U.S. Steel Makes “Final” Offer to Hamilton Union
Union Drops Indexing of Pensions for Retirees & Close Pension to New-Hires
It has been almost one full year since the union refused to accept U.S. Steel contract proposal which called for the removal of the indexing provision (cost-of-living adjustment) for the approximately 9000 pensioners and closing the pension to new hires. On November 7, 2011 U.S. Steel locked out USW Local 1005 and the two sides did not communicate until September 13th when the company made a new offer to the union.
Since then, the two sides have traded proposals – including one from the union whereby they agreed to the original terms suggested by the company (indexing and closing the pension to new hires) while presenting 12 proposals for improvements to the contract.
According to union president Rolf Gerstenberger in an email message to Steel Market Update, “The company rejected the 12 proposals in their entirety and handed the union a full and final offer, thus effectively ending the negotiations. We rejected their whole refusal to negotiate a contract. The union is meeting to discuss how to proceed.”
U.S. Steel also informed the union once a contract is reached the blast furnace at Hamilton would not be restarted and only the cold mill, Z-Line and coke batteries would be operated.
U.S. Steel Canada has sent a letter to the union membership outlining their final offer and explaining the company position. The union leadership considers the letter as being “full of threats.”
Here is the contents of the letter from U.S. Steel to the USW Local 1005 members: