By Ryan McGreal
Published March 23, 2009
Councilor Bob Bratina sent a letter to local media after the labour rally of Saturday, March 21 to express outrage over the lack of leadership from governments at all levels over the closure of the US Steel facility in Hamilton.
He wrote, "The 2,000 or so men, women and children who attended the rally had two dominant issues: how will they survive layoff, and how do they get their jobs back. Shallow declarations by politicians should anger these people."
He blasted what he called "the indifference of governments present and past" for allowing the steel industry to be taken over by foreign corporations, "with all of the unfortunate outcomes so easily predicted, and now coming true."He called on the federal government to "bring the ownership [of the steel industry] back into Canadian hands."
We can't let others tell us how much steel we're going to be making. We have the ore, the production facilities, the basic steel requirements to fill within our own Country.
He called the sale of the Stelco plate mill to an Indian company "corporate vandalism" and "a disgrace" and stated that our governments are not doing enough.
Our workers shouldn't have to hear how we're going to set up food banks for them. They should be hearing how we are going to fight to get their jobs back and their factory operating again.
He will ask Hamilton City Council to write to the federal government and "demand that steps be taken to ensure that no further erosion of the Canadian steel industry takes place", including a prohibition on the sale, removal or demolition of steelmaking assets and a requirement that work be contracted to Canadian production facilities rather than offshore facilities.