President's Message - September 7, 2022

Good evening members and retirees of USW Local 5328.

I would like to congradulate Lindsay Tait, granddaughter of retireed Brother Vern Lepine on winning this years Joe Crugnale Scholarship. Her essay was so well writen that I am pround to share it here with her permission. Well Done!!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Lindsay Tait, August 25th,2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           A History of USW Local 5328

The USW Local 5328 of the Steelworkers' Union has a long and rich history. Beginning in 1956 with a charter received from the United Steelworkers of America, the union has had many records, updates, presidents, name changes and merges in its list of achievements. 1031 Barton St. E., Hamilton, Ontario, is where you can find the United Steelworkers Center, the meeting place of many 5328 discussions. Right next to The Hearty Hooligan, The Centre on Barton and Ottawa Street, the Centre feels right at home next to popular landmarks of this Hamilton neighbourhood. There is no better location to come together to celebrate more than 66 years of advancing social and economic justice in the city of Hamilton and at thousands of workplaces.

The Steel Company of Canada, later called Stelco, was the largest fully integrated steel producer in Canada, and the new plant, “Parkdale Works” was built to reflect this prestige. Parkdale Works would process steel rods into wire of various grades and sizes. Aside from this plant, Stelco had unionized many others, including, Hilton Works, Canada Works, Frost Works, Canadian Drawn Works, Brantford Works, Swansea Works, Gananoque Works, St. Henry Works, McMaster Works, Dominion Works, Edmonton Works, and Camrose Works. The union has experienced significant fluctuations in membership, from a record high of 510 in 1989 to the 200 it now has. (1)

The first president of USW Local 5328 was Alex Sharpe, elected in 1956. Of all the presidents since then, Bill Stetson, Doug Mcpherson and Danny Baird all served 3 years. Cliff Ormerod, John Stevenson, Scott Duvall, and Darren Green each served 6-, 12-, 6- and 11-year terms, respectively. Joe Crugnale served the longest, elected in 1988 and was president until 2001, a staggering 12 years. A scholarship in his honour is now awarded to children and grandchildren of USW Local 5328 current or retired members. Two other notable presidents are Scott Duvall and Darren Green, who were elected in 2001 and 2007, respectively. They both serve as members of the Negotiating Committee, alongside Anthony Ciaramella, the current president of USW Local 5328. Green has made statements about 5328 such as, “We work with community partners such as the United Way, churches, social groups etc. We are coaches, referees, mentors; we rally others to causes important to our communities. It’s great training if we decide to pursue politics.” (2)

There were many attempts to create unions in Stelco, due to the demand for higher wages, a 40-hour work week, and a safer and more productive work environment. These attempts were unsuccessful until 1946, with the creation of the United Steelworkers of America, Local 1005. The strike lasted for 81 days (about 2 and a half months), and paved the way for many other steelworkers' unions, like Local 5328 and Local 8782.

The steelworkers' unions of Canada have always had strong bonds with each other. Local 5328 has a significant relationship with USW Local 1005, the first successful union strike under Stelco in 1946. In 2011, Darren Green released a statement in support of Local 1005 saying, "On behalf of the Executive and membership of Local 5328 I am sending greetings and
congratulations to you, your members, and retirees as you mark the 65th anniversary of Local 1005. Here at Local 5328, we have always looked upon Local 1005 as our big brother in the Stelco chain. Since being commissioned in 1956 as Parkdale Works, we have had many shared experiences, been at the same negotiating table and fought the same or similar fights. History shows that we have benefited from our relationship with your local.” (3)

On January 29th, 2004, Stelco made the announcement that they were applying for court protection under the federal Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, which would grant them protection while they restructured financial affairs through a Plan of Arrangement. Some lower companies owned by Stelco, including Alta Steel, Norambar, and Stelfil were excluded from this protection. In order to combat Stelco's need for this protection, the Local 5328 Negotiating Committee collaborated with the committees from Local 1005 and 8782. There were many court challenges by Local 5328 and the Steelworkers over the span of nearly two years. The agreement was finalized on December 1st, 2005, when the parties signed a memorandum of understanding. (4)

USW Local 5328 has been involved in many charity projects. In 2008, a member of the Local reached out to ArcelorMittal Hamilton East to inquire about a way to help United Way provide backpacks for inner city kids. After providing 92 children with much needed school supplies, Local 5328 and ArcelorMittal Hamilton East decided to make this an annual effort, continuously increasing the number of backpacks donated. The union participation has increased as well. The effort is now supported by the Hamilton Steelworkers Area Council, the Hamilton Chapter of USW Women of Steel, and USW Locals 16506, 4752, 1005, 7135, and 4153. (5) In 2019, 1500 backpacks full of school supplies were donated. As a result of COVID-19, the campaign could not up their previous record, but still donated a staggering 1272 backpacks. (6) The campaign still continues to this day. (7)

Anthony Ciaramella is the current president of Local 5328, elected in 2018. He regularly updates members and retirees on the official Local 5328 website, with his “President’s Messages.” Recent and upcoming events include the 2022 USW Constitutional Convention, Labour Day, and several membership meetings. The Local steelworkers' unions join in on the annual Labour Day parade by marching alongside the parade route. A meeting place is decided before the parade starts, and shirts are handed out to the members, retirees, and family members of the unions to wear as they march. After the parade, there is commonly a barbeque for each Local to enjoy. (8)(9).

(1), (4) USW Local 5328. (2020, March 16). History of local 5328. Retrieved August 26, 2022, from

(2) Green, D. (2015, February 2). A biased attack on union leaders. Retrieved August 26, 2022, from

(3) Green, D. (2011, July 23). Congratulations 1005! Information Update Local 1005. Retrieved August 26, 2022, from

(5) Green, D. (2015, September 14). Hamilton Steelworkers did it again! Retrieved August 26, 2022, from

(6) Operation backpack 2020 to help 1,272 kids. USW Canada. (2020, August 27). Retrieved August 26, 2022, from

(7) Hnatjuk, M. (2021, September 21). Operation backpack 2021. USW District 6. Retrieved August 26, 2022, from

(8) Hamilton and District Labour Council. (2022, May 27). Labour Day 2022. Hamilton and District Labour Council. Retrieved August 26, 2022, from

(9) USW Local 5328. (2019, October 27). Labour Day. USW District 6. Retrieved August 26, 2022, from

In solidarity, 

Anthony Ciaramella 
USW Local 5328