Hamilton

Hamilton unions plan rally at Bratina's office after alleging MP said 'f--k' steelworkers

Hamilton steelworker unions are planning a protest against Liberal MP Bob Bratina, who they say shouted "F--k the steelworkers" and "F--k those Stelco pensioners" near the end of a tense meeting last Tuesday.

The rally is a continuation of the union's campaign to get an apology from the MP

Bob Bratina, the former mayor of Hamilton, is the Liberal MP for Hamilton East — Stoney Creek.

Hamilton steelworker unions are planning a public rally against Liberal MP Bob Bratina, who they say shouted "F--k the steelworkers" and "F--k those Stelco pensioners" near the end of a tense meeting last Tuesday.

Bratina, the MP for Hamilton East — Stoney Creek, has since denied the alleged comments and said he regrets the "inferences" that came out of the meeting.

"The comments that have been alleged in the media are completely untrue," he said in a statement.

"Following the conclusion of the meeting there were words exchanged between both parties, but nothing that reflect the allegations that have been made."

The former Hamilton mayor previously acknowledged the meeting was tense in a statement to CBC News, but did not address specific details

'Damage control'

After initially demanding Bratina apologize, the union is carrying on the fight against the MP who co-chairs the federal all-party steel caucus

"He's calling our guys a liar," said Gary Howe, President of USW Local 1005. "He's trying to do damage control."

The rally is planned outside Bratina's constituency office in Hamilton for March 14 at 3:30 p.m, organized by the Hamilton Steelworkers Area Council and the two locals that made the allegations.

They are calling for a public apology and want Bratina removed from the steel caucus.

Gary Howe, president of Steelworkers local 1005, says MP Bob Bratina does not have steelworkers best interests at heart. (CBC)

"He has done nothing on this file to support the steel industry," said a poster circulated to members.

"This will be the first of many rallies that will take place at his office as we head into a federal election."

Meeting in Ottawa

USW Local 1005 and Local 5328 said Wednesday that some steelworkers went to Bratina's Ottawa office to talk about worker benefits and pensions.

They allege he shouted "F--k the steelworkers" and "F--k those Stelco pensioners" before "demanding they leave [his] office" and "violently" slamming the door behind them, after Bratina was asked why he didn't advocate for changes to Canada's bankruptcy laws and protecting union members.

Howe said the MP does not have steelworkers' best interests at heart.

"Hamilton, its roots are steel," said Howe. "Bob knows that, he was the mayor of Hamilton."

In a statement, Bratina says he remains willing to continue his discussions with the Canadian Labour Congress.

"We have and always will continue to fight for the survival and prosperity of Hamilton's and Canada's steel industry," he said.

Scott Duvall, NDP MP for Hamilton Mountain, tabled a motion in the House of Commons last week asking the house to condemn Bratina's behaviour and to call on the MP to apologize.

The House did not support the motion, he said.

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