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USW reports progress in contract talks with USS and ArcelorMittal

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The United Steelworkers (USW) is reporting some degree of progress in ongoing contract negotiations with both U.S. Steel Corporation (USS) and ArcelorMittal.

In a communique released after deadline on Wednesday, the USW said that talks with USS will resume next week in Pittsburgh, after membership “solidarity pushed the company to more reasonable positions on many issues.”

The text of that communique in full:

“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.

“Remember, while 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 point.

“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.”

ArcelorMittal

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:

“Although there 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.

“ArcelorMittal has 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.

“Again, our 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.

“Under no 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.

“Please maintain 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.”

 

 

Posted 10/4/2018

 
 
 
 

 

 

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