Steel Mills

Alton Steel Talks Resuming While Workers Prepare for Strike

Written by Sandy Williams

All the focus has been on labor talks between the USW and US Steel and ArcelorMittal, but there are several other USW contracts that are up for renewal such as Cliffs Natural Resources and Alton Steel.

Alton Steel, an SBQ steel producer located in Alton, Ill., is represented by USW Local 3643. The contract agreement with the mill expired Sept. 21 and workers are continuing work on a day-to-day basis.

The USW is asking for lower healthcare insurance costs and pay and pension increases. Negotiations have been ongoing for two months and progressing slowly.

“We have made progress in our negotiations on some contract language issues,” said lead USW negotiator Dave Dowling following a bargaining session earlier this month. “But progress on economic issues has been very, very slow.”

Talks are set to resume today, Sept. 29 and are expected to continue until an agreement is reached. “We’ll have to see how it goes,” said Dowling.

According to Union Steward and Strike Coordinator Dennis Mouser, a representative from USW headquarters in Pittsburgh will conduct a training session on strike procedures this weekend for Alton workers in case a strike becomes necessary.

Mouser says a rally with workers from neighboring mills is also an alternative if negotiations stall.

Alton Steel operates a 200 ton electric arc furnace and a 14″ bar mill with the capacity to melt 750,000 tons of steel annually and roll 400,000 tons of steel in the 14″ rolling mill.

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