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
committee continued to meet with ArcelorMittal management this week in
“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
would save the company millions of dollars in liability and legacy costs
over the course of the contract.
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. . .
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