Press Release: President's Message October 21, 2020

Message from your President October 21, 2020         

Good day Brothers, Sisters and Friends of Steel.

This week the company has started the lay offs for staff. This is a difficult time for many and we need to be respectful as we will all know someone who is affected. The changes happening in the workplace can be very stressful. I ask that we all take time to recognize how difficult these times are for everyone. It is important that we stop and take a moment to look after ourselves and our co-workers. Nothing is more important than everyone coming home safe.

The Company has not given us number or date when our members will be laid off. They have offered to do so in secrecy under a confidentiality agreement. I have asked that we have the number of affected members and the date as I fully intend to share that with you. This was not acceptable for the company and it is why they have not given us that information to date.

We do fully expect that the hourly lay offs will be initiated the last week in October, or next week. We have been working hard to mitigate how many members will be laid off. The early retirement incentive and several voluntary quits has helped mitigate the lay offs. We have also been very clear on the Union’s position on contracting out.  We have several grievances filed regarding the work that has been going on and will look to resolve these in the grievance process.

We started off being involved with the workforce transition process with the company and in 2 meetings we were left out! Our position to inform you, our membership, of the affected persons is the stopping point for the company. We have not been involved in the “bumping process” and the company is completing the workforce re-adjustment. We expect to know the results of that process next week.

We have also been involved with the Workforce Adjustment Committee that involves both levels of Government, Vale, the Northern Sector Council and USW. The purpose of the WAC is to help ensure the needs of our members who are let go can navigate post employment. There will be a survey going out to better understand the needs of employees. The Northern Sector Council will be set up and operating with an office in the old CBC building.

These are difficult and frustrating times. Please reach out to the Hall if you have any questions at 677-1700.

Thanks for your continued patience and more will follow later.

In Solidarity

Warren Luky