Hamilton Spectator- Dec 22

I do not trust this latest Stelco deal

RE: Bedrock bid for Stelco

 

As a Stelco retiree, I have been living through this nightmare of uncertainty for the last two years. Each deal, each new player is trumpeted as a saviour without any analysis or details of how the outstanding liabilities will be resolved. We are kept in the dark and urged to trust that it’s all going to be fine. I can’t really blame the media for this as these deals are done in secret and even the union is not informed of the details.

What appears to be happening is a repeat of the deals made 10 years ago when a Wall Street venture capitalist company flipped Stelco to U.S. Steel. Billions of dollars were made, yet the pension plans were left underfunded. U.S. Steel signed a contract to fully fund the plans, and maintain employment and production levels. None of these contractual obligations were met. This is not “incompetence” as Sam Merulla calls it. To me, it appeared to be an outright gutting of Stelco so U.S. Steel could obtain Stelco’s order book and eliminate, or at least cripple a Canadian competitor.

Gary Howe and 1005 are right about this deal being “smoke and mirrors.” The Ontario government and yet another Wall Street venture capitalist promise our pension plans will be funded by some vague plan involving shares in the vacant industrial lands. Before I support any such deal I want to see in clear, precise language how our stake in this whole mess will be resolved.

 

William Good, Hamilton