Chesterton Tribune



No word from Arcelor on USW's January 21 comprehensive contract proposal

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The United Steelworkers released its first communique since representatives sat down over coffee with ArcelorMittal Chair Lakshmi Mittal at the company’s USA HQ in Chicago on Jan. 27.

The statement is mostly newsworthy for what it doesn’t say: whether ArcelorMittal has yet responded to the “comprehensive contract proposal” which the union’s negotiating committee presented to management on Jan. 21.

An excerpt from the statement:

“Our negotiating committee continued to meet with ArcelorMittal management this week in Pittsburgh.

“We have made proposals that address our concerns and management’s issues--by resolving problems that management claimed created a competitive disadvantage--without unnecessary changes to retiree or active employee healthcare coverage

“Our proposals would save the company millions of dollars in liability and legacy costs over the course of the contract.

“In addition, rather than accepting the company’s proposals that would only lower the standards of living for tens of thousands of USW members, retirees, and our families, our committee has proposed innovative changes to the structure and administration of the existing benefits plans.

“We will continue to strive for a fair and equitable contract and remain committed to our members and retirees. . .

“Our committee sincerely appreciates the work of our CAT coordinators and activists company-wide for helping to keep everyone informed, educated, and united through this long process. We are proud of our good faith efforts to engage management at the table and remain confident in our ability to negotiate a fair contract with your continued support.”

Meanwhile, the USW is urging members to wear new “Fair Trade & Fair Contract” stickers which will be distributed on Thursday, Feb. 11. “Wear them with pride to demonstrate our solidarity after more than seven months of negotiation,” the union said.


Posted 2/5/2016





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