St. Paul Barganing Update USW Local 7263 Aug. 5, 2005
Volume 1, Issue 2
USW Unity Council meeting In St. Paul Aug. 11 and 12, 2005
Local Union Officials representing members at Gerdau plants from across the USA and Canada. along with the
representatives from Chile and Brazil will be here in St. Paul in solidarity with you, and your local union's efforts to bargain
a fair contract.
USW Members at St. Paul are urged too attend one of the three important membership meetings being held with the Unity Council
on August 11th at the VFW on Concord. Your attendance is extremely important. The information we will exchange
will help each of you, and the Unity Council, to clearly understand the challenge we face at other Gerdau Ameristeel locations
and in St. Paul bargaining. Refreshments and food will be available at the meetings being held at 7:30 AM, 12:00
PM and 3:30 on the 11th.
A strike authorization for St. Paul bargaining will be taken at these important meetings at the VFW on Concord- Aug 11th
Please don't miss your opportunity to have your voice heard : Your local bargaining Committtee will, at these three important
meetings, be asking for strike authorization from the membership. The details and the reasons for this request will
be clearly communicated and discussed thoroughly.
MEMBERSHIP UPDATE INFORMATION
As we reported in the previous update, Gerdau has proposed very significant changes to your agreement that would, if implemented,
have serious negative effect on your current contractual rights. As detailed at our membership meetings on July 21st at the
VFW we have continued to stress that those issues left unresolved from the sale of North Star to Gerdau, ("the left over issues")
must be cleared up to our satisfaction if we are to reach a fair contract.
Those issues, (that are also being fought in the grievance procedure), include The Profit Sharing, the Deferred Pension,
the Supplementary Unemployment Benefit Fund, the Health Care coverage issues, Gerdau's interference with Union Bulletin Boards
and Gerdau's refusal to allow you to put stickers of support for the Union and the Unity Council on your hard hats. At
the meetings on the 11th, your local Union Commmittee and representatives of the USW will be able to answer your questions
on these matters.
Your Bargaining Committee has met in negotiations with Gerdau on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of August. To date, Gerdau has resolved
only the bulletin board and sticker issues. None of the "left over issues" nor any of the contractual rights issues
have been settled.
Again, your attendance at the membership meetings on the 11th is important so we can discuss your Committee's concerns
and more details of bargaining. The next negotiation session is August 10th. We will then be meeting Gerdau on August 23rd,
24th, 25, 30th, 31st and Sept. 1st. The lack of any progress on your important contract proposals will be an important part
of these meetings.
Gerdau needs to learn. These are Your Jobs - This is Your Contract
ISSUES BY YOUR NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE OF LOCAL 7263 USW
St. Paul USW Bargaining Update Local 7263 July 29, 2005
Local 7263 USW St. Paul membership information update
Volume 1, Issue 1
July 29, 2005
As all of you should be aware, Gerdau Ameristeel locked out our members in Beaumont Texas over two months ago rather than
bargain a fair agreement. Gerdau's motives became clear. They were attempting to force a position on our members that would
seriously dimish their overall economic package and elliminate important contract rights our mebers worked hard too achieve
over many years.
Unlike your negotiations in previous contract renewals, where local management usually had much of the "say" and control
over getting to a settlement, Gerdau is using a very high profile law firm to conduct their contract talks. This law
firm is employed by Gerdau to bargain with your Union representatives and your plant management has very little to do with
what's on the table... Gerdau top management does. The Union contract you currently enjoy is under attack in St. Paul
much like the Texas agreement. As you asked of us, we will highlight for you in this update, where the Company is proposing
to eliminate or seriously undermine your current rights and privileges....rights and privileges that directly affect your
day to day working life, and your family's well being. As we said at our membership meetings on July 20, all of you need
too participate in efforts to support your union committee's efforts to protect your rights. It is in your best
interest going forward!!! We expect that it will be a challenging period for all of us as we work together to bargain a fair
contract with Gerdau/Ameristeel.
Your support and solidarity is critical to any successful bargaining effort and your questions and suggestions are
welcomed. Your Local Union Bargaining Committee, elected by you, urges you be aware that the Company spread misinformation
about negotiations in Texas and we expect that they will probably continue their efforts in St. Paul in an attempt to cause
division in your ranks...solely for their own purposes. Your Union believes strongly that you deserve more respect than that,
so we ask that you bring your questions to your Union officials and that, unless your Bargaining Committee verifies
information about what is happening and why,...if may not be truthful. You will be regularly updated and you will be asked
to join in our efforts to get you a fair agreement. Don't leave your part in this important effort to someone else.
We are certain that with your support we will achieve...
A fair contract that respects your hard work !!
Overtime at the rate of 1 1/2 times the regular rate is currently paid for :
Hours worked in excess of eight but less than twelve in a work day.
Hours worked in excess of forty hours in a work week.
Hours worked on the sixth or seventh work day in a work week during which the employee was scheduled and worked
Overtime at the rate of two (2) times the regular rate of pay is currently paid for:
Hours worked in excess of twelve straight time and/or overtime hours within any twenty-four hour period.
Hours worked in excess of eight (8) on the sixth and seventh day when the employee has already worked five other days in
the payroll week.
Overtime at three (3) times the regular rate of pay is currently paid for hours worked in excess of 8 on a holiday or on
the sixth and seventh day
Your Union invites you to do the math!!
Gerdau is proposing that the current language protecting you from excessive numbers of short work weeks in any one year
be removed. Then Gerdau is proposing that they will credit your vacation eligibility and your pension for only the actual
number of hours you work in a short work week. Currently you get credit for the full week for vacation and pension when
short weeks are implemented.
Gerdau wants to change your 5 years of seniority protection when on lay off to read a maximum of 1 (one) year. That means
after one year you have no right to return and all you service is lost.
Gerdau wants to eliminate the scheduling rights (below) you have for your vacation. The excerpt below is your current
contract language guaranteeing that, in accordance with the agreement's terms, you can have your time off in blocks of 1,
2, or 3 weeks in a row. Under Gerdau's proposal you would then take vacation when Geerdau says and tells you how many days
you can have.
"Vacations shall be scheduled during complete calendar weeks beginning on Monday and ending on Sunday except
by mutual agreement of Company and Union. A one (1) week's vacation shall consist of seven (7) consecutive days, a two
(2) week's vacation of fourteen (14) consecutive days and three (3) week's vacation of twenty-one (21) consecutive days..."
Section 17,4 of your current contract
There are many other changes that Gerdau is proposing, in addition to those listed, that will weken your contract
and affect all of you.
They want to eliminate the very successor language that was the reason you still have your jobs and your contract after
Gerdau purchased the plant, that your agreement provides and during the coming weeks we will be expanding on just what
Gerdau needs too learn. These are Our Jobs - This is Our Contract
ISSUDED BY YOUR NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE OF LACAL 7263 USW
St. Paul, Minnesota Local 7263
In St. Paul, the Co. put the same proposals on the table as they did here and the Union put the same proposals on the
table as we did here. The Co. then asked for a 90 day extension and the Union denied their request.
At St. Paul the collective bargaining agreement expired on July 31st and the Union is working on a day to day basis subject
to a 72-hour notice of termination. The Company's opening proposal there was very similar to the Company's opening proposal
here. There are several bargaining sessions scheduled for this month and early in September.