Stelco cuts 29 salaried employees from payroll
Stelco has shaved 29 salaried workers from its payroll as the company continues efforts to restructure and emerge from creditor protection with a new owner.
Michael McQuade, the president and general manager, told employees in a letter on Monday the company had made the “difficult decision to reduce Stelco’s current nonrepresented workforce.
“This decision was not made lightly, but it is necessary to control our costs and help move our company into an era of sustained profitability.”
The job losses — at both Hamilton and Nanticoke operations — come at the same time the company is hiring other employees to do work previously handled by its parent U.S. Steel.
So far, 10 people have been hired in those roles, the company says, with another 50 positions posted. The jobs are in areas such as information technology and purchasing.
“As part of this transition it is imperative that we take the opportunity to build an organization and a structure that can accommodate many tasks that have been previously performed by our parent company or others outside of Canada,” the letter from McQuade said.
Andrew Hatnay, a lawyer representing salaried employees in the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) proceedings — ongoing since the fall of 2014 — said the employees terminated Monday will be paid and receive benefits until the end of March.
Many longer-service employees have greater severance entitlements but they will have to go through a “claims process and will be treated as an unsecured claim and will receive a payment of some cents on the dollar.
“We don’t have information about what cents on the dollar it will be at this point,” Hatnay said.
Stelco spokesperson Trevor Harris said the job terminations and new hires are “part of becoming an independent organization that is far more streamlined, efficient and able to compete in the marketplace of the future.”
Talks continue between U.S. Steel officials and American-based Bedrock Industries to land a deal that would see Bedrock take Stelco out of creditor protection as an independent steelmaker.
Harris said the company currently has about 2,200 employees at its Hamilton and Nanticoke operations with about 550 of them being non-union salaried workers.