OTTAWA – The Canadian Union of Public Employees’ (CUPE) National Executive Board (NEB) today passed a resolution to provide moral and financial support to the 900 members of United Steelworkers Local 1005 in Hamilton, Ontario who have been locked out by the US Steel Canada Group since November 7, 2010.
“We need to support these workers that are under attack,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist. “The Steelworkers’ fight is very much a CUPE fight.”
US Steel Canada Group is a subsidiary of US Steel, a 100 per cent American-owned corporation. It purchased the Hilton Works from Stelco in 2007, changing the plant name to US Steel Hamilton Works. Workers were locked out after refusing to agree to pension changes being pushed by the new American owners.
US Steel wants to have all new hires enroll in a defined contributions pension plan rather than the current defined benefits plan. It also wants to remove indexing for all current and future retirees under the existing defined benefits pension.
“CUPE’s 600,000 members stand united with the Steelworkers,” said Moist. “We must help as much as we can to stop the erosion of defined benefits pension in this country.”
The resolution, passed unanimously, commits a $10,000 contribution to the USWA Local 1005 strike fund. It also calls on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Human Resource and Skills Development Minister Diane Finley to extend employment insurance benefits to those locked out, and for changes to the rules governing foreign takeover’s to better protect workers.
The NEB is encouraging CUPE locals to provide financial and picket line support. CUPE National President Paul Moist will be visiting the USWA Local 1005 picket line later this month.
For more information, contact:
CUPE Media Relations
(613) 237-1590 ext. 393