Sunday, October 01, 2006
White Collar Workers In Canada Move To Unionize
Here are some news items from the last few weeks about a drive to unionize salaried workers at Stelco, a Canadian steel company. The Steelworkers Union itself is leading the campaign. There are more than 700 salaried Stelco employees in their sights. According to the Canadian press, the drive is "not at all surprising", considering the recent slings and arrows of benefits and vacation cuts that Stelco workers have had to endure, and some see irony in the fact that white collar workers in the steel industry had so vehemently opposed unionization in the past, siding almost reflexively with management. Now things are changing.
The move is highly unusual in the Canadian steel industry. Only at Algoma Steel of Sault St. Marie have salaried workers organized in a similar fashion, when 570 employees - including supervisors, planners and college-educated metallurgists - formed a separate union in 1995. The Steelworkers Union at Stelco will offer its white collar members some autonomy, providing them separate office space and the opportunity to appoint their own leaders.
There is hope in the Great White North. Let us pray that someday it will come south...
"White-collar union drive at Stelco 'not common'" from The Hamilton Spectator
"Ironic that Stelco's salaried workers must follow lead of unionized steelworkers to protect rights" from The Hamilton Spectator
"Salaried Stelco workers ponder unionizing" from AM900 CHML (Canadian radio)