“Members of our USW-USS
bargaining committee held a series of discussions during the past week with
company officials, during which the company showed significant progress on
some of its worst proposals.
“While we still
have a lot of work to do and still have a number of differences to work out
with management, it’s clear that the strength and solidarity you have
demonstrated over the past several months at all of our locations seems to
have finally gotten through to the company.
“U.S. Steel has
demonstrated a willingness to move off some of its worst demands, including
the term of our agreement and some of the most onerous benefits proposals.
“In order to build
on that progress, our local leaders will be traveling back to Pittsburgh at
the beginning of next week to resume face-to-face discussions with the
company’s bargaining team.
“We will get
together, review where we are, discuss what counterproposals we need to
make, and give you another update when we know more.
we’ve made progress, this is not a time for any of us to relax. The
solidarity you demonstrated with our strike authorization votes a month ago,
along with a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract for our
brothers and sisters at Cleveland Cliffs, have pushed the company to this
“Our work is not
yet done. We still don’t have the agreement that we all deserve, and it will
take your continued support to get us there. Your solidarity is important
now as it has ever been, so please continue your internal organizing and
community outreach efforts, stay in touch with your CAT coordinators for the
latest information from the bargaining table, and continue to work safely.”
In a communique
released this morning, meanwhile, the USW is reporting much the same thing
about its contract talks with ArcelorMittal, that progress has been made and
that negotiations will resume in Pittsburgh.
The text of the
communique in full:
remains significant ground to cover on differences that remain between our
committee and ArcelorMittal management, we are nonetheless gratified to
report that the unity and solidarity demonstrated by USW members over the
past months at each and every location represented in these negotiations
finally appears to have made a positive impression on the company.
returned to Pittsburgh to resume bargaining with proposals that represent
significant progress in some important areas, but the company still needs to
make more movement on other issues--among the most vital to our members and
our committee--to reach a fair contract settlement.
committee still has a lot of work to do on the issues that remain before we
can present a tentative agreement for the membership to consider, but we
urge everyone to remain patient while our bargaining continues.
circumstances should anyone interpret this to mean that our fight is
finished, that we have succeeded in our goals, or that we are willing to
continue this process indefinitely.
“There should be no
doubt now that management has heard the messages delivered by our membership
loudly and clearly as we have stood together and spoken with one united
voice throughout this long process.
“Your ongoing vocal
and visual support for our negotiating committee is as absolutely essential
now as it has ever been for us to achieve our bargaining objectives.
all of the internal organizing and community outreach efforts that are under
way and stay in touch with members of your local CAT in the event that
progress stalls and a labor dispute occurs.
“As always, we urge
everyone to stay focused on keeping yourselves and each other safe on the
job while continuing to be the best and more productive steelmaking
workforce in the world.”