Chesterton Tribune



USW ratifies new ArcelorMittal contract

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The United Steelworkers (USW) is reporting that its members have overwhelmingly ratified new four-year labor agreements with ArcelorMittal USA.

Those agreements “will increase wages, bolster retirement provisions, improve benefits and strengthen contract language for roughly 15,000 hourly production, maintenance, office and technical workers who belong to 13 local unions at 14 facilities in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia,” the union said in a statement released after deadline on Thursday.

“After years of hard work and tremendous sacrifice to keep these facilities running and the company viable while the domestic steel industry languished through wave after wave of unfairly traded imports, it is right and just for ArcelorMittal steelworkers to share in the company’s success now that the market has rebounded,” USW International President Leo Gerard said. “The men and women we are privileged to represent earned these contracts by being the most efficient and productive steel making workforce in the world.”

USW District 1 Director David McCall, who chairs the union’s negotiations with ArcelorMittal, credited the unity and solidarity of the USW membership for giving the bargaining committee the leverage it needed to resist ArcelorMittal management’s concessionary demands and fight for a fair contract. “Thanks to the unwavering support of our membership, we successfully defended all of the rights and protections that management sought to reduce, restrict and eliminate,” McCall said. “On top of that, we were able to make improvements, fill gaps and fix the parts of our contracts that members identified as top priorities when we met before negotiations began.”

USW District 7 Director Mike Millsap, who serves as secretary of the USW committee, said that the union is proud that the newly ratified contracts provide meaningful economic improvements without compromising job security or unfairly burdening current and future retirees by increasing the amount they already contribute toward their benefits. “From start to finish, we were committed to negotiating more security for our earnings, benefits and retirements while management demanded less. We are proud to have achieved that goal and proud of our brothers and sisters who proved that they are willing to fight for fairness.”

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.




Posted 11/30/2018









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