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.
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.