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Mediated labor talks fail at Evraz’s Camrose mill

Keywords: Tags  Evraz North America, Camrose, Canadian Auto Workers union, CAW, Local 551, Chris Prentice

NEW YORK — Mediated negotiations between unionized workers at Evraz Inc. North America’s pipe mill in Camrose, Alberta, have failed, representatives for both parties said.

"Mediation between Evraz Camrose and the Canadian Auto Workers Local 551 has concluded and was not successful," an Evraz spokeswoman told AMM in an e-mailed statement.

"Evraz stands ready to continue good-faith bargaining with the CAW to reach an agreement that will help ensure the job security of Evraz Camrose employees and maintain the viability and competitive position of the Camrose facility," she said.

CAW national representative Todd Romanow confirmed the talks were unsuccessful, noting that as of about 10 p.m. Thursday the company sent all unionized workers home with pay until the lockout, set for 9 a.m. Saturday.

"The company walked away from bargaining last night after giving us their final offer, which we have not accepted but did counter them with our offer of settlement. The company seems intent on forcing a lockout to extract the concessions they are seeking," Romanow said in an e-mail. "The company has the legal option to force a vote through the Alberta Labour Relations Board, but we haven’t heard what their plans are."

The Chicago-based steelmaker had issued a 72-hour lockout notice as the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union issued its own 72-hour strike notification (AMM, May 4).

"Evraz has implemented plans to resume operations at the Camrose facility the week of May 7," the company spokeswoman said. "Evraz has measures in place to continue to service its customers," she added.

CAW’s Edmonton, Alberta office did not respond to requests for comment.

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