NEW YORK United Steelworkers union workers at Essar Steel Algoma Inc.s Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, steelmaking operations say the company has contracted former union members for unionized work, violating the terms of the USW contract.
The work being done by contractorsmany of whom are retirees and no longer dues-paying union membersis generally by union employees, according to contract guidelines, USW Local 2251 president Mike Da Prat told AMM.
"This strategy of contracting out bargaining-unit work is unique in the sense that the workers used are experienced at the work that the in-house workers perform, our members," he said.
The local union has requested arbitration on the matter.
"We have contractual processes that allow for the outsourcing of work in various circumstances, such as capital projects and down days, and we endeavor to maintain these commitments," an Essar Steel Algoma spokeswoman told AMM in an e-mail.
The company declined further comment.