, see you all at work on Monday!!!!
The Youth Online Club 5/30/2014 3:32:20 PM Report

Thanks Hank! I see your points. I think that a bit more in the contract would be fair. I am happy to see that Tenaris and the Union appear to be working together. I'm hopeful!
nondestructive 5/30/2014 7:38:13 PM Report

hank ....u must be a team leader...ya ya u big baby
nondestructive 5/30/2014 7:51:55 PM Report

camiol your a real beauty...you don't no tenaris ...where did u come from...if they fired you, which they probably did because your not to bright....keep your thoughts to yourself. just because your afraid of tenaris how do you no what there intentions are...
Boomer4771 5/30/2014 9:12:37 PM Report

Good luck with negotiations. Hope all can avoid a strike. I just went through a two year wage freeze and word is they want to freeze another 4. All I would like is leave everything status quo and give us cost of living at least....
PunkBob 5/30/2014 9:28:10 PM Report

nondestructive.....if you are going to call someone "not to(o) bright". Maybe proof read the statement, before posting.
nondestructive 5/30/2014 9:38:44 PM Report

ya who cares
opinionated 5/30/2014 9:42:33 PM Report

I hear people talking about the signing bonus like its a slap in the face, but 2 percent raise is OK.

You all realize 2000 bucks is 2 percent of 100,000, which im sure many of the younger guys don't make.

Even if you gross 80k, that 2k signing bonus is 2.5 percent! And its money NOW.

But hey, it's like buying anything big. One party offers, another counter-offers, and they come to an agreement. So hopefully the union gets a little more than the first offer and settles now that its been extended. Win-win.
nondestructive 5/30/2014 9:43:19 PM Report

proof read, ok you little punk
stewie13 5/30/2014 10:30:06 PM Report

Opinionated.....I believe the issue with the signing bonus is that the membership would rather see a 2% increase on the first year as in the long run, that 2% will be more than the one time only $2000.00.

Youth online Club & Slim Shady...probably the best contributions to this topic. Well expressed opinions.

Hank 5....or should we say Cody? Lol

Camiol....you're right...thank god for small favours. The all favour is that one of the two of you are gone. Now take your spouse with you because you're obviously mislead and already wrong in your prediction.

Nondestructive....I like your style. ; )
camiol 5/30/2014 11:34:28 PM Report

Hey NONDESTRUCTIVE...apparently you are an intellectually challenged individual who is uneducated and never learned the difference between no and know. Maybe you should get an education before you start throwing out idiotic insults at people who have a brain. I've spent way too many years at that company and unfortunately I know the shit that goes on there. I was simply stating a fact, if you don't like it, too effin bad. I'm simply stating my opinion based on years of experience with Tenaris just as I'm sure you have you're own opinion. Insults are childish.
camiol 5/31/2014 9:09:21 PM Report

And Stewy of course you'd like his style, you're as brilliant as nondestructive is. Maybe you should both go back to school to learn how to have an intelligent conversation rather than nonsensical ramblings in an effort to get your point across. People tend to pay attention to those who actually speak in a respectful, intelligent manner. You might want to give it a whirl.
cheeky36 6/1/2014 9:29:28 AM Report

Something people are missing is a major fact Tenaris is the worlds largest tube producer in the world. Year after year reporting BILLIONS of DOLLARS in NET PROFITS.

At Algoma Tube the last few years the Production has escalated to numbers unimaginable.

Currently we are pushing out almost a maximum tonnage per month.

Problem with the contract offered is simple...its pure crap.

Pension .10 on 3rd year, unexceptable.

$2000 signing bonus vs 2% hourly. A smart employee realizes 2% over 20 years is $20,000.....hmm still want your lump some.

Cost of living only being met with the Rate of Profits company is pulling is absolutely a slap in our face.

PS Shareholders from Tenaris just divied up $508,000,000....

Still think $1,200,000 lump sum for the employees is except able....

Perhaps thus is a little more respectful.

$.25 on pension starting in year 1

2% 1st year, 3% 2nd year & 3% 4th year

OH AND STILL GIVE THAT DAMN $2000 SIGNING BONUS THE COMPANY DANGLED IN FRONT OF ALL IT'S EMPLOYEES IN HOPES OF EXCEPTING THEIR GARBAGE OFFER...

REMEMBER IN ALL THE YEARS OF ALGOMA TUBES NO SIGNING BONUS WAS OFFERED...TODAY ASK WHY.
Comments
35
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