Chesterton Tribune



USW's USS negotiators return home; 'progress' told in Arcelor talks

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The news from Pittsburgh was mixed late last week, with the United Steelworkers reporting some progress in its contract negotiations with ArcelorMittal but something resembling an impasse in its talks with U.S. Steel Corporation.

Of the ArcelorMittal negotiations, the union said this: “Our committee is pleased to report that in the past few days we have reached a basic understanding with the company on some non-economic issues. Although the pace of bargaining remains extremely slow, we are absolutely committed to reaching a fair agreement that meets the needs of USW members, retirees, our families, and communities without compromising the security of our jobs, earnings, or benefits.”

Of the U.S. Steel talks, on the other hand, the union said this: “Unfortunately, U.S. Steel continues to demand deep concessions and the company has yet to move away from some of its most onerous proposals. Also, the company has issued more WARN notices in anticipation of further layoffs and we are awaiting more details about those decisions.”

“Our committee is well aware of the current crisis in the steel industry and we are working hard to fight back against the effects of unfair trade, currency manipulation, and global overcapacity,” the USW added. “However, the changes that U.S. Steel is seeking at the bargaining table are unrelated to the current market crisis. We will not be forced to accept harmful long-term concessions in response to a temporary crisis.”

“Our bargaining committee is ready and willing to engage in meaningful and balanced discussions but we are not interested in proposals that would gut our agreements and shift heavy costs to our active and retired members and their families,” the union also said.

The USW said that committee members would be returning to their home locals over the weekend, the second time since the union’s contract expired on Sept. 1 that its Pittsburgh negotiating team has taken a breather. “We hope that U.S. Steel will use this break to re-evaluate its proposals and abandon its foolhardy wish list of concessions.”


Posted 10/12/2015




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