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Supreme Steel Betraying Its Winnipeg Employees After 50 Years of Loyal Service

For more than 50 years, employees at Supreme Steel in Winnipeg loyally went to work every day and drove the success and profitability of the company.

The Winnipeg plant, represented by United Steelworkers Local 9074, was responsible for a number of important projects over the last number of years, including:

·         Winnipeg Convention Centre Expansion ($23.39-million value)
·         MacDon ($1.82-million value)
·         IKEA ($5.37-million value)
·         Riel Station ($5.62-million value)
·         Keewatinohk Station ($7.17-million value)
·         BBE Hydro Spillway Gates ($7.13-million value)
·         The Leaf – Diversity Garden ($10.97-million value)
·         Simplot Processing Expansion ($12.54-million value)
·         Winnipeg Art Gallery Inuit Art Centre ($4.77-million value)

In late August 2019, Supreme Steel announced it would be closing the plant on Sept. 30, laying off the majority of employees and keeping a small crew to dismantle the plant. The company, at that time, committed to following the collective agreement and doing the right thing to treat its long-time employees with dignity, respect and fairness.

Unfortunately, Supreme Steel has not lived up to that commitment and is betraying the workers who built the company.

Despite a contractual obligation to continue providing benefits for two months in the event of layoffs, Supreme Steel abruptly terminated all benefits on Sept. 30.

Even worse, while Supreme Steel is offering generous severance packages of three weeks for every year worked for its management, it is refusing to provide any severance whatsoever to its unionized employees who for 50 years did the hard work that made the company's existence possible.

If Supreme Steel's lofty words about respecting and valuing its employees and the Winnipeg community are to be believed, the company should start by working with USW Local 9074 on a closure agreement that honours the commitment made by its employees and supports them moving forward.

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For further information:

Paul Lussier, President, USW Local 9074, 204-943-4592, 204-799-5781 (c)

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