The Local 2251 Steel Workers Union held an emergency information meeting to present the tough situation it is in with respect to Essar Steel Algoma Inc.
By mid-February the union will be forced to either strike, agree to terms imposed by the company or will be locked out.
“They won’t talk to us after what happened in Hamilton,” Steel Workers Union president Mike Da Prat said tonight after the meeting at Quattro Hotel.
“This is the first time this company has treated us the way it has. This time it appears as there is no working things through.”
The union has not been on strike since 1990.
The company, Essar Steel, said after what happened in Hamilton, the union must speak with an intermediary or conciliator, before it would talk.
This is not happening. “The conciliator will not talk to the union,” Da Prat says.
The terms the union must agree to as discussed is a 10 per cent decrease in wages and bye-bye to 6-7 week holidays unless it was grandfathered in.
How do the union members feel about this, “it’s not good, not good at all,” says Da Prat.
When asked if this was in process with good faith bargaining, Da Prat said “absolutely not.”
Members will decide on a possible strike at their next meeting with a secret ballot vote or agree to the terms.