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Algoma Steel, Steelworkers reach tentative agreement

Acceptance of proposed five-year deal could avoid strike in a booming steel market
Algoma Steel Dspc 1
(Company photo)

Algoma Steel and United Steelworkers Local Union Local 2251 announced Aug. 23 that it has reached a tentative collective agreement ahead of a scheduled strike at month’s end.

In a joint news release, the Sault Ste. Marie’s steelmaker’s largest union said it’s bargaining committee is unanimously recommending the offer.

The parties agreed to extend the current contrast until Aug. 30 to allow for ratification vote to occur. Those votes are scheduled for Aug. 25 and Aug. 29.

Algoma Steel said it will release details of the tentative five-year deal once the union has held information meetings for its members.

As the city’s largest private employer and main industry, a strike at Algoma would be economically impactful for the community and for new ownership in the midst of a booming North American steel market and with construction underway on the company’s gamechanging electric arc furnace complex, scheduled to come online in two years.

Last month, Algoma cut a new labour deal with USW Local 2724, its technical, professional, and front-line supervisory employees.

“We are pleased to inform our membership that we have been able to negotiate a fair agreement with Algoma Steel,” said USW Local 2251 President Mike DaPrat in the release. “We believe that this agreement will serve our needs for the next five years. The negotiating committee wishes to thank its members for their continued support throughout the process.”

“We are very encouraged to have reached an agreement with our union partners on a settlement that will allow us all to focus on serving our customers safely and reliably while transforming our business to electric arc steelmaking,” said Algoma president-CEO Michael Garcia. “This agreement avoids disruption to our operations and directs our attention to continuing the exciting momentum we have generated together on course to becoming a leading provider of green steel in North America.”