Chesterton Tribune



Arcelor welcomes USW offer to talk and work, contract expires

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ArcelorMittal is welcoming the United Steelworkers’ decision on Monday to keep working without a contract while negotiations for a new one continue in Pittsburgh.

After deadline on Monday, the USW notified its membership that the union had “extended an offer to keep working under the terms of the existing labor agreement while the two sides continue to negotiate.”

“We believe that this course of action is in the best interests of USW members,” the union said. “It allows us to continue to pursue a settlement that preserves the decades of progress we have made at the bargaining table, while positioning the company for future success.”

Late on Monday, an ArcelorMittal spokesperson told the Chesterton Tribune that the company “appreciates and shares the United Steelworkers’ commitment to avoiding a work stoppage” and that “we are pleased to have secured a ‘continue to work agreement” with the union while we continue negotiations.”

“We believe this ‘continue to work agreement’ provides the fullest possible opportunity to resolve our differences and demonstrates both parties’ commitment to negotiating in good faith to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement and thereby avoid a work stoppage,” the spokesperson said.

“We remain confident that we will reach a successful resolution in negotiations because ultimately the union and the company want the same thing--a successful business through the cycle that provides good job security and industry-leading pay for industry-leading performance.”

At 3:30 p.m. today--15 and a half hours after the union’s contract with both ArcelorMittal and U.S. Steel Corporation expired--the USW was scheduled to hold a solidarity rally for all of its Northwest Indiana locals at the Local 6787 union hall on Ind. 149.

The USW has maintained since negotiations began this summer that ArcelorMittal and U.S. Steel were using a temporary market downturn--caused by an influx of imported steel, free-falling oil prices, and a strong dollar--to force concessions on members and retirees. The proposed concessions include monthly health-insurance premiums and deductibles; eliminating the current health plan for Medicare-eligible retirees and arranging for them to shop for supplemental insurance; reduced incentive payments; reductions in vacation pay and changes in overtime pay.


Posted 9/1/2015




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