In the News
The Role and Concerns of Steelworkers
Big Changes Announced to Steel Production at Dofasco
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and ArcelorMittal Dofasco CEO Ron Bedard jointly announced in Hamilton changes to steel production that will greatly impact the lives of steelworkers. The announcement on February 15, focused on the provincial government’s half a billion dollar handout to the global cartel that together with $400 million from federal coffers will pay for half the projected investment to modernize steel production.
Absent from the announcement and media reports was the changes this forces onto the 4,600 Dofasco steelworkers. The new technique involves more computers and other means of production almost certainly requiring different skill sets and fewer steelworkers for a similar volume of production.
What are the implications for the workforce? Nothing was said and from this it can be inferred that nothing good will come of it for the working class. Dofasco steelworkers are not organized into a defence union where these issues can be discussed and their interests clarified, and importantly, tactics developed to defend steelworkers’ interests with actions during the change in the method of production.
At Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, the owners of the steel mill are receiving government money to make similar changes to the production process. Algoma steelworkers have a defence organization; even so, their union President reports that the company and government have not discussed the changes with steelworkers or taken seriously their concerns as to how to implement these changes without damaging workers’ interests and lives. Algoma steelworkers are discussing and working out their tactics to defend their interests.
The changes at Dofasco in Hamilton are a concern of the entire working class, in particular steelworkers. They must voice their concerns and impose their views on the situation to ensure their individual and collective well-being is assured. Workers cannot allow these changes to take place without their voices and concerns being heard and taken into full consideration.
For further information on Algoma Steel in Workers’ Forum click here.
(Workers’ Forum, posted March 4, 2022)