Steel Mills

USW Labor Negotiations Continue at Slow Pace

Written by Sandy Williams

USW negotiations with ArcelorMittal and US Steel continue to be bogged down. The USW bargaining committee with ArcelorMittal will take a brief break this coming week to conduct discussions with local membership.

“We urge ArcelorMittal management to use this time away from the table to consider the uncertainty and strain this unnecessarily long, drawn-out process has already caused – not only for us Steelworkers and retirees, our families and communities – but for the stability of the company’s relationships with customers, suppliers, vendors, investors and the industry as a whole,” said the USW in the latest update.

The committee will return to Pittsburgh October 25 to resume negotiations.

“Our committee wants to conclude these negotiations and present a tentative agreement that we can be proud to endorse for ratification, but we need ArcelorMittal to join the process with a sense of urgency for that to happen. As a union, we have withstood and rejected management’s most vicious economic and non-economic contract demands by working cooperatively, standing together, sharing information and trusting each other.”

The bargaining committee at US Steel acknowledged the extremely slow pace of negotiations has frustrated members.

“We can’t predict the future, so we can’t tell you what is going to happen in the economy or how U.S. Steel is going to react, but we are committed to making sure that everyone is informed as this process unfolds,” said the USW committee in an Oct. 16 update.

“Our industry is in the midst of a crisis,” said the USW. “We did not cause this crisis; rather, it is the result of unfair trade and a drop in oil and gas prices. This led to a glut of steel imports, less demand and lower prices for our products, and global overcapacity.”

The unfair practices, especially from China, has led to the recent layoffs and idling of steel mills, said the USW.

“The U.S. needs new and better laws and stronger, more timely enforcement to protect American manufacturing. Unfortunately, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive free-trade agreement headed for a vote in Congress, looks like it would only give us more of the same.”

Latest in Steel Mills