PLANT

USW wants court to open “secret deal” between Feds and US Steel

Steelworkers union and the City of Hamilton have filed a joint motion in Superior Court.


TORONTO — The United Steelworkers (USW) is asking the Ontario Superior Court to open a secret deal between the federal government and US Steel Canada, which it says was struck in 2011 when the Conservative government dropped its legal challenge of the steel producer’s broken commitments on production and employment levels at the former Stelco operations in Hamilton and Nanticoke.

The union will argue it is crucial that terms of the secret deal are provided to key parties affected by US Steel Canada’s Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act court case.

The Steelworkers union and the City of Hamilton have filed a joint motion in Superior Court, asking Justice Herman Wilton-Siegel to open the secret deal.

The union and the city “require disclosure of the settlement agreement at this time to be able to participate meaningfully and effectively in the negotiations and discussions that are currently underway,” the motion states.

“They need to be able to review and understand the obligations of USS under the settlement agreement to ensure that all rights and obligations owed by the parties and in particular, by USS, have been or will be fulfilled. They also need to understand how the settlement agreement will be considered in the restructuring negotiations and how USS intends to address its obligations under the settlement agreement in a plan of compromise. USS’s obligations could also affect damages claims.”

Bill Ferguson, president of USW Local 8782, which represents employees at US Steel’s Nanticoke operations said it is offensive that the government has decided to argue in court against the release of the secret agreement.

“We need to know how the terms of this secret deal could affect this CCAA case and how it could affect the lives of our workers, our pensioners and our communities,” he said. “To see this government trying to keep this information hidden from us just confirms that it is squarely on the side of US Steel and has absolutely no interest in supporting the workers, pensioners and families who risk losing so much.”

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