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Dofasco

From Academic Kids

Dofasco is a steel company based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, as is longtime rival Stelco.

Operations

It was incorporated as Dominion Steel Castings Company Limited in 1912, becoming Dominion Foundries and Steel Company in 1917. Its longtime nickname was adopted leagally in 1980. Dofasco owned and operated National Steel Car, a Hamilton-based railway freight car manufacturer, between 1962 and 1994.

Dofasco is one of the most successful steel companies in the world, especially with its electrically powered recycling mini-mills. It has won several awards for being the most sustainable manufacturing company in North America. During the recession of the early 1990s, Dofasco was buffetted by the changing fortunes of the market and made its first permanent layoffs since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Despite the reduction in its workforce, it is perceived as more flexible and successful than its unionized rival Stelco.

Employees

The company deals with its workforce in an incongruous manner which is simultaneously enlightened and paternalistic. Some of its practices are reminiscent of a 19th century company-town employers, while many more are so progressive it would put unionized workplaces to shame. For instance, it has had a profit sharing arrangement since 1938, it developed on its own generous retirement and benefits packages, it has numerous family-oriented activities and facilities, and its wages have been good.

However, Dofasco vigorously attacks all attempts at union organizing by threatening to revoke these progressive programs. Approximately once each decade, the United Steelworkers of America attempts to unionize, but it has failed every time. Since USWA Local 1005 at Stelco tends to set the wages at Dofasco, a business failure or wage concessions at economically troubled Stelco could have a ripple effect on Dofasco.


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