Chesterton Tribune

 

 

USW resumes contract talks with USS after two months off

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The United Steelworkers is returning to the negotiating table this week to continue contract talks with U.S. Steel Corporation, after a two-month break.

The USW announced on Friday that local union presidents would be returning to Pittsburgh to consider a “comprehensive contract proposal” which USS has presented to the committee. “We intend to review this proposal in good faith and then consider what our next steps should be,” the union said.

The USW did re-revisit what has been the key sticking point since contract talks began with USS this past summer: concessions which the union says the company is demanding of active and retired members. “As you know, our discussions with U.S. Steel over the past six months have involved continued demands for deep concessions from both active and retired workers and their families,” the union said. “We know that our industry is in the midst of a serious crisis brought on by unfair trade and global overcapacity but we do not believe that workers and their families should be forced to bear the brunt of these problems.”

“That is why we have appreciated the strength and solidarity of our entire membership as we have stood up against the company’s most onerous demands, and we urge you to remain strong and continue standing behind us,” the USW added. “We look forward to reviewing the company’s proposal and we are hopeful that it will represent a departure from that approach and will move us closer to an agreement that is fair to both sides.”

The union concluded its statement by urging any members “who are experiencing difficulty” during the holiday season to contact their local leadership for help in finding assistance. USW members and their families are also eligible for hardship assistance under the AFL-CIO’s Union Plus program, information about which is posted at unionplus.org

“This holiday season, we know that many of our sisters and brothers and their families are suffering from layoffs, threats of layoffs, and idled plants, and that there is no worse time of year for things like this to happen,” the union said. “We will continue to do everything in our power to address these problems through every avenue we have available to us.”

ArcelorMittal

Meanwhile, the USW is acknowledging once more that contract talks with ArcelorMittal are proceeding “slowly.”

“As previously reported, our discussions with ArcelorMittal in recent weeks have yielded some progress but management continues to demand major concessions in the area of healthcare for active and retired Steelworkers,” the union said in a statement released this morning.

“We are doing everything we can to fend off these unnecessary and unfair attacks on our members, retirees, and families, and as we have said before, our proposals will save the company millions in expenses and liabilities,” the USW said.

“(W)e are still committed to resolving our differences over healthcare and other issues at the bargaining table,” the union added. “Our unity and solidarity have been tested in the past and throughout this long and often difficult process but each time our membership has been tested, we have always prevailed. We are confident that with your continued support, our committee can achieve the fair contract Steelworkers at ArcelorMittal have earned and deserve.”

Talks have been scheduled this week in Pittsburgh from Tuesday through Friday.

 

 

Posted 12/14/2015

 
 
 
 

 

 

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