Union Life at GST Steel

by Katrina Trinko

I talked this afternoon with the reader who had worked at GST Steel in 1997 and e-mailed about the conditions there. This person, who wishes to remain anonymous, elaborated a little more on the working conditions at the plant, saying that thanks to the union structure, there was little incentive to be productive. For instance, while some workers were required to file a report daily regarding certain productivity issues, they waited until the end of the day (when it was too late to fix things) to file the report instead of earlier, because they saw no reason to  bother doing it at the most effective time. And he said for some of the employees — including those racking up $100,000 to $130,000 salaries — large chunks of the day were just spent waiting for something to fix or do, with up to 80 percent of day spent not working.

And those are the hours they weren’t sleeping and getting over time. During those overtime hours, when they brought sleeping bags, there was once a problem which required a couple of them to be woken up. Our reader thought the gig was up, once their sleeping had become known, but as it ended up, a supervisor was written up and that was it: The sleeping on the job continued as before. 

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