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Algoma Steel strike negotiations aren’t going well

Steelmaker’s largest union says it will lose at least 600 members due to a conversion to electric arc furnace technology
2022-07-28MikeDaPrat
Mike Da Prat, president of USW Local 2251, just before speaking to his membership on Wednesday, July 27.

Algoma Steel Inc. has rejected a settlement proposal from United Steelworkers Local 2251, the union's negotiating team announced Friday evening.

Local 2251 is the steelmaker's largest bargaining group, representing more than 2,000 hourly employees.

The local has been taking a strike vote, which will conclude at 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

Local 2251's collective agreement with Algoma Steel expires on Sunday, July 31.

The Local 2251 negotiating committee issued the following message to its members tonight;

Your negotiating committee has worked on your behalf negotiating with the company formulating proposals and counter proposals.

Tonight, July 29, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. we responded to a company proposal with reasonable terms and expectations.

The company turned down our counter proposal and stated they were going to the members to present them the company proposal.

We are distributing our comprehensive offer of settlement presented to the company, which was rejected, that dealt with in part, protecting our COLA payments and tabling reasonable wage increases and DC pension increases.

The company refused our offer and insisted that their option was the only one left.

We need to remember that this company made $3.8 billion dollars in revenue in the last year. At least 600 jobs will be eliminated directly from USW Local 2251 due to the conversion to an electric arc furnace technology.

Please share this message and pass copies of our comprehensive offer of settlement to ensure that a broad distribution to our members occurs.

Please be advised that the union office will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, July 30, 2022 to answer questions and provide copies of the union's comprehensive offer of settlement.

In Solidarity,

Your USW Local 2251 negotiating committee;

Mike Da Prat​​​​, Mark Molinaro, Luca Robibaro, Bob Roussain​​​​, Marino DeGregorio​​, Janice Merrick

Strike headquarters set up on Gore Street

In another message to its members, the negotiation committee provided this advice:

To all those that work on critical assignments within the steelworks, the committee requests that you email or text your supervisor, FLS or superintendent, requesting who will be relieving you of your duties at 12:01 a.m.

In some cases, you may be required to complete your scheduled shift. 

Remember to remove your personal belongs from the premises.

The committee recommends that there be a smooth transition to idle operations.

The committee is informing the members that the strike committee is currently working on the completion of the picket scheduling for the month of August at four picket locations. 

Once scheduling is complete the members will be notified on when and where to show up for their required strike duties.

The local has secured a strike headquarters at 162 Gore Street 

Thank You for your understanding and co-operation!

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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