An American investment firm — the kind that buys companies in trouble and restructures them — is poised to buy the former Stelco plants from U.S. Steel. Bedrock Industries Group has already signed off on a restructuring framework with the provincial government. Much of that agreement is confidential, but we’re assured that pensions, jobs and production are guaranteed. This week the parent company signed off.

So all is good, right? Considering the worst case scenarios, this is a positive turn of events. Yes, to a point. But there is a great deal we don’t know, and that’s why the unions representing workers and pensioners are uneasy. Considering the history of U.S. Steel in Canada, they have good reason to feel skeptical, if not downright cynical. When U.S. Steel bought the former Stelco, there were guarantees of jobs and production. They weren’t honoured. The Harper Conservative government took the company to court, was apparently winning, then agreed to a closed-door deal. We don’t know what’s in it.

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