UPDATE: United Steelworkers directors call for Bratina apology, question his ability to advocate for Hamilton steelworkers
There is no end in sight to the dispute between local steelworkers and Hamilton East-Stoney Creek MP Bob Bratina.
Ken Neumann, National Director, and Marty Warren, District Director with the United Steelworkers issued a joint-letter to Bratina over a run-in between the MP and steel workers.
Jake Lombardo, the grievance chairperson for the local 1005 United Steelworkers union, is calling on all labour members to show up at Bob Bratina’s Hamilton constituency office on March 14 at 3:30 p.m. for a show of support for union representatives.
“Steelworkers are standing up and fighting back,” said Lombardo in an email to union members, pensioners, and media. “Please bring your signs, flags, and noisemakers.”
Two United Steelworkers Union locals claim that Bratina kicked them out of a meeting at his parliamentary office last week after shouting, “F— steelworkers” and “F— Stelco pensioners.”
The union demanded an apology, but Bratina denied using foul language.
In an email, Bratina acknowledged there was a tense meeting with the Canadian Labour Congress and members of the Hamilton steelworker locals on Feb 26.
“During the course of this meeting, the conversation became personal,” said Bratina, who chairs an all-party steel caucus.
“It was clear that a productive conversation was not going to take place and I ended the meeting. As they were leaving, I assured them that we would continue to work hard for steelworkers and their employers despite this meeting.”
Jake Lombardo referred to the former Hamilton mayor as “Lying Bob Bratina” in an email Sunday night. He added that he believes Bratina is unfit for office.
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