Evraz employees set to return to work after three week dispute
It was back to work as usual for 105 employees at the EVRAZ Camrose steel plant on Monday, May 28.
After nearly a three-week dispute, Canadian Auto Workers union employees who staff the steel mills in Camrose accepted a four-year agreement with EVRAZ.
Both sides went through tough negotiations, but in the end they agreed to a deal that is mutually beneficial on May 22. About 80 per cent of the workers voted in favour of the new deal on May 24.
"The overriding factor in agreeing to the settlement wasn't anything do with money, but rather the company agreeing to keep the defined pension plan in the agreement for new hires and the company agreeing to limit supervisors and foreman working outside of the bargaining agreement to hold their seniority rights for only a one year time frame, while previously it was open ended," said CAW national representative Todd Romanow in a press release.
The workers didn't want to strike, but did what they felt they had to do. "One thing is for certain; our members will return to making the best pipe in the world for our customers as we have always done with pride and excellence," said CAW Local 551 president Larry Luckwell.
The company says there are wage and pension increases, but they wouldn't provide details. Union employees began to picket outside of the EVRAZ property after 9 a.m. on May 5. EVRAZ implemented plans to ensure service to its customers, including safely resuming operations at the facility the week of May 7 with fully-trained EVRAZ employees. The mill kept operating with manpower from supervisors and regular non-union employees.
CAW Local 551 represented a bargaining unit of 105 workers at EVRAZ Camrose including trades persons, machine operators and labourers.
EVRAZ operates two pipe mills in Camrose. One is an electric-resistance-weld (ERW) mill that manufactures pipe and casing up to 16 inches in diameter. This pipe is used primarily in drilling and transporting of oil and gas from the well head to larger transmission lines. It is also used to distribute natural gas once it arrives in the marketplace.
The second mill is a double-submerged, arc-welded (DSAW) mill that produces large-diameter pipe used for larger transmission lines. Both of these mills utilize the highest quality steel plate and coils to produce a broad range of steel pipe required in a broad range of applications.