Deal to help struggling Sault steel plant – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – May 12, 2018)

The United Steelworkers Local 2251 and 2724 have reached a tentative agreement with Algoma’s secured creditors. The tentative agreement, reached late Wednesday but finalized Thursday morning, helps pave the way for Algoma to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

Mike DaPrat, president of Local 2251, said the unions have been in negotiations for about two-and-a-half years. “We felt it was important that we get a fair collective agreement for our members. We’ve had our ups and downs and stops and starts,” he told The Sault Star.

But in the end, DaPrat believes the tentative agreement reached with the secured creditor’s group is fair. It offers no concessions and some improvements, he said. The membership will be the first to hear the details In the coming days, he said. Meeting dates, location and time have yet to be established.

The agreement must be ratified by the membership, but DaPrat said it will come with the negotiating committee’s recommendation for acceptance.

Salaried Workers Local 2724 President Lisa Dale said “we’re definitely excited to bring something to the membership after this exhausting process.”

Dale said her committee also believes that her membership will see no concessions and some gains in the final outcome. She too would not comment on the details of the agreement until they are released during information membership meetings.

“It’s not common in this kind of a (CCAA) process to have gains and no concessions but we worked hard. Our members have been without an agreement for two years and we want to recognize the hard work and effort they have put in over those past few years,” she said.

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