contract negotiations began earlier this summer. The takeaway: the union and
the company appear to be bringing to the table radically different
conceptions of what the new collective bargaining agreement should look
company says that it wants a new contract with our union, that desire
has not been reflected in its proposals at the table,” the union said.
“While we continue to meet, progress has been slow and ArcelorMittal
persists in seeking major changes to our agreements that would reduce the
security of our jobs, earnings, and benefits.”
committed to our goal of reaching a fair contract and we question whether we
are dealing with people who have the authority to negotiate an agreement,”
the USW added.
union expressed its gratitude to the many thousands who marched for
solidarity on Tuesday in Burns Harbor, Chicago, and outside the company’s
offices in Pittsburgh. “The negotiating committee truly appreciates your
hard work and dedication while this long, difficult process continues,” the
USW said. “ArcelorMittal management certainly saw our numbers and heard our
voices in opposition to their unfair and unnecessary demands with thousands
of Steelworkers rallying in solidarity outside their doors on Tuesday.”
“We must continue
standing together and delivering to management the consistent message that
we will not allow the company to take away the rights and benefits we have
earned and deserve, nor will we allow them to dig into the pockets of our
retires,” the union concluded.
The 12th communiquŽ
included a summary of “some of the issues remaining between the USW and
* Three years with
no wage increases.
incentives and eliminating them for Labor Grade 1.
* Reducing vacation
pay, sickness, and accident benefits.
* Reducing or
eliminating premium time for overtime.
The union is
* A three-year
contract with lump-sum payments and wage increases based on overall market
reductions in vacation pay, incentives, and S&A.
* No elimination of
proposals “are meaningless in terms of reducing the real cost of making
steel,” the union said.
* Reduced coverage
with “huge increases” in out-of-pocket expenses and monthly premiums of $150
for single coverage and $250 for family coverage.
* Single members
who don’t use their insurance would pay $1,800 more per year, while families
would see an increase of $3,000 per year.
* Those who do use
their insurance would pay up to $2,600 more than currently and families
could pay up to $6,600 more, not including drug costs.
response: “Our healthcare is part of our compensation and there is no need
to reduce coverage or make monthly contributions because of a temporary
downturn in the market. We have proposed a single PIB that will reduce the
administrative costs by millions of dollars per year, yet protect our
benefits and not require contributions.”
increases” in monthly premiums for current and future retirees.
Medicare-eligible retirees into exchange plans.
* And ending
contributions to the voluntary employee beneficiary association (VEBA),
“negatively impacting current and future retirees and eventually eliminating
benefits for legacy retirees.”
response: “We have introduced a proposal that will reduce other
post-employment benefit liabilities and drastically reduce the company’s
accounting charge for retiree healthcare but maintain our benefits and
contributions as well as benefits for legacy retirees.”