CHICAGO Max Aicher North America Inc. (MANA) has laid
off 30 hourly employees and hasnt restarted its bar mill
in Hamilton, Ontario, as expected, as labor talks between the
company and the United Steelworkers union appear to have
MANA chief financial officer David Cameron told AMM Friday that
the company laid off 30 workers in early November, leaving only
13 hourly workers on the job at present. Many of the workers
who were laid off had been recalled in April to perform
maintenance and to salvage scrap to bring revenue for the
facility, he said.
The November layoffs came not only because of a lack of work
but also because MANA didnt have a
competitive new labor contract, Cameron said.
Currently, were not producing anything, he
said. It would be better for all stakeholders that are
involved in Max Aicher North America that we get back into
business as soon as possible.
Negotiations have been taking place since the second quarter of
this year, Cameron said. MANA had said that it had hoped to
resume production in the second quarter (
amm.com, May 9
We were hopeful that we would have had (a new labor
agreement) already and then we would not have had to go through
with the layoff because we expect(ed) there would have been
work available, Cameron said.
MANA inherited the current expired labor contract from U.S.
Steel Corp. as it looked to restart the bar mill assets of the
former Stelco Inc. (
amm.com, Nov. 29, 2010
), which it had acquired
from the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker, Cameron said.
MANA was focused on ramping up operations at the time and the
union was absorbed by a lockout at U.S. Steels Hamilton
amm.com, Nov. 8, 2010
), so both sides agreed to honor the
expired contract for the time being, Cameron said.
USW Local 1005 represents workers at both MANA and U.S.
Steels operations in Hamilton Works.
But Cameron said that he hoped talks would produce results,
possibly in the near term. We expect that we will get a
competitive bargaining agreement, that we will finalize our
billet supply and that we will restart the operation, he
MANA, which has production capacity of 300,000 tons per year,
has said it is working to secure a low-cost source of billet
that could be used to make threaded bar, a construction product
amm.com, May 9
USW Local 1005 president Rolf Gerstenberger told AMM Friday
that another round of talks was scheduled for Monday but added
that he wasnt sure if they would produce results.
There is nothing happening, he said of negotiations
to date. We get the feeling that they (MANA) dont
even know what they want to do with this plant. They have about
a dozen people working there and half of them are winterizing
it, so it looks like its down until the spring.
Gerstenberger said that the current contract expired on July
31, 2010. He said a conciliator had been requested by MANA and
appointed by the government two months ago but that no
breakthrough had come as result. We spent a while back in
late summer meeting every other day about contract
language, he said. But once we got to the important
stuff, (talks) really stopped.
MANA, which is a division of Freilassing, Germany-based Max
Aicher GmbH & Co. KG, has not produced or rolled steel at
the Hamilton facility since roughly September 2011,