Chesterton Tribune



USW inches toward strike against Arcelor

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The United Steelworkers is in the early stages of preparing its membership for a strike against ArcelorMittal.

According to a communique released this morning, members of the negotiating committee were leaving the bargaining table in Pittsburgh, Pa., today and returning to their locals, where picket duty surveys were being distributed. Meanwhile, talks have begun with management about idling plant and equipment.

The text of the communique in full:

“Last week, our USW negotiating committee returned to Pittsburgh after receiving unanimous approval for strike authorization from the members of all 13 local unions at the ArcelorMittal facilities covered by our contracts.

“Although management certainly received the loud and clear message that we are united in solidarity and ready to fight for the fair contracts we have earned and deserve, the company continues to propose unfair and unnecessary changes to our agreements in healthcare and other areas.

“Many of ArcelorMittal's deeply concessionary demands ultimately would not significantly improve the company's long- or short-term profitability, but they would nevertheless have dramatic negative consequences for active and retired USW members and their families.

“For that reason, we have also started discussions with management about an orderly idling of our plants and equipment to protect them from the elements and facilitate a safe and efficient restart.

“Today, members of the committee are returning to their locals, where our CAT representatives have received and started distributing picket duty surveys.”

“In the interest of being as prepared as we can for a potential labor dispute, please be sure to return your completed survey as soon as possible.

“In the coming days, we will begin preparations in the event of a labor dispute and may begin some informational picketing. Although we remain hopeful that management will change direction before forcing us into a labor dispute, we should ready ourselves, our families and communities.

“Please be sure to stay in contact with members of your local CAT and let them know if you have any questions. When we work together and join together, we will win together.

“In the meantime, continue to focus on working safely and looking out for the safety of those around you.”



Posted 9/26/2018




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