Steelworkers Union Secures 98% Strike Mandate at AltaSteel

EDMONTON, Oct. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 
5220 have voted overwhelming in favor of strike action against their employer, 
AltaSteel. The secret ballot vote was held on Thursday October 10(th) 2013 
immediately after the mandatory "fourteen-day cooling off period" ended. 
The company has made extreme demands regarding scheduling and attacking 
seniority for long-time employees, as insisting on doing away with the 
longstanding role of the union - thereby undercutting union representation. 
After several months of strained negotiations between the Steelworkers and 
AltaSteel, an impasse was reached in late August followed by mediation in 
September that was unproductive and did not get the parties any closer to 
reaching a deal. 
The USW says it's looking to achieve a fair agreement, while AltaSteel looks 
for significant rollbacks. "There has never been such an aggressive attack 
on our collective agreement by an employer in the fifty plus year history of 
the Local," says Paul Perreault, President of USW Local 5220. 
Perreault hopes the employer takes the opportunity to reflect on the path they 
have chosen at the bargaining table and added, "the voice of the USW 5220 
membership needs to be heard loud and clear". 
The local union's bargaining committee first priority is reaching a fair and 
equitable collective agreement for its members, an agreement that is 
representative of the hard work that the members do day in and day out for the 
company. The union is committed to continuing with negotiations, but will not 
hesitate to exercise its strike mandate if necessary, says Perreault. 
USW District 3 Director Stephen Hunt says the entire union is standing behind 
Local 5220. "When global companies attack the gains we have made, our entire 
union stands shoulder to shoulder to protect the strong quality of life our 
members have built for themselves and their families." 
AltaSteel, formerly owned by Anglo American, was purchased by Australian steel 
maker, One Steel in 2011, who became Arrium in July 2012. Arrium is a world 
leader in the production of grinding media for the global mining industry. 
AltaSteel product supplies many mining companies, including Teck, Vale, 
Barrack Gold, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

SOURCE  United Steelworkers (USW) 
Paul Perreault, USW Local 5220 President, 780-405-6554 / 780-487-1141 Brad 
West, USW Communications, 604-754-1174 / 604-683-1117 
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CO: United Steelworkers (USW)
ST: Alberta
-0- Oct/15/2013 17:40 GMT
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