Local Union 8581 in Wilton, Iowa and Local Union 8065 in Rancho Cucamonga, California have signed new collective agreements with Gerdau Local Union 8065 represents workers in the TAMCO mill, latest acquisition of Gerdau in United States
Gerdau plans to launch a global offering of up to 68,026,910 common and 203,830,100 preferred shares on or about March 23, 2011. The shares will be offered in the Brazilian and North American markets. Gerdau announced it plans to spend 10.8 billion Brazilian reais (US$6.51 billion) in 2011-15, 75% of it in Brazil, to meet growing domestic demand for steel and maintain the company’s export levels. Gerdau also announced that they will buy enough new shares to keep control of the enterprise.
Gerdau continues showing clear anti-union signs. Gerdau did not accept requests to re-hire the three workers fired from Tocancipá plant due to their intention to form a union.
The Gerdau Workers World Council wrote to Andre Gerdau protesting the dismissal of the Tocancipá workers. Unions in United States, Canada, Spain and Argentina have presented copies of the letter to their plant managers.
Gerdau continues with their cases in front of the Labour Board looking for dismissal of Alvaro Vega and Edward Portilla, the only two labour leaders that did not accept the severance package when Gerdau closed Sidelpa plant in Cali. The dismissal of Vega and Portilla will mean the final dismantle of the Local Union.
The current situation in Cali clearly shows the anti-union bent of Gerdau. Gerdau announced the closing of Tocancipá middle of last year due to market forces. In the mean time, Diaco Cali, non-unionized company also owned by Gerdau and operating a plant attached to Sidelpa has been moving production into Sidelpa plant. Sidelpa argues “another company is renting space; we have nothing to do with it.” We repeat, both companies are owned by Gerdau. Closing Sidelpa and letting Diaco Cali operate the plant has the direct result of continuing production but with the elimination of the Union.
Finally, specialty steel is coming into Colombia from Brazil at the same time that Gerdau shut off furnaces in Colombia.
After a long and complicated round of bargaining both unions (operators and supervisors/engineers) has signed their collective agreement. Gerdau continues creating divisions among the unions and inside the unions.
At the same time that Gerdau keeps the furnace of Siderperu inactive, it is investing large amounts of money to improve the port of Chimbote. Currently construction steel make in Brazil (with the logo of Sideperu stamped on it) is coming into Peru taking advantage of the 0 tariff implemented by the Peruvian government. It seems Gerdau plans are to increase production in Brazil at the cost of job losses in Peru
The unions of workers working for Gerdau (CNM/CUT) in Brazil met during the month of December. After two days of meeting they agreed on engage in common actions to improve working conditions and health and safety on the plants of Gerdau in Brazil. They also agreed in working to implement the action plan of the Gerdau Worker’s World Council. Following is a link to their web page:
United States / Canada
Also during December the Unity Council of Gerdau Workers met in Pittsburgh. During the two days meeting they agreed in a action plan that will improve communications, health and safety and coordinated bargaining during 2011.
The Union of the workers of Gerdau in Venezuela has contacted the Gerdau Worker’s World Council requesting their integration in the Council. The company name in Venezuela is Siderúrgica Zuliana c.a Sizuca, they operate a single plant with 317 workers, of which 217 belong to the union. Beside those permanent employees, Gerdau in Venezuela employees 450 contracted out workers. The union have negotiated a 2-year collective agreement expiring July 2012. The union negotiated a serie of benefits for the members duging bargaining but they still have problems with training, promotions and health and safety.
Welcome workers of Gerdau in Venezuela.
BARGAINING IN 2010:
LOCAL 6571, WHITBY, ON: Negotiations began January 26th. The contract expired February 27. A conciliator has been appointed but there has not been an application for conciliation by the Company or the Union. The Company threatened to call the conciliator in but when the Union called their bluff, they backed off. Talks are difficult but continue.
LOCAL 8586, BEAUMONT, TX: The contract expired March 31st. Major issues include health benefits for retirees, wage improvement & red circle rates. The Company demanded a vote but the Union refused and talks continue.
LOCAL 7263, ST. PAUL, MN: The contract expires July 31st. The Company wants to open bargaining the week of July 12. No talks are scheduled.
LOCAL 8581, WILTON, IA: The contract expires on September 30th. No talks are scheduled.
The United Steelworkers, which represents 21,000 active and retired members across Minnesota, today endorsed Mark Dayton for Governor.
USW District Director Bob Bratulich said that Dayton’s previous support for Steelworkers and their families and his commitment to bring more jobs to Minnesota earned their support. “Mark has been there for working families’ issues that impact every sector of our Union from pension reform, unfair trade, health care, and bringing Minnesota back to leading the nation in economic development and creating jobs which will be good for all of Minnesota.”
Charlie Olson, a Steelworker from the Iron Range, added: “Mark not only supported issues that affected the mining communities of the Iron Range but supported issues that impacted working families all over our district. Mark gets it, with good jobs and good education, Minnesota will once again lead the nation.”
Upon receiving the endorsement, Dayton said: “I am deeply grateful for the United Steelworkers’ endorsement. I have worked very hard to add jobs and save jobs for their members. They recognize that I am the best candidate to be Minnesota’s next Jobs Governor.”
United Steelworkers Local 7263 Endorses Mark Dayton for Governor
January 29, 2010
St. Paul, MN: United Steelworkers Local 7263 announced today that they are backing Mark Dayton to be Minnesota’s next Governor. USW 7263 is an amalgamated union headquartered in Newport, which represents more than 350 workers at Gerdau-Ameristeel, Northern Iron, and Cannon Conveyer, as well as two SEIU units.
“Mark is the best candidate to put Minnesotans back to work,” said USW Local 7263 President Chuck Nippoldt. “We’ve worked with Mark, we know Mark, and we’re supporting him because he will stand up for working-class families.”
As Senator, Dayton traveled to Brazil in the spring of 2006 to meet with the owners of Gerdau Steel during their labor dispute with USW 7263. Nippoldt credits Dayton’s trip with helping to secure a fair contract for his members.
“I am very honored to receive the endorsement of USW 7263,” said Dayton. “I have said that I will travel anywhere, anytime on behalf of jobs for Minnesotans. Traveling to Brazil to meet with the Gerdau management shows that I mean what I say.”
This recent endorsement adds to Dayton’s already strong support among unions. AFSCME Council 5 and Teamsters Joint Council 32—and their almost 200,000 active and retired members—have also endorsed Dayton.
As always we had a great turn out at the dinner dance. Our retired President Nyals Kittle and his guest Janice Rettman, Ramsey County Commissioner, came and inspired us with some words. Nyles was President of Local 7263 for 23 years. There was a live band, good food and great door prizes a good time was had by all.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Social Hour 6:00PM - Dinner 7:00 PM - Dance 8:30 - 12:00,
Ticket Price $15:00
Clarion Hotel, 701 South Concord Street, South St. Paul.
Rooms -$69, Phone 651-455-3600 Group-USW 7263
On March 23rd we voted for our negotiating committee. Here's the results, the negotiating committee will
be Chuck Nippoldt, Darrel Loutsch, Gary Gunter, Mike Wodaszewski, Ben Hallas and Jason George. We will be passing out a contract survey in the near future.