The “Dofasco Way” was a rallying cry for
the early Dofasco culture, a combination
of participatory management and
progressive employee relations. While it
gained real momentum in the late 1930s
the seed was planted much earlier and
came directly from Clifton and Frank
Sherman’s approach to life.
Chronicles of company history are filled
with anecdotes about C.W. and F.A.
making personal loans to employees
experiencing difficulties, their open
door policy for communicating and their
offering of social and sporting activities
designed to engage and inspire employees.
By the mid 1930s, the Depression
had created unemployment and social
upheaval on a massive scale. Canadian
companies were facing the rise of radical
unionism. Dofasco responded in 1938
with a combination of communication,
enlightened employment practices and
most critically, an innovative profit sharing
programthat would help to provide security
for employees. Clifton Sherman’s approach
to labourmanagement relationswas not lost
on government. PrimeMinisterMackenzie
Kingwas impressed with Dofasco’s profit
sharing plan and approach to labour
management relations. He appointed
C.W. Sherman to an important wartime
board chargedwithmobilizingCanadian
industry for defence production and
through Cabinet encouraged other
Canadian companies to launch similar
profit sharing programmes.
An employee suggestion plan was also
launched through which employees were
paid if their suggestion was implemented
and successful in positively impacting the
company. It was through the employee
suggestion plan that the popular
Dofasco picnics and Christmas parties
were inaugurated.
The Dofasco Illustrated News, a company
newspaper launched in 1937, became
the vehicle for communication of a
corporate culture that encouraged
teamwork, shared responsibility and a
sense of family. Employees were engaged
in a company conversation about how
they could control their own earnings
through the exercise of quality control
and the elimination of waste.
The values that were established in the
s continue to evolve and are central
to the corporate culture of ArcelorMittal.
The Dofasco Way