8, 1980 – “Women Back Into Stelco” Campaign
The “Women Back Into Stelco” campaign
helped women gain jobs at Hilton Works, Stelco ( Hamilton , ON ). The
INCO women in Sudbury also supported the campaign. Two weeks after
the rally, Stelco was ready to talk about hiring women.
April 22, 1980 – Steel
Company of Canada officially changes its Name
The Steel Company of Canada officially
changes its name to Stelco Inc. despite the fact that it had been using
that name on its annual report and buildings for some time. The name
was changed to satisfy the new French language requirements because
it was easier to use the same name in French and English.
July 28, 1981 – Strike
at Stelco (Hamilton , ON) and Algoma (Sault St. Marie)
Workers at Stelco, led by Cec Taylor,
took part in a 125 day strike (the longest in Stelco's history) due
to dissatisfactions with the company's contract offer. At Algoma, workers
also planned to go on strike but they ended up settling with the company
for a $1.00 raise the first year and an additional 15 cents in each
of the next two years. It was not until December 1, 1975 that Stelco
made an offer that Local 1005 was willing to accept. Stelco offered
a wage increase of $1.15 per hour in the first year with 25 cents in
the second year and 30 cents in the third. They also agreed to joint
occupational health and safety committees, changes in the contract
language to include women, improvements in pensions, life insurance
and vacations, and better locker rooms and canteens.
September 1, 1981 – Dave
Patterson becomes Director of District 6
On September 1, 1981 , Dave Patterson
becomes director of district 6 of the United Steelworkers replacing
Stew Cooke. He was against strikebreaking and other anti-union tactics
companies were using.
April 9, 1983 – Government
Curtails ‘Agents Provocateurs'
At a legal strike at Alcan Building
Products in Toronto , Ont. Claude Doligdeen was struck and killed by
a tractor trailer moving goods out of the plant. This caused the government
to introduce a new law, which prevented companies from engaging in “strike
related misconduct”. Companies were not allowed to intimidate, infiltrate
or provoke workers on strike.
1983 – District 6 and Securicor
District 6 won a decision against Securicor,
a strike-breaking security company. Automotive Hardware in Toronto
, had hired Securicor to send a spy among its striking workers. The
spy tried to provoke workers to violence on the picket line and other
illegal activities. Charges were laid against the spy and Securicor.
The Ontario Labour Relations Board awarded the USWA damages amounting
1984 – Lynn Williams elected
as International President
Lynn Williams is elected as the International
President of the United Steelworkers, and is the first Canadian to
lead the union.
1985 - Upholsterers International
Union join USWA
USWA merger of the Upholsterers International
Union (35,000 furniture workers).
1985 – Creation of Steelworkers
The Steelworkers Humanity Fund was established
as an international development agency by the USWA and became a model
for other unions in Canada . This fund was the brainchild of Gerard
Docquier, the National President of the USWA in Canada . Funds are
created by taking one cent for every hour that bargaining members work.
The Humanity Fund exists in about 530 Steelworker collective agreements.
The Canadian International Development Agency matches the money that
is generated. Steelworkers generate over one million per year for the
September 1985 - First Contract
Legislation won by District 6 of the USWA
District 6's fight against anti union
tactics won from the Ontario Government a pledge to introduce first
contract legislation. The legislation would prevent companies from
trying to break unions by stalling on first agreements and provoking
The struggle for safer working conditions was not over. Locals 5417 and 5762
in Elliot Lake , Ont. and Local 6500 in Sudbury Ont. negotiated worker-inspector
agreements with their companies. Worker-inspectors were selected by the union
to inspect workplace conditions and make safety recommendations.
1988 - Leo Gerard Becomes Director
of District 6 in Canada
Leo Gerard becomes the director of district
6 of the United Steelworkers.