There is no immediate strike, but the company is in a position to lay off the workers next week.
United Steelworkers Local 2251 told its 2,000 members that contract talks with Algoma Steel stalled Friday when the two sides couldn’t agree on who was supposed to submit an original bid.
With their current contract due to expire at 11:59 pm on Monday, talks have ended and the Steelworkers will meet to present Algoma’s final offer to their members on Thursday, August 25.
Voting on the offer is scheduled for August 29, 30 and 31.
The bargaining committee has also informed Algoma Steel that, although it is in a legal strike position, it will not withdraw services until eight hours after the results of the vote are tabulated.
“Unless otherwise notified by the company, all members of Local 2251 must report to work on August 16, 2022, continuing until the result of the vote is known,” the union told workers.
Local 2251 also said Friday that the company is in a legal lockout position as of 12 a.m. Aug. 16 and workers may be locked out.
The following is what the union local communicated to its members:
On August 11, 2022, the union approached the company to see if it would be worth meeting to try to reach an agreement on wage increases.
The union was under the impression that if the union committed to removing wage increases of 3.5 per cent for each year of the collective agreement, the company would be willing to discuss wage changes.
It should be noted that the union went several times from the originally proposed wage increases to 3.5 per cent for each year of the collective agreement.
Furthermore, the union’s position has always been that COLA is completely separate from discussions of salary increases.
At the same time, the union was negotiating in good faith, with the company issuing CEO releases outlining its “latest, best and last offers”.
The company’s position was that the union should allow members to vote.
The union’s position was that they could not present these “last, best and last offers” to members as the union was not prepared to dignify them as fair offers.
At today’s meeting, discussions stalled over who should make an original offer to the other side.
Again, the union’s position was that the union had responded on the last day with a reasonable offer consisting of a significantly reduced list of non-monetary proposals (contract language, etc.) and a significantly reduced wage increase through 3, 5 percent per year.
Even though the union had agreed to cut 3.5 percent, the company wanted the union to make an offer that would result in the union negotiating with itself.
As a result, the discussions ended today and the union informed the company that a vote on its last (second) “last, best and last offer” would be scheduled.
The purpose of the vote is to demonstrate members’ support for their bargaining committee’s position and the fact that members found the “last, best and last offer” unacceptable.
We made it clear to the company that the vote was not to satisfy their request, but to ensure that the members made the decision and sent a clear message to the company.
To that end, the union scheduled three meetings on Thursday, August 25, 2022, at 9:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at the Quattro Hotel and Conference Centre, 229 Great Northern Rd.
The meeting is to inform the members and clearly demonstrate that the offers are unacceptable and provide the members with the bargaining committee’s recommendation to reject the company’s offer and go on strike.
Members will have 48 hours to consider and discuss the company’s “latest, best and last offer” and a vote will be held.
Voting will be held at 550 Queen St. W. (west of the tracks on the north side of Queen St. Please note parking is accessed from the Albert Street side), on August 29, 2022 at from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., August 30, 2022 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and August 31, 2022 from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The bargaining committee also informed the company that although the union was in a legal strike position, the union did not withdraw the services of its members and went on strike until eight hours after the results of the vote were tabulated. .
Unless otherwise notified by the company, all members of Local 2251 must report to work on August 16, 2022, pending the outcome of the vote.
The company is also in a legal block position as of 12:00 am on August 16, 2022.
They may block us.
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