Mem­bers of Lo­cal 1005 and 8782 eye­ball ten­ta­tive agree­ment

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS - MARK MCNEIL

United Steel­work­ers Lo­cal 1005 has reached a ten­ta­tive agree­ment with Bedrock In­dus­tries, the Amer­i­can ven­ture cap­i­tal firm that wants to take over Stelco Inc.

De­tails of the agree­ment along with other in­for­ma­tion about a mas­sive re­struc­tur­ing plan for the steel­maker will be pre­sented to mem­bers and re­tirees at meet­ings on Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day.

Work­ers will vote on the deal June 6, just three days be­fore Jus­tice Her­man Wil­ton-Siegel pre­sides over a “sanc­tion hear­ing” to de­cide whether the plan and Bedrock pur­chase are ac­cept­able to the court. Stelco (or U.S. Steel Canada as it was pre­vi­ously known) has been in court-su­per­vised cred­i­tor pro­tec­tion un­der the

Com­pa­nies’ Cred­i­tors Ar­range­ment Act (CCAA) for more than 2 ½ years. In re­cent months, a plan was cob­bled to­gether between the com­pany, the prov­ince and Bedrock that re­quires col­lec­tive agree­ments at both the Hamil­ton and Lake Erie Stelco plants.

Lo­cal 1005 pres­i­dent Gary Howe says the mem­ber­ship vote can’t take place be­fore June 6 be­cause the lo­cal’s con­sti­tu­tion re­quires that mem­bers have a week to con­sider ten­ta­tive agree­ments brought back by ne­go­ti­at­ing com­mit­tees.

Mean­while, Lo­cal 8782 (a) and 8782 (b) in Nan­ti­coke were to have meet­ings Tues­day and Wed­nes­day to an­nounce de­tails of that lo­cal’s ten­ta­tive deal to mem­bers and re­view the re­struc­tur­ing pro­posal. The meet­ings are at the Port Dover Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, 801 Ge­orge St. There are two ses­sions Wed­nes­day, at 4:15 p.m. and at 8:15 p.m. A vote will be or­ga­nized later.

Lo­cal 1005 has more than 500 ac­tive mem­bers with 15,000 pen­sion­ers. The 8782 lo­cals have a to­tal of 1,100 mem­bers with about 800 re­tirees. If the judge en­dorses the plan June 9, Bedrock is ex­pected to be­come owner of Stelco at the end of June.

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