Hamilton steelworkers ratify deal with U.S. Steel Canada

Three year deal is a stand pat contract for workers and retirees

The new collective bargaining agreement was presented to the employees last week

Hamilton steelworkers approved a new three-year contract with U.S. Steel Canada.

The workers from United Steelworkers Local 1005, which represents some 600 workers and several thousand retirees, will have work for the same wages and rights under the new agreement, described as a stand-pat deal.

The new collective bargaining agreement was presented to the employees last week. The vote to approve it avoids any labour disruption.

For its part, U.S. Steel Canada said the agreement gives the company more stability during its restructuring.

The union's approval "sends a positive signal to customers who rely on high quality steel products produced at U. S. Steel Canada,” said Michael McQuade, the company's president and general manager, in a statement.

The company sought bankruptcy protection in September, citing years of losses. A superior court judge approved an $185 million loan from U.S. Steel Corp., the American parent company, to get it through the next year.
U.S. Steel Canada plans to sell its Hamilton and Nanticoke, Ont. plants by next October, documents filed with the bankruptcy court state.

Several steelworkers, when asked about the deal after its initial presentation last week, said the agreement would have to be recognized by any company that bought the Hamilton Works.

Only current employees voted on the new agreement, the workers said.