U.S. Steel Trying to Force a Union Vote at Hamilton Works
After several negotiation meetings between US Steel and Local USW 1005, union management conducted an Information Meeting with union members this past Friday. According to a Local 1005 report seen by SMU, over 1,000 members and retirees attended the meeting to discuss the US Steel contract offer. The union Negotiating Committee has already rejected the last offer from USS, saying “…the company has never made any offer. It has dictated terms and dictated the choices the union has – accept, reject, stay neutral.”
According to the union information document workers agreed with the committee’s decision to reject the offer and “expressed what can only be called universal outrage at the company’s refusal to negotiate and to the slave clause it arrogantly expected the workers to endorse with open arms. Not one worker got up to say they could support this offensive deal, let alone the attempt to shove it down their throats. The view repeatedly expressed was that the union should not dignify this ‘full and final offer’ with a vote while another view said that it could be voted on so as to turn it down one hundred percent!”
Recent local news articles have come out that the Negotiating Committee “walked out” of negotiations with USS, the union claims there was never “negotiations” or a “final offer” to walk out of as “there is [only] a company attempt to establish its dictator¬ship and a union refusal to accept such a thing. Either the company negotiates in good faith and recognizes the union as an equal partner in negotiations, or the company will con¬tinue to flap its gums in the wind,” according to Union officials.
Although a union-wide vote would be expected at this time, Local 1005 is resisting and said in their most recent information document, “the very idea that a non-negotiated fiat should be put to a vote is itself a crazy company fantasy. Union members are not as eager to establish master/slave relations at Hamilton Works as is U.S. Steel!"
On October 7th it will be 11 months since union members were locked out of US Steel Hamilton Works. Now, even though the union has advised USS it would move off its initial position and negotiate the cost of living adjustments for existing retirees and close the existing pension to new hires it appears U.S. Steel has hardened their stance against the union.
U.S. Steel wants the membership to vote and they do have the option to petition the government to force a vote if the union management does not agree to do so on their own.
The ball is in the union court – at least for a short period of time.Source: Local USW 1005