August 6, 2009 - No. 153
64th Anniversary of Nuclear
Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
No More Hiroshimas! No More Nagasakis!
Never Again! One Humanity, One Struggle!
No to Nuclear Blackmail and
Double Standards of U.S. Imperialists!
64th Anniversary of Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
• No More
Hiroshimas! No More Nagasakis! Never Again!
Manufacturing Yes! Nation-Wrecking No!
• Rally Around Canadian Steelworkers in Defence
of Their Rights
• USW Press Release
• Resist U.S. Steel
"Whacking" Canada - K.C. Adams
For Your Information
• Inco, Stelco: The Dark Side of Foreign
Takeovers - Editorial, Orangeville Citizen
• Lakeside Steel Files Motion to Intervene in
Federal Minister's Court Application on U.S. Steel - Lakeside
Steel Press Release
64th Anniversary of Nuclear Bombing
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
No More Hiroshimas! No More Nagasakis!
Today marks the 64th anniversary of the dropping of
atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On the morning of August 6,
1945, the United States dropped an atom bomb that exploded above the
Japanese city of Hiroshima killing about 140,000 people in the initial
blast, in total more than
237,000. Three days after the Hiroshima bombing, the United States
dropped another atomic bomb on the southern Japanese city of Nagasaki
killing 8,500 people and eventually resulting in the deaths of more
than 70,000 people due to exposure to radiation and injuries.
The dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
by the U.S. was aimed at threatening the world's people, especially the
people of the Soviet Union, who were instrumental in defeating the Nazi
aggressors at the cost of 10 million lives and many millions more
was the Soviet Union that had emerged after the Second World War as the
leading force for liberation, emancipation and peace for all nations
and peoples. The dropping of the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
served notice that the United States would commit any crime in order to
its hegemony over Europe and Asia and defeat communism. The Canadian
government was directly involved in facilitating the production of the
atomic bomb, amongst other things by providing enriched uranium.
Canadian ministers knew in advance the bomb would be used on the
August 6 and August 9 have now become days to
commemorate those who were killed in these horrendous acts of terrorism
by the U.S. and to express the collective determination of the peoples
of Canada and the world to never again permit such crimes against
humanity. This call
today takes greater urgency in a world where U.S. imperialism gives
itself the right to launch "pre-emptive nuclear strikes" against any
nation or people as it has threatened to do against Iran and the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), countries who are waging
a determined struggle
for their right to be.
Today, sixty-four years after the nuclear bombing of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the threat of a nuclear holocaust that would
annihilate all of humanity remains a reality. The U.S. imperialists
under President Barak Obama continues to be the leader by far in
producing, selling and stockpiling
nuclear weapons capable of wiping out the entire planet many times
over, despite Obama's disinformation campaigns about "curbing nuclear
weapons proliferation." Addressing a large number of people at an
outdoor rally in Prague this past April, Obama stated: "Today, I state
clearly and with conviction
America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without
nuclear weapons..." followed soon after by his adding that a nuclear
free world would not "be achieved quickly...perhaps not in my
lifetime." Thus Obama does not take a principled stand against the
proliferation of nuclear weapons
and is certainly not going to start with the U.S. giving up its massive
nuclear arsenal. The U.S. imperialists need the largest nuclear
weapons stockple in order to enforce their Nazi logic of "might makes
right" and to threaten any country that takes a stand in defence of its
own independence and
sovereignty such as Iran, the DPRK, Cuba, Venezuela and others.
At the same time the allies and clients of U.S.
imperialism, such as Israel, are also encouraged to produce nuclear
weapons in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and other
international laws in order to threaten aggression on neighbouring
states in the name of "self-defence"
and the "war on terror." There is no possibility of peace in the world
when U.S. imperialism and its allies such as Israel and Canada can
impose these double standards with impunity in violation of
international laws and conventions that humanity has brought forward.
In the face of these brutal double
standards, countries such as the DPRK see themselves forced into
testing nuclear weapons as a "deterrent" against the constant nuclear
blackmail of the U.S., adding to humanity's collective anxiety about
nuclear proliferation and the real danger of a nuclear world war
breaking out that would annihilate
the whole of humanity.
It is the U.S. and its allies who have to be held
responsible for creating the very dangerous situation in the world that
forces small countries like the DPRK to arm themselves with nuclear
weapons in the interests of self-preservation.
The crimes committed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki will not
go away by threatening the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran
and other countries for allegedly posing the "nuclear threat." It is
unacceptable that those who used nuclear weapons in the past on an
foe in order to blackmail the entire world's people today threaten the
use of nuclear pre-emptive strikes under the pretext of acting in the
interests of "peace" and "human security."
Hiroshima Day and Nagasaki Day highlight precisely that
it is the U.S. imperialists who have used nuclear weapons against the
people of Japan and are openly threatening to do so against the people
of Iran and Korea today. They are portraying those who defend
U.S. aggression as the ones who are destabilizing international
relations and creating conflicts and wars.
Today the U.S. imperialists and their allies in Canada
and around the world want to divide the world between "democratic" and
"civilized nations" and "Islamic dictatorships," "failed states" and
others that are "uncivilized" in order to justify their drive to
dominate all of humanity with
the aim of plundering the world's human and natural resources. The
current occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan by the U.S. and their
allies show that their main aim is to humiliate and defeat all those
who affirm their right to be. Under the presidency of Barak Obama, the
U.S. continues to build
military bases around the world to threaten their main rivals such as
Russia and China as well as any country that affirms it right to
independence and self-determination. The peoples of the world have
direct experience with U.S. imperialism and its allies since the Second
World War and before. The
peoples of the world cannot be suppressed through force.
Humanity's fight to rid the world of nuclear weapons
and defeat the U.S. imperialist "new world order" requires stepping up
the struggle to uphold the sovereignty and independence of all nations
big and small, and the elimination of the threat or use of force to
settle conflicts. It also
necessitates that the Canadian working class and people put in place an
anti-war government that rejects the use of force as a means of
settling conflicts between nations and peoples, withdraws from all
aggressive military blocs and treaties such as NATO, NORAD and the
Security and Prosperity
Partnership (SPP) and demands that all nuclear states dismantle their
respective nuclear arsenals, beginning with the United States.
On this occasion, TML pays its deepest
respects to the Japanese victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and to all
peoples the world over who have suffered and continue to suffer as a
result of imperialist dictate. The imperialist system led by the U.S.
is criminal and must
be ended by the political unity of all the fighting peoples of the
world if peace is to prevail.
Manufacturing Yes! Nation-Wrecking No!
Rally Around Canadian Steelworkers
in Defence of Their Rights
imperialists lock down Stelco Lake Erie Works
U.S. Steel has increased its attack on Canadian
steelworkers with a
lockout of almost 1,000 members of Local 8782 USW, Lake Erie Works.
Stelco mills in Hamilton and Nanticoke were already shut down as U.S.
Steel has transferred production to U.S. mills under its overall
plan and President Obama's "Buy American" dictate.
Local 8782 was willing to extend the existing contract
past the July
31 expiry deadline but U.S. Steel summarily dismissed this request with
ideas of taking advantage of the situation to drive down Canadian
wages, benefits and pensions. All remaining steelworkers were escorted
the Stelco Nanticoke mill at 7:00 p.m. August 3. The U.S. imperialists
then placed a warlike lockdown on the mill lining the entryway with
concrete anti-explosive barriers and with security personnel
videotaping pickets. Steelworker picket captain Rob Clark, of Simcoe,
is quoted in the Simcoe Reformer:
"Monday's lockout is the culmination of a sour relationship that began
when U.S. Steel made its move on Ontario. 'It's been a huge change,'
Clark said. 'Since U.S. Steel arrived, they've done their best to shut
us down. We're used to being part of the solution to problems. We're
not used to being
pushed away. It's just a totally different culture'."
According to reports from union sources and the mass
Steel wants a complete restructuring of the labour contract to blow
apart steelworkers' Canadian standard claim on the wealth they produce.
The U.S. Steel imperialists calculate that while Stelco mills are not
steel, they can fill their order book in Canada with steel produced at
their U.S. mills until Canadian steelworkers agree with concessions.
The Simcoe Reformer
gives some indication of the brutal arrogance of
the U.S. monopoly on the issue of pensions: "The U.S. Steel negotiator
in charge of pension policy recently informed Local 8782 that it wants
a basic overhaul of the existing plan, which guarantees retirees a set
of money each month. 'His exact words were -- That is goddamn charity!'
Ferguson said outside union headquarters on Hawk Street in the
Nanticoke Industrial Park. 'He said it's social welfare, that it is the
government's responsibility, and that no company should be involved
with it'." (Bill Ferguson
is President of USW Local 8782)
The package of concessions demanded by the U.S. monopoly
eliminating the defined-benefit pension plan include a $3 an hour
reduction resulting from a wage freeze, elimination of cost-of-living
allowances, an end to profit-sharing, the introduction of drug
a reduction in severance pay.
Maintaining and funding the defined-benefit pension plan
condition of U.S. Steel's seizure of Stelco in 2007. The threat to
destroy the pension plans is one more reason for the federal government
to intervene forcibly and either have U.S. Steel live up to the
commitments it made
upon purchase of Stelco or seize the mills on behalf of Canadians as
the core of a sovereign steel industry.
Destroying the pension plans and other concessions would
increase the amount of steel added-value (imperialist tribute) that
would leave Canada for the United States once production has resumed.
TML calls on all workers and their allies to
with Stelco steelworkers of Local 8782 against the concessions demanded
by the U.S. Steel imperialists and for a resolution of the ownership
issue that favours the people.
USW Press Release
Clement step in as
U.S. Steel defies Feds and locks out its employees
In a stunning show of contempt for its workers, the
government and Industry Minister Tony Clement, U.S. Steel has locked
out its Lake Erie Works employees.
Only weeks after Minister Clement followed Canadian
employment cuts with the unusual step of taking U.S. Steel to court for
failing to live up to its commitments under the Investment Canada Act,
US Steel has now raised the stakes.
"We see this action by US Steel as a clear violation of
undertakings to maintain employment and production levels under
Investment Canada Act. For US Steel to lock out the union's members at
a time when it is already on notice that the government thinks it has
its promises makes these recent events even more indefensible," said
Tony DePaulo, United Steelworkers Area Co-ordinator. "In light of this,
we are calling on Clement to urgently expedite the government's request
to the Federal Court of Canada to order U.S. Steel to resume steel
and put its employees back to work."
"We now have almost a thousand workers laid off or
locked out by
U.S. Steel. This is an act of defiance towards claims that it should be
held accountable for its promises to the Canadian government," said
Wayne Fraser, District 6 Director for USW.
"We call on Minister Clement to immediately intervene
and stop this
flagrant contempt of US Steel's responsibilities to be a "net benefit"
to Canada," insisted DePaulo.
Last night after 7p.m. U.S. Steel locked out the
workers at its Nanticoke plant. About 800 workers have already been
laid off from the Nanticoke plant, which was temporarily shut down by
U.S. Steel in March, along with its Hamilton works. It was this March
that prompted the federal government to disclose that US Steel had
signed an agreement regarding output and employment when it bought the
former Stelco in 2007. Employees at the Hamilton mill, which operates
under a separate collective agreement expiring in 2010, have been
recalled to work
in recent weeks.
After negotiating throughout the weekend, the company
the workers out declaring "substantial disagreement on a number of
issues, necessitating our lockout decision."
It is interesting to note that this behaviour by US
happening during a time of growing consensus among Canadians that
foreign companies that take over Canadian firms must be held to the
"net benefit to Canada" principle and made to keep its performance
In a recent online panel, nearly all 127 CEOs from
and large corporations agreed: "It is an excellent decision to require
foreign companies to abide by their undertakings when buying important
The United Steelworkers are also attempting to become
interveners in the federal government's case against US Steel.
For further information: Bob Gallagher, (416) 544-5966;
Tony DePaulo, (905) 869-0760
Resist U.S. Steel "Whacking" Canada
take back the Stelco mills and allow steelworkers to produce
we need! Manufacturing yes! Nation-wrecking no!
In a regulatory filing July 28 opposing a Canadian
government lawsuit, U.S. Steel asserts it has the right to break
commitments it made upon seizing Stelco steel mills in 2007.
From Pittsburgh, U.S. Steel CEO John Surma mocked the
Canadian government's lawsuit of his steel monopoly for not living up
to its commitments. Surma said sarcastically, "Maybe the news of that
economic downturn hasn't reached Ottawa yet."
Maybe Surma living far from Hamilton and guarded by
walls of luxury cannot imagine that layoffs and shutdowns are neither
solutions nor funny.
The Hamilton Spectator reports that Surma
"vows to fight feds over job cuts.. [Surma] promises the Canadian
government a stiff fight if it presses ahead with a lawsuit alleging
his company broke promises to maintain jobs in Hamilton as part of the
deal that allowed it to
take over Stelco... U.S. Steel has a clear right under the Stelco deal
to cut jobs [Surma asserted]... 'We are going to run our facilities in
a way that best serves us... We know how to defend ourselves and we are
going to do that,' he said."
Maybe the news of his monopoly's shutdown of Stelco
steelmaking hasn't reached Pittsburgh yet. Surma, you're not "running"
Stelco's mills; you've shut them down!
U.S. Steel came to Canada in 2007, handed some money
over to a gang of shysters, one of whom was from North Carolina with
others from New York and Toronto, and after a year of raking in
stupendous profits began to lay off Stelco steelworkers and wreck
production. That is not
friendly Mr. Surma, not friendly at all. It is downright antagonistic
and now you're rubbing salt in the wound by making fun of the Canadian
government's rather timid demand that you uphold your legal obligations.
Surma also "praised executives who've controlled losses
by struggling to keep a lid on the cost of idled plants, such as the
former Stelco. 'We've been doing a good job of whacking down costs and
cutting the energy requirements and staffing needs of those plants,' he
Interesting choice of mafia terminology, "whacking down
costs." Owners of capital consider "costs" the people who produce
added-value and provide services. Surma congratulates himself and his
hired guns for "whacking" Canadian steelworkers and passing the losses
onto their shoulders
and Canada's social programs.
You are out of whack Surma! You invaded Canada, seized
Stelco's steel mills, profited enormously for a year, and then when the
predictable downturn in the capitalist business cycle began, you
started "whacking" Canadian workers and their production facilities,
passing the burden onto
us with cutbacks and layoffs that solve nothing.
Canadians are tired of being bullied and "whacked" by
monopoly right. Canadians do not need this grief coming from the United
States or anywhere else. Canadians are organizing and fighting to gain
control over their economy. Paraphrasing Surma's own words: We need to
over our facilities and run them in a way that best serves us. We have
to defend ourselves and we are going to do exactly that!
Canadians reject monopoly right and are organizing to
regain control over their lives and means of production and
subsistence. It is our right
and duty to exercise control over both Canada and its economy. It is
our right and duty to
build a self-reliant independent
Down with U.S. Steel's monopoly right and arrogance!
Refuse to be "whacked" by the monopolies!
Whose economy? Our economy! Who decides? We decide!
Let's take back our Stelco mills and allow steelworkers
to produce the wealth we need! Manufacturing yes! Nation-wrecking no!
For Your Information
Inco, Stelco: The Dark Side of Foreign Takeovers
Where were the economic nationalists back in 2006 and
2007 when foreign firms gobbled up so many Canadian industrial giants,
among them Inco, Falconbridge, Stelco and Abitibi?
Our suspicion is that they were alive and even speaking
out, but few of us listened. After all, stockholders were reaping huge
benefits, our Loonie was soaring and we were being assured that all the
acquisitions would be to Canada's long-term benefit.
But as we all now know, any benefits have by and large
proved illusory, particularly in the case of Stelco and Inco, and our
confident expectation is that the same will hold true for the auctioned
assets of Nortel.
In the case of Stelco, the behaviour of its new owner,
Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel, has been particularly offensive and the
federal government's response weak-kneed at best.
There seems no doubt that the government approved
Stelco's sale in part because of assurances that it would be a net
benefit to Canada, the buyer having promised to maintain both
production and employment.
Instead, in part responding to the offensive Buy America
requirement in Washington's economic stimulus package, U.S. Steel has
shut down Stelco's plants in Hamilton and Nanticoke and is currently
producing steel only in the U.S.
The appropriate response of the Harper Conservatives
would have been to make U.S. Steel choose between restoring Canadian
production to the same proportion of the firm's overall production at
the time of its acquisition, and putting the Stelco assets up for sale,
allowing Ottawa to buy them at current
market value if no other purchaser came forward.
Instead, all that has happened is a breach-of-contract
action in Federal Court which, if successful, would see U.S. Steel
paying up to $10,000 a day -- a fine that would likely work out to less
than the legal fees for appeals.
According to Ottawa's court application, U.S. Steel
promised that its Canadian steel production between Nov. 1, 2007 and
Oct. 31, 2010 would be at least 3.95 million tonnes a year, and that it
would maintain an average employment level of 3,105 full-time workers
at its Canadian operations.
Instead, the document says, U.S. Steel produced slightly
less in Canada than the benchmark level in 2008, and that as of May 20,
2009, its Canadian mills had produced "a very small quantity of steel,
which on an annualized basis, would represent only a small fraction of
the amount the Canadian business
was required to produce pursuant to the production undertaking."
(As for the impact of the Buy America requirement, we
suspect U.S. Steel could get around it by having steel from Hamilton or
Nanticoke turned into finished products at its U.S. mills.)
But whatever might be said about Ottawa's handling of
the Stelco fiasco, it pales beside the hands-off approach adopted for
Vale SA, the Brazilian firm that three years ago paid $19 billion for
Inco, Canada's largest nickel producer, while making similar promises
concerning employment and investment
in Ontario's Nickel Belt.
Instead, Vale Inco had shut down the Sudbury operation
even before the laidoff workers launched a hopeless strike this month
in response to the foreign owner's demand that it no longer have to
share with its workers the extra profits enjoyed when the price of
nickel rises above historic levels.
With the world-wide demand for nickel at present levels,
Vale has no need for the Canadian production and essentially has
nothing to lose and everything to gain by letting the strike drag on
for months or even years. The only losers will be the workers, Sudbury,
the federal and Ontario governments
and the Employment Insurance fund.
In the circumstances, it was surely both strange and
unacceptable to see Canada's Industry minister do nothing more than
attempt to rewrite history, portraying Vale as Inco's saviour.
The minister, Tony Clement, suggests that, without the
purchase by Vale in 2006, Inco would have failed, leaving Sudbury
without its biggest employer. In an interview with the Sudbury Star, he
even claimed that without Vale the local community would have been a
"Valley of Death."
The remark ignored the reality that at the time of the
sale Inco was reaping huge profits and was the target of a bidding war
among three suitors.
Sudbury Mayor John Rodriguez, a former NDP Member of
Parliament, said the minister's comments couldn't be farther from the
truth, and that he wants Mr. Clement to come and see how things really
are. And the United Steelworkers union has supported a call by two
local MPs for the minister's
resignation over his "misleading" and "disparaging remarks" about
Some Sudbury residents attribute Mr. Clement's different
treatment of U.S. Steel and Vale to political reality, with the
Conservatives hoping to gain Hamilton-area seats in the next federal
election while having little or no hope for a win in the Nickel Belt.
Whether or not that's the case, it's surely in Canada's
best interests that the government enforce all commitments made during
a foreign takeover.
Lakeside Steel Files Motion to Intervene in Federal
Minister's Court Application on U.S. Steel
Calls for sale of
Canada as appropriate remedy in order to resume operations of Hamilton
and Lake Erie works (formerly Stelco)
Lakeside Steel Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary
Corp. (collectively "Lakeside" or the "Company") today announced its
filing of a motion ("Intervener Motion") with the Federal Court of
Canada to obtain intervener status in the application filed on behalf
of the Minister
of Industry ("Minister") under the Investment Canada Act
(the "Minister's Application") against United States Steel Corporation
("US Steel") and U.S. Steel Canada Inc. ("US Steel Canada").
Lakeside is a diversified steel pipe and tubing
Welland, Ontario, which reported revenue of approximately $207 million,
EBITDA of approximately $10.5 million and net income of approximately
$6.5 million for the year ended March 31, 2009. U.S. Steel Canada has
been a supplier to Lakeside.
Lakeside supports the initiative taken by the Minister
to file the
Minister's Application and is seeking to intervene in the Minister's
Application to make the Court aware of the impact of the shutdown of
U.S. Steel Canada's operations on the Canadian steel industry and to
remedies requiring the sale of US Steel Canada. Lakeside is interested
in acquiring U.S. Steel Canada, and if successful in that acquisition
would comply with US Steel's commitments on production and employment.
A sale of US Steel Canada is a remedy available to the Federal Court
under the Investment Canada Act.
"The Minister's approach is appropriate in requiring
investors, who invest capital subject to commitments, to meet those
commitments or face the available remedies," said Vic Alboini, Chairman
and Chief Executive Officer of Lakeside. "The Lakeside alternative
to the Court would repatriate a former Canadian icon and resume
operations immediately at the Hamilton and Nanticoke facilities. We
believe this is a viable business solution to address the difficult
reality at US Steel Canada."
Background to Lakeside's Intervener Motion
Stelco Inc. ("Stelco") filed for creditor protection
under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act
("CCAA") on January 29, 2004. Lakeside acquired Stelco's steel pipe and
tubular assets in Stelpipe Ltd., a wholly owned
subsidiary of Stelco, on October 31, 2005 when Stelco was subject to
the CCAA filing. Stelco's equity at the time of the CCAA filing became
worthless as a result of the CCAA process. Stelco emerged from the CCAA
process on March 31, 2006 and 19 months later was acquired by US Steel
31, 2007 for approximately $2 billion, consisting of approximately
$1.22 billion in equity and approximately $839 million in assumed debt.
US Steel renamed Stelco as US Steel Canada and shut down the operations
of US Steel Canada 17 months following its purchase in apparent
commitments made to the Minister at the time of the acquisition.
The Minister states in his Application that US Steel
produce on average at least 4,345,000 tons annually over a three year
period and committed to employ on average 3,105 employees. These
commitments for US Steel Canada's business were given in support of US
application to the Minister for approval of its acquisition of Stelco
If the commitments were made without any qualification,
materially changed economic circumstances, the Investment Canada Act
provides the Federal Court with certain remedies. The Minister's
Application is seeking an order for US Steel to comply with its
penalty of $10,000 per day for the breach of each commitment and any
other appropriate relief.
"Despite the compliance order and the penalty being
requested by the
Minister, there is a strong incentive for US Steel to comply with 'Buy
American' requirements, which are an integral part of the U.S. stimulus
initiative, by filling orders from its US facilities, rather than from
Stelco facilities. It is therefore highly unlikely that US Steel will
meet its production and employment commitments made to the Minister,"
said Alboini. "It is important for Stelco to be owned or controlled by
a Canadian company, for the long term benefit of Stelco's employees,
Lakeside is asking the Court for an order requiring US
Steel to sell
US Steel Canada. Lakeside is an interested purchaser, would reopen
Stelco immediately and would comply with the production and employment
commitments made by US Steel to the Minister. Lakeside is the only
remaining publicly held Canadian-owned steel manufacturer. The Lakeside
business was part of Stelco and the challenges at the former Stelco are
the same issues that Lakeside has addressed.
About Lakeside Steel Inc.
Lakeside is the parent
company of Lakeside Steel Corp. ("Lakeside Steel"). Lakeside Steel,
located in Welland, Ontario, is a diversified steel pipe and tubing
manufacturer. Lakeside Steel's list of customers includes large oil and
gas, mining, automotive
and commercial and industrial supply companies.
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