- No. 33
U.S. Steel's Filing for Bankruptcy Protection
Labour Day 2014 in Hamilton
Steelworkers' Response to U.S. Steel's
An Appeal to the Court of Public Opinion
Steel's Phony CCAA!
Let Us Together
Take a Stand in Defence of the Dignity of Labour,
Decency, Upright Behaviour and the Right Thing to Do!
Do not Permit
Canada to be Trampled in the Mud by U.S.
Local 1005 condemns in no uncertain terms this phony
filed by U.S. Steel on September 16. It creates a very serious
active and retired Canadian steelworkers and their union, the United
Steelworkers (USW), as well as the locals directly involved, Local 1005
at Hamilton Works and Local 8287 USW at Lake Erie Works. This phony
CCAA filing also directly affects present and former salaried employees
company, the citizens of Hamilton and their Municipal Council, and the
Province of Ontario.
The provincial government is up to its ears in
irresponsible deals it cut
with U.S. Steel at the time it seized Stelco and which USS is now
to dump on the province and all Canadians. The responsibility of the
government is all encompassing in this matter since it first allowed
of Stelco under theInvestment Canada Act. It has since been signing
agreements with U.S. Steel to avoid holding it to account for breaking
original agreement and despite mounting evidence that U.S. Steel's
of Stelco in 2007 was part of a North American wide price fixing
involving seven steel companies including ArcelorMittal. The U.S.
already revealed the evidence, which suggest the lockouts and shutdowns
Canadian U.S. Steel production appear to be part of the conspiracy.
Local 1005 USW hereby appeals to the Court of Canadian
to see that justice is done in this phony CCAA filing. All the evidence
to a conspiracy to commit fraud. It is unseemly and unconscionable for
Canadian courts or governments at any level to legitimate this fraud.
on all stakeholders affected by this fraud to protest and join with us
opposing it. This includes the organizations of salaried employees,
environmental organizations, municipal councils, politicians at all
federal, provincial, municipal -- all political parties at the federal
levels, and citizens and their organizations from all walks of life. It
is the view
of Local 1005 that this also presents an opportunity for all those
lawyering to uphold the integrity of their profession by opposing the
use of the
courts and legal proceedings and the law to commit fraud.
Enough Is Enough!
Let Us Together Take
a Stand in Defence of the Dignity of Labour,
Decency, Upright Behaviour and the Right Thing to Do! Do Not Permit
Canada to Be Trampled in the Mud by U.S. Steel!
Harper Conservatives Enable U.S. Steel's
Latest Blow to Canada
The United Steelworkers (USW) union is committed to
interests of its members and pensioners affected by U.S. Steel Canada's
application for bankruptcy protection.
"We are extremely concerned about these developments and
we intend to
do everything we can to protect our retirees and our members," USW
Director Ken Neumann said following today's filing by U.S. Steel under
the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA).
"Once again U.S. Steel has left thousands of families
communities in limbo. They will have to endure a long and complex court
process," Neumann said. "We will work together with other stakeholders
seek the best outcome for our members and retirees."
"We will demand that U.S.
Steel is held to its obligations," said USW
Ontario Director Marty Warren.
"We remain alarmed by the refusal of U.S. Steel and the
Conservative government to disclose the terms of their agreement under
Investment Canada Act by which the government approved U.S. Steel's
purchase of Stelco," Warren said.
"We again call for
disclosure of those terms and all
other material relevant
to the financial situation of U.S. Steel. We're very concerned about
as the apparent mismanagement of U.S. Steel's pension obligations," he
Since its arrival in Canada, U.S. Steel has instigated
strife -- three lockouts in four years -- and broken legal commitments
production and investment.
Stephen Harper's Conservative government bears
responsibility for the
hardship U.S. Steel continues to inflict on Canadian communities,
"For six years and counting, the Conservatives have
refused to hold U.S.
Steel accountable for its string of broken commitments," he said.
"The Harper government has shown a breathtaking
Canadian workers, pensioners and families who have suffered and will
continue to suffer as a result."
Rather than hold U.S. Steel accountable for breaking its
commitments on jobs and production, the Conservatives shut down legal
proceedings against the company in 2011 and signed a secret,
settlement containing new promises.
"The Conservatives publicly boasted that their second
with U.S. Steel was even better for workers and their families. They
that this new deal was `encouraging investment and employment in
" said Warren.
"In reality, the Harper government has tacitly condoned
behaviour and abandoned thousands of Canadian workers and pensioners
must face the consequences."
Fraudulent Bankruptcy Without an Owner
While reading the U.S.
Steel press release announcing the bankruptcy of
its Canadian operations, it suddenly becomes clear that no ownership is
involved. This is also reflected in the fact that the USS (X) stock
12 per cent upon announcement of the phony bankruptcy. Normally in a
bankruptcy, equity ownership, either a public stock ownership or
equity, is the first to be hit negatively. Remember the attack on the
stock and its replacement with new Stelco stock during the 2004-06
bankruptcy. The price of old Stelco stock was reduced to next to
We know that USS (X) stock
is directly connected with
operations because the executives had to apply for a change in the
pension agreement upon the takeover of Stelco. This had to be done to
USS (X) stock to continue to pay a quarterly dividend, which it has
In USS' September 16 press release, no mention is made
ownership. The only debt ownership is said to be the $150 million debt
by the Ontario government. As far as is known, the Ontario government
not applied to have USS put into bankruptcy for failure to pay.
The only other liabilities mentioned are the pension
plans and other post-employment benefits of Canadian USS retirees and
How can a company put only a part of itself in
drawing in the entire company, especially its property assets, equity
and outstanding debt? USS has had trouble at both its Gary Works and
mining company resulting in a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.
this fraudulent form of bankruptcy mean that USS can declare those two
entities bankrupt without affecting the whole company, its other
ownership and debt?
Hiving off this or that part of the company and
declaring it bankrupt
without affecting ownership of the whole is a fraud. In this case,
hiving off the
Canadian operations without affecting ownership is meant to renege on
$150-million Ontario debt, eliminate its responsibilities towards
other post-employment benefits, evade responsibility for environmental
and put downward pressure on the production of steel in North America
shutting the blast furnace in Hamilton permanently and questioning the
viability of Lake Erie Works to put upward pressure on steel prices. It
is a big
attack on Canada and on business relations generally.
This fraudulent bankruptcy means that the Ontario
government does not
have access to the assets of equity ownership of USS to have its debt
whole. The pension and other post-employment benefits do not have
the assets of equity ownership and neither do the municipal, provincial
federal Canadian governments have access to meet the demands of
environmental cleanup and other issues.
This bankruptcy does not pass the first smell test in
that no ownership can
be identified. USS executives are scrambling to present a phony
deconsolidation of its Canadian operations from the Company but that
wash. The Company is one and if they want a bankruptcy, it must involve
USS equity stock ownership, all its long-term and short-term debt,
obligations and all its assets and property holdings throughout the
especially in the United States.
The owners and executives of U.S. Steel want to dump
in Canada without going through the proper channels of selling assets
on debt to meet those legal obligations. This bankruptcy is illegal and
Local 1005 USW Press Conference
President Rolf Gerstenberger
On September 18, a press conference was held
1005 USW's union hall in Hamilton. Local 1005 President Rolf
Gerstenberger presented the views of Local 1005 on the September 16 Companies'
Act (CCAA) filing
Steel Canada, followed by questions from members of the media. The
conference was attended by 110 workers and pensioners along with
Mayor Bob Bratina and Hamilton East Stoney Creek MPP Paul Miller. The
media were represented by the Hamilton Spectator, CHCH-TV,
CBC-Hamilton and TML. TML Weekly is publishing the
transcript of the presentation by
Gerstenberger, very slightly abridged by the author. Also posted below
are two related items handed out at the press conference.
Thank you all for coming. Here is what Local 1005
wants to communicate at this time.
Local 1005 with utter contempt rejects this entire CCAA
fraud which U.S.
Steel has filed. The term Grand Larceny only refers to theft above
US Steel is doing is larceny on such a grand scale, a term has yet to
invented to adequately describe it. The fact that Justice Morawetz
USS to file these documents cannot be dismissed as par for the course.
an unconscionable scam from A to Z and USW 1005 will not remain silent
any of it.
The very first statement in the factum declares, "USSC
is the sole
applicant in these proceedings. The remaining entities within the USSC
are not seeking protection as applicants under the CCAA."
We question this in the Information Update
issued today. It
is very strange that no owner is listed in this entire proceeding. What
USS Canada, which has no owner who can be held to account, and is hived
off from USS for purposes of perpetrating this fraud?
The factum then blames labour for all its problems. It
Point 3. "Unfortunately, many of the problems that
continued to confront USSC after the restructuring and sale, such as
competitive cost disadvantages including high cash funding costs in
pension and other retirement benefit obligations, as well as
labour costs and related labour interruptions."
In this way, through sleight of hand, the fact that USS
did its own due
diligence when it purchased Stelco in 2007 is dismissed. More
does it really think that its talk about labour disruptions being a
divert us from the fact that court documents have fully exposed that
purchased Stelco it was engaged in a price fixing conspiracy with 7
companies to smash production in order to keep prices high, making it
that this is precisely what it did in Canada with its lockouts and
USS has already agreed to settle the lawsuit against it
by paying a $58
million penalty for its part but that is not the end of the matter.
Right at the
time when it purchased Stelco, it made a commitment to the federal
government through the Investment Canada Act (ICA) to
a production level of over 4.4 million tons of steel for three years
employ over 3100 workers for this period. Within one year of purchasing
Stelco, it shut down the blast furnace in Hamilton for the first time
violated that agreement. In seven years since USS purchased Stelco, the
Hamilton furnace has been shut down for five of those years and last
announced it was shutting the blast furnace and steelmaking down
When U.S. Steel shut down the whole of Stelco in 2009,
introduced evidence for the ICA lawsuit that outlined how the workers
Stelco lost $29 million in wages and benefits. Also, 600 workers
retired at that
time because of the threat of permanent layoff. By taking their
prematurely, they have lost about $72 million in income. Then we had
phony lockout in November 2010 for 11 months, which also forced about
workers to retire early, and they have lost at least $14 million since
The lockout itself involved 600 workers locked out for 49 weeks with a
of wages of $32 million, some of which is owed to the Employment
Fund, which agreed it was a phony lockout. The total damage done to the
Stelco workers for U.S. Steel's lockouts and layoffs is no less than
million and this does not calculate the additional damages to Lake Erie
workers over the course of two phony lockouts.
It is incredible that USS dares to quote labour and the
costs of labour to
be the problem when it is already publicly known in U.S. courts that it
conspired to smash production.
We would also like to remind the Provincial government
that it has extra
responsibility here and we will hold it to account. The Province
Steel to purchase Stelco over the objections of Local 1005. In the
in 2007, the Province allowed U.S. Steel to remove the provision from
pension agreement coming out of CCAA that prohibited the payment of
dividends until the Pension plans had been made whole. We objected to
at the time. If we calculate that each year, from 2008 to 2014, U.S.
out $.05 per share for their approximately 144 million shares, about $7
per quarter, this means that since U.S. Steel bought Stelco they have
to $187 million in dividend payments, not counting 2007 itself. This
comes to $201 million counting the two quarters in 2007 and the first
quarters in 2014. Despite this, the pension funds are not whole and we
reliving the CCAA bankruptcy fraud to get rid of the workers' pensions.
We appreciate that the Province of Ontario is under big
because this entire scam also dumps all the environmental cleanup costs
Canadians. In this regard we would like to warn against conciliation
CCAA fraud in any way because both the Province and Hamilton City
would be on the hook for cleanup costs, which USS intends to walk away
from. Not only will their scam result in hardship for thousands of
but for the citizens of Hamilton and Ontario as a whole, because U.S.
also has plans to leave the city and province with cleanup costs
Randall's Reef and for the land.
We also join the USW in denouncing the Federal
government for not
releasing the details of their secret deals. We express utter contempt
statement made by Industry Minister James Moore quoted in the Hamilton
Spectator. He says that the government's
with the workers and their families." The content of this concern is
by his irresponsible statement about the Debtor-In-Possession (DIP)
that U.S. Steel says is its only responsibility in this sordid affair.
to Moore, and I quote, "While this process is ongoing, U.S. Steel has
that they have a plan to ensure that salaries, pensions and operations
affected. The government of Canada will continue to monitor the
closely." This DIP financing is a real scam, an end run around their
moral obligations. DIP financing in CCAA is considered "Priority
which rank above all other creditors. They have turned normal
financing into a secured debt. This has become a problem with these
monopolies, which hide behind layers of shadow companies and no one can
be held to account. That was one of the initial reasons for anti-trust
Local 1005 will speak more on this fraud of DIP and intercompany loans
We also want to go on record that one of the biggest
perpetrated in this CCAA application is the ability of a Judge of the
court to declare that USSC is insolvent despite the fact that it is
part of the US
Steel Empire, which has not been thrown into this mix. Even a cursory
at their financial reports every quarter shows that there was no
reporting for the Canadian operations until a certain point when this
perpetrate a new conspiracy must have started being hatched. All the
dealt with North America on a consolidated basis. The province
sale to U.S. Steel by telling us that this was a good deal because U.S.
was "too big to fail." The pension changes which allow dividends to be
is testament to one company with public equity held by USS stock going
the symbol X. But now we hear that it is permissible for U.S. Steel
dump U.S. Steel Canada by setting up a fraudulent bankruptcy and DIP
We expect the province to ensure that the whole
corporation is responsible to make the pensions whole, to repay the
million provincial loan plus interest, for all environmental cleanup
and for the
federal government also to hold them to account for all other damages.
As part of the price fixing scheme, U.S. Steel has been
allowed to smash
production in Canada, and now the courts are being used to declare them
insolvent. It behooves us not to let the Canadian Courts and court
lower the dignity of Canada, whereby a foreign entity can smash
in Canada and then the courts provide their seal of approval.
Last but not least at this time, we want to protest the
statement of the CEO
of USS Canada, made in his affidavit, that they have consulted with the
stakeholders to no avail.
Michael McQuade, CEO of U.S. Steel Canada made the
submission in his affidavit to support the CCAA application:
"17. USSC has also engaged or attempted to engage, in
discussions with key stakeholders; however, to date, no comprehensive
restructuring solution that has secured the support of the necessary
has been achieved or is likely to come to fruition outside of a
Local 1005 is a stakeholder, and we want it made known
that on August
14, 2014, it made USS fully aware of its position on the scam it is now
perpetrating by going into CCAA. The background to this is that on
7, 2014, during contract negotiations, Mr. McQuade made a presentation
Local 1005 Negotiating Committee. In our opinion, the presentation had
nothing to do with the negotiations on a new contract and we duly
informed USS of this, and that Local 1005 wanted no part of such
things. As for the opinion of Local 1005 on the presentation, Rolf
Gerstenberger informed USS that we considered their entire plan to be a
conspiracy to commit fraud and that Local 1005 wanted no part of this
The presentation made by Mr. McQuade
nothing to do with the contract negotiations and, as such, Local 1005
bound by any agreement as concerns not speaking to the press about the
negotiations. Today we are providing the media with both our objection
August 13, to having USS's proposal to commit fraud provided to us
negotiations for a new contract, as well as our analysis and written
to their proposal, dated August 14.
We have received no response from them to our concerns,
requesting to be informed in the event that we had misunderstood their
proposal in any way. They then filed for CCAA protection on September
2014 and it is clear to us that their factum and course of action
the CCAA proceedings follows the script of their August 7 proposal
the change of venue. Our conclusion remains the same - it is a plan to
our pensioners, to defraud the provincial government of the $150
to defraud governments at various levels of the environmental cleanup
and to prevent any discussion on how to solve problems in Canada's
sector and implement solutions. To date, U.S. Steel's response to
Canada's steel industry is to wreck it.
How will this script play out is what we are all now
waiting to see unfold.
Perhaps USS already has a phony front operation waiting to purchase
Erie Works and other assets within the requested 30 day stay of
which is said to be the "sensible" way to proceed. This would
much of the assets from the retirees whose work made those assets
I would like to conclude by repeating the call we issued
in today's Information Update:
"Local 1005 USW hereby appeals to the Court of Canadian
to see that justice is done in this matter. All the evidence points to
conspiracy to commit fraud. It is unseemly and unconscionable for
courts or governments at any level to legitimate this fraud. We call on
stakeholders affected by this fraud to protest and join in opposing it.
includes the organizations of salaried employees, suppliers,
organizations, municipal councils, politicians at all levels --
municipal -- all political parties at the federal and provincial levels
and their organizations from all walks of life. It is the view of Local
this presents also opportunity for all those involved in lawyering to
integrity of their profession by opposing the use of the courts and
proceedings and the law to commit fraud.
"Enough is Enough!
"Let Us Together Take a Stand in Defence of the Dignity
Decency, Upright Behaviour and the Right Thing to Do! Do not Permit
Canada to be Trampled in the Mud by U.S. Steel!
Thank you. We will now hand out the documents dated
August 13 and 14
August 13 Letter of Local 1005 to U.S. Steel
The following letter
was delivered to Ms. Jodi Koch, Director, Human Resources, U.S. Steel
who is the assigned negotiator for U.S. Steel in current negotiations
with Local 1005 for a new contract.
Local 1005 USW hereby informs you that its Negotiating
Committee is not
mandated by the membership to participate in any discussions that do
address the core interests of steelworkers and pensioners to secure a
agreement acceptable to its membership and, within this purview, to
pension plan whole and viable for all members of the plan.
Local 1005's Negotiating Committee and U.S. Steel have
now met several
times in August in what Local 1005 believed to be contract
negotiations are taking place on the contract proposals submitted by
1005 and U.S. Steel. However, Local 1005 notes that these meetings have
revealed what is, in the opinion of Local 1005, a CBCA [Canada Business Corporations Act]
of U.S. Steel to defraud Hamilton pensioners of their pensions, the
of Ontario of its $150 million loan it made at 1 per cent interest in
Canadians of their right to have polluted grounds and waters cleaned up
corporation responsible for polluting them.
Local 1005 opposes all talk and plans to isolate
Hamilton Works as a
so-called standalone entity so as to destroy the Hamilton Bargaining
plan within a CCAA process or bankruptcy, to dump within that
any contaminated land or water for which the company is responsible,
save for itself Lake Erie Works, its extensive lands and port and any
assets not connected with a CBCA restructured "standalone" Hamilton
Within this plan, it seems U.S. Steel will ask the
province of Ontario to
forgive its $150 million dollar loan. As well, USS will issue $250
secured debt to cover perceived losses during 2014 and 2015 in a
Hamilton Works for which the holder will come first in line in any CCAA
process or bankruptcy, and all pensioners, other creditors, suppliers
else owed money will be left twisting in the wind. All of this seems to
carefully crafted to keep U.S. Steel assets, debt holders and
shareholders in the
United States free from any liability at a bankrupt "standalone"
Works and deny the rightful claims of pensioners and Canadians. In the
opinion of Local 1005 USW, the people of Hamilton and indeed all of
will be outraged should this plan be implemented. This includes not
working people but also the business community and politicians of all
Local 1005 does not think these USS schemes will create
Hamilton Works and it opposes them. The price-fixing conspiracy USS
into with eight other steel companies in 2007 has already caused grave
to Hamilton steelworkers and the community, as well as the Canadian
industry. The revelation of the conspiracy makes it clear that all
promises made when USS purchased Stelco were not abandoned due to
"market conditions" as steelworkers and Hamiltonians were led to
price-fixing conspiracy indicates that USS seems to have known all
its public commitments were false. Its current plans merely reveal
conspiracy in the making, first to use the CBCA and then CCAA or
bankruptcy to achieve further dishonorable aims.
Local 1005 wants no part of this CBCA conspiracy. Its
Committee is not authorized to hear any more about it. Local 1005 also
that Hamilton Works can operate profitably albeit at the profoundly
level it has been reduced to since U.S. Steel took it over.
In conclusion, please be informed that the Negotiating
Committee of Local
1005 was mandated to negotiate a contract. It wants to meet with U.S.
to negotiate in good faith a new collective agreement and to organize
the pension plan whole, as both U.S. Steel and the Government of
pledged would be done.
Local 1005, its members and retirees reiterate what has
repeatedly, "No restructuring on the backs of workers!"
Local 1005 USW
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
August 13, 2014
August 14 Response from Local 1005 to U.S. Steel's
Self-Serving Restructuring Proposals
The following document
was delivered to U.S. Steel via Ms. Jodi Koch, Director, Human
Resources, U.S. Steel on August 14, in response to a presentation made
to the Local 1005 USW Negotiating Committee by Michael McQuade, CEO of
U.S. Steel Canada, on August 7.
Let us look at U.S. Steel's CBCA [Canada Business Corporations Act]
and assess whether it solves any
the steel industry and is good for Canada.
The CBCA framework proposes that USS Canada (USSC) be
into six subsidiaries of USS, four in Hamilton and two in Lake Erie.
entity would be a standalone company with no revenue coming from USS to
assist it in course of a shortfall after 2015. As separate companies,
be responsible for local taxes and other claims. The six standalone
Hamilton land (over 1000 acres);
Hamilton other (to include anything overlooked);
Lake Erie land (about 6600 acres of unused land);
Lake Erie Works operations.
USS would provide secured financing until the end of
2015 of $250
million. After that, the entities are on their own and would survive or
according to their balance sheet.
A twist in this proposal involves Lake Erie Works and
Lake Erie land after
USSC is split into six entities. An M&A process (mergers and
would commence regarding those two entities and USS would purchase them
A USS purchase of LEW and LEW land would mean that they
back into USS as wholly owned parts of the company and would not be
standalone entities in any legal sense. It would appear that this means
would have direct control over all operations and revenue from LEW and
land. An important aspect of this would be that LEW and LEW land would
have no further legal connection with the four other standalone
Canada. Those four and their pensioners would no longer have any
with LEW and its land. It is important to note that many of the
former Stelco and those workers who have passed away provided the
and collateral for the building of LEW and the acquiring of its land.
connection cannot and should not be broken.
The CBCA restructuring would then be in a position to
dispose of the four
remaining entities and their debts and obligations including the
benefits without a legal connection with USS and its wholly owned
subsidiaries LEW and LEW land. Presumably, a CCAA restructuring of one
or more of those standalone entities could commence without any threat
spillover to other assets either directly or indirectly owned by USS.
majority of Stelco pension plan members, Hamilton Bargaining members
(9,338), Hamilton salaried employees' members (3,276), would be severed
from the last remaining operational blast furnace within the former
Obviously, the number of retirees as compared with the
functional assets and employees of the four standalone entities would
extremely high. Hamilton Works' bargaining unit now has 600 members.
would argue, as it already does, that the four entities are not viable
continuing to be obligated to provide defined benefits for their
is the main reason USS accuses Hamilton Works of being unprofitable.
A bankruptcy would occur where the secured holders of
debt (the $250
million new credit for 2014 and 2015) would be first in line for the
either one or more of the standalone entities. USS would argue that the
are mostly attached to only Hamilton Cokes and Hamilton Finishing and
their responsibility alone. A bankruptcy would most likely involve only
two entities leaving the assets of Hamilton land, including
probably, and Hamilton other untouched in the bankruptcy
or CCAA restructuring.
This CBCA restructuring would proceed in concert with a
the pension obligations prior to any CCAA restructuring or bankruptcy
process. The object of the CBCA restructuring is to isolate most
obligations and the environmental cleanup connected with Hamilton Works
from the LEW, LEW land and U.S. assets. USS realizes to accomplish its
through a CBCA to insulate LEW and its U.S. assets from any liability
environmental cleanup and its pension obligations at Hamilton Works, it
at least go through the motion of proposing a restructuring of its
If USS jumps straight into CCAA or an outright
bankruptcy of USSC
before its CBCA restructuring, it runs the risk of losing not only all
in Canada but also it leaves itself vulnerable to claims against its
With this in mind, it has made a pension restructuring proposal in
its CBCA restructuring.
USS pension restructuring proposal in concert with the
USS would make the final five month payments into the
plan for 2014 of
$5.83 million each month followed by the final $70 million yearly
in 2015. This brings USS to the end of the agreement with the Ontario
government to fund fully the pensions by the end of 2015. In return,
company received a $150 million loan from the province at 1% annual
The province would forgive repayment of the loan and turn it into a
at the end of 2015, the pension plans are fully funded, solvent and
capable of paying all defined benefits to all members until passing
pension plans will be far from fully funded, solvent and whole at that
USS must repay the $150 million to the province.
Instead of repaying the loan, the USS pension
restructuring would ask the
province to forgive the loan anyway under the following conditions:
The period to fully fund the pensions and make them
solvent and whole
would be extended fifteen years to 2031;
The M&A process turning USSC into six entities would
entities and/or buyers to assume the pension obligations, which are
with each particular entity;
USS would agree to pay $10 million per year into the
pension plans for
the 15 years for a total of $150 million if the province would agree to
the date for which the plans must be fully funded, solvent and whole
2031 and would forgive the $150 million provincial loan;
USS would be given the option to pre-pay the $150
million up front;
The standalone separate six entities would be obligated
to fund fully the
pension plans for which they are responsible and make them solvent and
The amount USS guarantees to put in the plans according
restructuring would be:
$29.15 million for the rest of 2014;
$70 million for 2015;
$150 million total at $10 million per year for fifteen
years until 2031.
This totals = $249.15 million
The $249.15 million is on condition the province
forgives the USS loan
of $150 million and extends the legal limit before the plans must be
to 15 years.
This means the net amount USS has offered to put in the
plans equals =
The latest report on the four pension plans puts the
amount necessary to
fund them fully and make them solvent and whole and capable of meeting
defined benefits of actual and potential retirees equals = $838 million
Hamilton Bargaining Plan = $573 million
Hamilton Salaried Plan = $117 million
Lake Erie Bargaining Plan = $117 million
Lake Erie Salaried Plan = $32 million
In addition, the OPEBS (Other Post Employment Benefits)
are $40 to 48
Ontario law stipulates that five years after the ending
of the pension
agreement the four plans must be fully funded, solvent and whole with
yearly payments equal to one fifth of the solvency deficiency. This
is obligated to pay $168 million per year beginning in 2016 given the
report. It also must pay back to the Ontario government the $150
The pension restructuring comes nowhere near to meeting
the legal pension
obligations of U.S. Steel. The $99 million does not even meet its
for 2016 let alone for the remaining four years.
The CBCA restructuring proposal is obviously meant to
Steel's pension obligations and OPEBS.
Canada's steel requirements are greater than steel
production capacity at
this time. This means steel must be imported, even those types that
easily produced in Canada. The CBCA proposal does not even attempt to
address problems of internal production shortages plaguing the Canadian
sector. Hamilton Works could be renewed to go a long way in meeting
Canada's demand for steel.
Unfortunately, USS takes a very self-serving position
with regard to
Canadian steel production. By refusing to renew production at Hamilton
Works, USS appears to want to fill Canadian demand from its U.S. mills.
also dovetails with its efforts to curtail North American production to
prices at a level it seeks. It recently agreed to pay $58 million to
settle a price
fixing indictment in U.S. courts.
The CBCA and pension restructuring proposals when looked
at as a single
package reveal what some claim is a criminal conspiracy to avoid the
obligations of USS towards Canadian pensions, the environment and steel
sector. These proposals are hostile to Canadians in general, and
and salaried employees in particular and should be soundly rejected by
Canadians and their government representatives.
Alternate proposals must be discussed that fully uphold
obligations towards all Stelco pensioners, and renew the productive
of Hamilton Works in particular, including a refurbishing of its blast
and other productive facilities. Revenue from both a renewed Hamilton
and Lake Erie Works would go a long way to restructuring the situation
positive way, meeting the pension obligations and building the Canadian
sectors' capacity and vitality.
If this were done, and USS would show good faith in this
Ontario government would undoubtedly come forward with positive
of its own to solve the pension funding problem, including putting USS
payment of the $150 million loan towards the pensions and extending
somewhat the time necessary to fund fully all four pension plans and
them solvent and whole and capable of meeting the pension benefits of
actual and potential retirees. But this requires good faith on the part
to renew Stelco and not further wreck it.
Defend the Rights of All!
Harper Dictatorship Consigns
Human Rights to a Museum
On September 20, with great fanfare, the Harper
dictatorship finally opened the still unfinished Canadian Museum for
in Winnipeg. Four of the museum's 11 galleries opened
to 9,000 people who obtained tickets to a weekend-long series of
tours. The opening to the general public is on September 27. Much of
completing the museum has been due to political interference by the
government, which has been micro-managing the content of the exhibits
order to cast the Harper regime in the best possible light and to
criticism of Canada's human rights record, especially under Harper.
The long-delayed museum originated in a 1999 proposal by
the late Izzy Asper. Asper, the owner of
media monopoly Canwest and an unquestioning supporter of Israel -- a
country known as a serial human rights violator and perpetrator of war
crimes -- proposed to build a Canadian Holocaust Museum as a private
project. Asper sold the
museum idea to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in 2001 and
public funding. Paul Martin, the next Prime Minister, following Asper's
death in 2003, shelved the idea but eventually pledged $100 million in
After Martin resigned in 2006, Prime Minister Stephen
the planned Holocaust museum as a general human rights museum. The
dictatorship's Bill C-42, An Act
Amending the Museums Act, received
Assent in Canada's Parliament on March 13, 2008, with support from all
political parties. The bill created the CMHR as the first new national
museum in over 40 years. The capital
of building the CMHR, which has risen to $351 million, is being funded
mainly by the federal government, the government of Manitoba, the City
Winnipeg and private donations raised by the Friends of the CMHR, led
Gail Asper. Manitoba Crown corporations and the Government of Ontario
donated $9.5 million. The federal government will bear the cost of
the CMHR, estimated at $22 million annually, since it is a national
A right is a fundamental
phenomenon of human
civilization. People have
rights by virtue of being human. Putting the word "human" in front of
word "right" is redundant but shows what must be done to remind the
powers-that-be that we are human beings and that we should be treated
way that befits human beings. A distinction has to be made between a
which exists only in words and a right which comes into being out of
conditions. In fact, there comes a time when the times demand that as a
precondition for the actualization of human rights, the conditions
must be changed. In other words, a right, by definition, is an act of
something which exists only in words. Furthermore, a right is not a
guaranteed, unless it has in it the inherent demand that it must not be
The Harperites' phony conception of human rights exists
only in words
and this is brought out in sharp relief by the immediate surroundings
of the CMHR. The CMHR is situated in Winnipeg's
End, a working class area long considered one of the most destitute in
Many of the poor line up regularly for assistance at a mission only a
blocks from the building. Those who suffer from poverty and
unemployment in the area and
everywhere else in Canada have long demanded their right to get out of
conditions, which is perpetuated by the
the monopolies that the Harper government champions. This demand can
only be met by
changing the conditions of their lives, not by building museums.
per cent of the population of the North End is Aboriginal. Close to the
museum is a newly erected monument to the murdered and missing
women whose rights are being systematically violated. Meanwhile, the
refuses to launch a national inquiry into the 1,181 murdered and
There are many other
examples of how the Harper dictatorship's
promotion of the CMHR as a
human rights is clearly hypocrisy and fraud. The Harperites have
constantly and consistently violated human
at home and around the world. The striking postal workers, Air Canada
workers, and the Canadian Pacific workers were all ordered back to work
using government legislation and threats. The rights of foreign workers
refugees are violated as a matter of course. The
hereditary, treaty, constitutional and
human rights of the First Nations people have been violated again and
including at Oka, Gustafson Lake, Ipperwash, Caledonia, Barriere Lake,
Attawapiskat and Elsipogtog. State security forces violated the rights
G20 demonstrators in Toronto by violently attacking them. Abroad, the
Harperites attacked the rights of the Libyan people by participating in
massive bombing and continue to attack the rights of the Afghans by
in aggressive war. Now they are conspiring to violate the rights of the
people under the hoax of fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the
The main aim of the Harper dictatorship's bogus museum
is to select and feature
serve the agenda of the monopolies. The Holocaust exhibit will
to generate sympathy for Israel, whitewashing its many crimes against
Palestinian and other Arab peoples, whose rights will be completely
There will be no provision of the historical context of the Holocaust,
how the big U.S., British, and European monopolies such as Ford and IBM
colluded with the German industrialists in their support of the Nazis.
will be no mention of how racist eugenic "scientists" in the U.S.
close relationships with Germany's fascist eugenicists, some of whom
the murderous doctors of the concentration camps and were brought to
and the U.S. to continue their work in the post-war period. There will
even a hint of any of the Zionist leaders' secret negotiations and
deals with the
The museum exhibit on the so-called Holodomor will also
interests of the monopolies. Holodomor is the name the Ukrainian
give to the mythical man-made famine in the Ukraine in the 1930s, a
concocted by the Nazis and then widely publicized by the Hearst Press
U.S. in order to attack the Soviet Union, communism and Stalin. The
Holodomor exhibit was added following a campaign by the Ukrainian
Congress (UCC) and the so-called Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties
Association (UCCLA). The UCC is the state-supported organization which
1940 "united" the most reactionary Ukrainian circles in Canada by
seizing the assets of the progressive Ukrainian organizations, with
The UCCLA was created in 1986 mainly to whitewash the war crimes of
collaborators in the Ukraine who fought against the Soviet Union as
of the Waffen SS.
The blatant promotion of
forces as the
Zionists and the UCC and UCCLA in
the CMHR exposes that the museum has nothing to
with actually celebrating or advancing human rights. Rather, it is part
ongoing campaign that the monopolies and their governments recently
launched in Europe and North America to falsify history by portraying
enemies of the people as their friends in order to deprive people of
bearings so that their striving to affirm their rights in the real
world does not
succeed. The aim is to silence the people, prevent democratic renewal,
the forward progress of society, and conceal and continue the crimes of
Many people are not fooled by the museum and they
continue to ask
questions and expose the Harperite agenda. If the CMHR is genuine, why
there be no mention of the continuing violation of workers' rights by
monopolies? Why will there be no mention of the state-sanctioned
of the indigenous peoples who lived in Canada in the pre-colonial era?
will there be no mention of Israel's 65-year-campaign of state
the Palestinians? Why will there be no mention of the crimes of the
collaborators in the Ukraine who fought against the liberating Soviet
and helped murder four million Ukrainians? Why? Because the Harper
dictatorship is using
CMHR, not to promote human rights, but as one more propaganda tool to
promote its ongoing program of fascism at home and war abroad.
1. The inaugural CEO of CMHR, appointed in 2009, was
whose family owns Domo Gasoline Corporation. As the leader of the
Conservative Party, in 2003 Murray proposed anti-union right-to-work
legislation in the province (i.e., right-to-be-a-slave), a blatant
workers' rights. The same year Murray spoke at a rally in favour of the
invasion of Iraq.
Museum of Human Rights
One of Canada's First
Nations is looking to educate the
world about that
country's true human rights record with the launch of a Museum of
Human Rights Violations. Their "living museum" consists of a guided
their own indigenous community, located just two hours east of the new
Canadian Museum for Human Rights opening this week in Winnipeg. Shoal
Lake happens to be the source of Winnipeg's water supply and the Shoal
40 community has been cut off and economically repressed as a result of
Canada's imposition of that city's intake on their reserve land. The
difficulties and injustice experienced by the community has received
widespread media attention and has attracted support from national and
international Human Rights organizations. Ironically, Canada's museum
architect, Antoine Predock, chose to use Shoal Lake water as a symbol
"healing" in his building's "Garden of Contemplation."
Roxanne Green, a past councillor and one of the
organizers explained, "At the settlers' end of the water pipe there's
prosperity, clean drinking water and a $350 million building that
advertises 'healing' and brags about what a wonderful country Canada
is. At our
the pipe we have 17 years of boil-water orders, no job opportunities
forced to risk our lives for basic necessities. It is important that
the world have
the opportunity to see that huge Canadian contradiction."
"I've been touring politicians and bureaucrats around
our reserve for
years," said Stewart Redsky, a former chief, "Showing them all the
and the ways we're blocked from accessing the necessities of life.
changed. A Violations Museum is at least a way to broaden the
of injustice to the rest of the world."
While the opening of Shoal Lake 40's Museum of Canadian
Violations coincides with the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human
Rights in Winnipeg, it is not a flash in the pan. The volunteers assert
Museum's program of educating the world on Canada's hypocrisy will
continue, "as long as the waters run" and as long as the violations
"Our government is cooperating with volunteers in
violations. We're allowed access to some band facilities but mostly
it's a lack
of things like a water treatment plant and garbage disposal. People are
their homes and telling their stories so it's a whole community thing.
centuries of colonialism, there's unfortunately lots to see," said
Redsky. "Who knows, if a lot of people come out, maybe we can turn 100
years of human and Treaty rights violations into an economic
Canada's Militarization of Culture Protested at
Montreal's Old Port
On September 13 and 14, the Marxist-Leninist Party of
held a picket line against the Third Montreal Military Culture
festival serves as an instrument of disinformation on issues of war and
For example, it equates the First World War, which was a slaughter
by the imperialists, with the struggle against fascism and Nazism
Second World War. It also promotes the invasions perpetrated by the
States with the help of countries like Canada, such as the invasion of
Afghanistan, one of the themes of this year's event. The festival was
year as part of the unprecedented
intensification of war hysteria, with Obama's speech that said, among
other things, that the United
now bomb Syria, continue the bombing of Iraq and cause death and
destruction in all countries that refuse to submit to its dictate.
The picket line received a lot of support from people
entering and leaving
the Old Port, many of whom were tourists from various countries
France, the United States, Chile, Colombia and several others. "I'm
Chile and my friend is from Colombia and we have direct experience with
what it means when the United States interferes in the life of other
in the name of democracy," one visitor said. Several youth from
the United States
strong opposition to Obama's speech, saying that it will only increase
problems facing the peoples, including the American people. A young
said he was very concerned over U.S. interference in Ukraine and that
expanding NATO's activity as far as the Ukraine is a provocation.
reserved their most scathing comments for the warmongering Harper
government, saying the government favours war and aggression and is the
to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to attacking another country.
need to rid ourselves of this government came up in every conversation
them. A man from France said he was outraged at France attacking its
colonies and preparing for war. He said that in his opinion this
is a way
to divert attention from the problems that the French people are
in France itself: "What does France have to offer today to those people
migrate to our country? Nothing. Nothing but misery and an economy in
worst possible state."
The general feeling expressed by most people is that
actions such as the
picket are important because the media present a distorted picture, as
peoples support these wars of aggression and occupation, which is not
How do we turn the situation around when governments, those who are
supposed to think carefully and exercise judgement, are the ones
war without even discussing it with their people -- was the question
many expressing their support for this initiative of the
No Harbour For War Commemorates
32nd Anniversary of
Posted below is the September 18 statement of No
War, the Halifax-based organization that fights for the rights of all
and for an anti-war government in Canada
Scenes from the
Sabra and Shatila Massacre, April 1982.
This 15-18 September marks the 32nd anniversary of the
Sabra and Shatila
massacre in Beirut, Lebanon. This conscience-searing event marks a
moment in the Palestinians' struggle to be rid of the decades-long
military occupation of their lands and lives by the so-called State of
continues to be commemorated wherever Palestinians and their friends,
including No Harbour For War, gather.
The Sabra and Shatila massacre was a slaughter of at
least 2,920 and
possibly as many as 3,500 civilians, mostly Palestinians and Lebanese
It was conducted mainly by the Kataeb Party, a Lebanese Christian
the Sabra neighborhood and the adjacent Shatila refugee camp in Beirut,
Lebanon. The executioners were mobilized and supervised by the Israeli
which inserted themselves under various pretexts with a major aim of
permanently expelling the entire Palestine Liberation Organization,
its leader Yasser Arafat, from Lebanon. The Israeli Minister of
General Ariel Sharon, was leading the Israeli ground invasion force and
thus intimately involved.
The slaughter proceeded in two stages, one entirely
executed by Israeli
so-called Special Forces and the other by a Lebanese fascist gang
the Israeli government. On 15 September, as few as 63 and as many as
Palestinians capable of communicating in English with media beyond
(notably lawyers, medical staff and teachers) were individually
killed by an Israeli unit called Sayeret Matkal. From approximately
16 September to 8:00 am 18 September 1982 a more widespread massacre
carried out by a Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia in an operation
personally supervised at the entrance of the Shatila camp by Gen.
Apart from being formally disciplined in the most minor way by an
inquiry after these events, Sharon became known worldwide after these
events as the "Butcher of Beirut."
End the Occupation!
From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free!
International Day of Memory of Victims of Fascism
September 14 marked the International Day of Memory of
Fascism this year. The day has been observed every year on the second
since 1962. The date is observed in September since World War II began
September 1, 1939 with the Nazi invasion of Poland and ended on
2, 1945 with the surrender of militarist Japan.
Memorial to the
victims of Nazi atrocities at the site of the former Dachau
concentration camp representing the demand of the world's people to
never again permit the rise of fascism.
World War II involved 61 states and over 80 per cent of
causing a toll of over 55 million lives. Hostilities occupied the
40 states and the vast basins of the Atlantic, Arctic, Pacific and
The Soviet Union sustained the biggest losses, some 27 million people,
addition to losses to its armed forces, some 8.7 million people.
Nearly 70 years have passed since fascism was defeated
by a unified
effort. Though fascism brought the world immeasurable
suffering and killed millions, some countries are still trying to
results of WWII.
Russia's Foreign Ministry regularly draws the world's
attention to the
attempts of some former Soviet republics to alter history. Thus, it has
repeatedly expressed indignation over the gatherings of veterans of the
Estonian SS division. Russia believes that support for such events that
the promotion of fascism and neo-Nazi manifestations is inadmissible in
For example, Russia's bilateral ties with Latvia are
by the latter's efforts to glorify the former Latvian SS.
Many politicians and veterans of the Great Patriotic War
are critical of the
attempts to glorify the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and its leaders
Every year, marches are held in Ukraine to honour the
formation of the
Galichina SS division. The Right Sector, which unites Ukraine's
organizations, operates on its territory. Activists are promoting
nationalist activities through symbols and attributes of organizations
collaborated with fascists during WWII.
Upon Russia's initiative, the UN General Assembly passed
a resolution in
2005 urging an end to the glorification of Nazism each year and in 2013
approved another resolution on combating practices contributing to
contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and
intolerance. The General Assembly expressed its deep concern over
to glorify Nazism, neo-Nazism and former members of the Waffen-SS in
form, including the construction of monuments and the holding of public
The resolution expressed concern over the "recurring
desecrate or demolish monuments erected in remembrance of those who
against Nazism during WWII, as well as to unlawfully exhume or remove
remains of such persons," and noted an alarming increase in racist
and violence globally.
On May 5, President Vladimir Putin signed a law
punishment of up to five years in prison for rehabilitating Nazism,
facts established by the Nuremberg Tribunal and disseminating false
information about Soviet activities during WWII. Under the law, fines
issued to those desecrating the days of combat glory and other
events in Russia.
A draft law equating Nazi symbols to those of the
collaborated with the fascists, including the followers of the Stepan
movement, has been submitted to the State Duma. It extends the list of
organizations whose public demonstrations, propaganda and symbols
Traditionally, public campaigns are held in Russia
during the International
Day of Memory of Victims of Fascism to commemorate the tens of millions
of people who perished in WWII.
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