Canadian Manufacturing

Union officials to meet with U.S. Steel after creditor protection filing

Meeting with U.S. Steel executives to find out more details about company's restructuring under court protection



HAMILTON, Ont.—Leaders with the United Steelworkers (USW) union are planning to meet with U.S. Steel Canada Inc. executives to find out more details about the company’s restructuring under court protection.

The former Stelco Inc., which U.S. Steel bought in 2007, has recorded a loss from operations of about $2.4 billion since 2009.

U.S. Steel Canada announced this week that it had been granted creditor protection under the Companies Creditor Arrangement Act (CCAA).

Under the arrangement, U.S. Steel Canada will look at selling all or part of its assets in Hamilton and Nanticoke, Ont., that it acquired for $1.1 billion in 2007, when Stelco went through the same process.

The president of USW Local 1005, Rolf Gerstenberger, says that workers have suspected for several months that “something was going to happen here.”

For now, it’s business as usual at the Canadian operations for the 2,100 workers as the parent company has agreed to $185 million of secured debtor-in-possession financing to keep them operating until the end of 2015.

Ontario Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid says the government’s hope is that the company will have the time it needs to restructure and a plan to help save jobs.

A $150-million loan from the Ontario government to help finance workers’ pension payments is due at the end of 2015.

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