Governments Could Stop Layoffs at Evraz Steel

REGINA, VANCOUVER, TORONTO – National and Western Canada leaders of the United Steelworkers union (USW) say news of pending layoffs at Evraz Steel in Regina is the result of the federal government’s failure to commit to use Canadian products in Canadian infrastructure projects.

Steelworkers’ jobs at the Regina pipe mill are in jeopardy after it was learned that an order to make 48-inch pipe for energy infrastructure company TC Energy in Northern Alberta has been given to an offshore company.

“It should not happen that one Canadian company can decide not to use Canadian steel products in its infrastructure projects,” said USW National Director Ken Neumann. “Our government has failed to protect Canadian jobs and does not even have a Canadian-made procurement strategy for public infrastructure projects, let alone private projects that impact our economic future.”

USW Western Canada Director Stephen Hunt said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney must also step in to preserve jobs in Western Canada.

“Mr. Kenney says his support for the energy sector in Western Canada is all about jobs and the economic future of Canadians working in the sector,” said Hunt. “It’s time he proved it by talking to his friends at TC Energy and telling them that if pipelines are going to be built, they must be made in Canada.”

Stand Up for Steel is the USW’s national campaign to inject stability into the steel sector including a made-in-Canada policy and a reformed trade policy that would, among other things, allow unions to launch trade complaints.

“Demand for steel products has dropped as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The only way to rebuild a strong, resilient economy will be to inject massive funding into physical infrastructure projects. Many projects are not using Canadian-made steel. Instead they are using cheaper steel obtained offshore,” said Neumann.

“Reform means it is necessary to ensure that the jobs of Canadians are a higher priority than getting the cheapest possible product.”

USW Local 5890 President Mike Day, representing workers at the Evraz mill in Regina, said news of layoffs due to pipe orders going offshore is an insult added to injury.

“My members are demanding that both Jason Kenney and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe show some courage and demand that projects in Canada use Canadian products,” said Day. “Our members should not be made victims because of bad public policy and a lack of attention to the future of our domestic industry.”

For more information on USW’s campaign to Stand Up For Steel, go to www.usw.ca/standupforsteel.


For further information:

Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Stephen Hunt, USW Western Canada Director, 604-683-1117, 604-816-2554, shunt@usw.ca
Mike Day, USW Local 5890 President, 306-569-9663, m.day@usw5890.com
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

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