USW 1005 thanks all who were in attendance, especially Bill Good and the band.
Steelworkers and their allies rallied at the Max Aicher North America (MANA) gates in Hamilton, Ontario where workers have been locked out for three years while the plant is run by scabs. Gary Howe, President of USW Local 1005, said that on May Day in Hamilton he has one message: the lock-out and use of scabs by MANA in a union town, in steeltown, is unacceptable. Gary denounced the fact that the provincial and federal governments and the courts are not only allowing this to happen, but that a judge recently took away the benefits of the retired workers with the stroke of a pen. Where are the governments, labour departments, and courts that will take action against unfair labour practices? Where can the workers go for redress, Gary asked. He said that the need for unity has never been greater, and called on everyone to carry on the fight and get the message out loud and clear that the workers do not accept this state of affairs.
Tim Blackborow, Local 1005’s chair representing the workers locked out at MANA, gave the history of the company’s anti-worker activity in Hamilton. He explained how U.S. Steel carved up Stelco, selling the bar and bloom mills to Max Aicher North America. MANA then laid off the workers and when they refused to take a huge cut in pay and make concessions in benefits, it locked them out. After that it wound up their pension plan without consultation and began bringing in scabs. Why, he asked? Because they can, he said. No authority is stopping them.
Paul Miller, MPP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek and Anthony Marco, President of the Hamilton and District Labour Council, gave solidarity messages pledging their continued support for the MANA workers and all of the Local 1005 workers and retirees in their fight for justice.