On July 2, National Rubber Industries in Toronto locked out members of United Steelworkers Local 3950. At 8 a.m. on July 3 workers gathered at the gates and set up picket lines. Erected concrete barriers block the parking areas. The company is entirely shut down.
The union was ready to continue bargaining after its members rejected NRI’s final offer but received no response. The company, founded in 1927, is North America’s largest fully integrated manufacturer of industrial and automotive rubber products.
Lightbourne Hunter, Local 3950 President, reported that the key issues are mandatory overtime, severance language, wages, including incentives for perfect attendance which are discriminatory, and vacation pay issued weekly.
This is one of a number of strikes by the United Steelworkers in Ontario. 2500 members of USW Local 6500 went on strike in Sudbury at Valle SA in May. Members of USW Local 7949 have been locked out in Bracebridge since February. Employers are coming down hard on workers as pandemic measures are slowly easing. Workers at Rexplas, members of USW Local 8300 won a two month-long strike thanks to solidarity from other unions and the community.
What does it take to win? United job action. How long? “One day longer. One day stronger!”