By RTH Staff
Published October 05, 2010
Ward 4 Coucillor Sam Merulla plans to introduce a Council motion calling on US Steel to negotiate in good faith with United Steelworkers Canada Local 1005 and not to close its Hamilton Works Blast Furnace as reported last week.
In an email response to RTH, Merulla pointed out, "both the provincial and federal governments have subsidized US Steel." He added, "It is imperative that all levels of government take stand to insure justice prevails."
Asked whether the City has any authority to make such a motion binding, Merulla responded, "Symbolic or not I, stand against the injustice of the brothers and sisters of Local 1005 in solidarity."
In a recent information update to members, Local 1005 President Rolf Gerstenberger pointed out that US Steel already broke its commitment to the Federal Government that it would maintain at least 3,105 active employees and maintain at least 4.3 million tons of steel production.
Far from remedying the situation, U.S. Steel is now banking the blast furnace and stopping steel production altogether. Our Local finds that U.S. Steel's decision to bank the blast furnace and stop steel production at the very least in contempt of the case before the courts. Furthermore, just as last time when it shut down the blast furnace it said it would not lay off any workers but it did, will it now use its refusal to bargain in good faith with Local 1005 to shut down Hamilton Works completely as it did Lake Erie for nine months?
Gerstenberger calls on the Federal Government to ensure that US Steel bargains in good faith with its employees.
Merulla's full motion reads:
Whereas US steel has been subsidized by the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario and;
Whereas Local 1005 and US Steel are in the midst of negotiations to protect nearly ten thousand pensioners from the termination of indexed pensions and the well being of the most vulnerable US steel employees and;
Whereas the City of Hamilton has a vested interest in protecting the integrity of Provincial of Ontario labour laws and the principle of negotiating collective agreements in good faith and;
Whereas the demand of steel is increasing based on industry predictions;
Therefore be it resolved that the City of Hamilton reject the "bully tactics" of the Ivory towers of US Steel in Pittsburgh in their attempt to circumvent good faith negotiations as it pertains to the collective agreement between the hard working members and pensioners of Local 1005 and US Steel, and demand good faith negotiations prevail for the collective benefit of the City of Hamilton, Local 1005 and US Steel and demand [not to] shut down the blast furnace immediately.
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