Steel Mills

Labor Negotiation Update Nov. 15

Written by Sandy Williams

USW/ArcelorMittal talks are continuing this week with meetings scheduled through Friday, November 20. Healthcare benefits will be the focus of discussions.

The USW reminded members that the extension of the existing contract with the US Steel remains in force and that the company remains bound by the basic labor agreement, including grievance procedures. Retirees received letters from US Steel regarding the Dec. 16 deadline for open enrollment for retiree benefits and warned them of potential premium increases.

No progress has been reported for negotiations between the USW and Allegheny Technologies. The 2,200 workers are in their third month of lockout and continue to man picket lines at all 12 ATI sites.

UAW members are waiting for a decision on ratification of the UAW-GM deal. Although the tentative agreement was approved by a majority of workers, the skilled trades membership voted against the proposed contract. Meetings were held last week with the skilled trades members at GM sites to explore the reasons behind rejection of the contract. UAW President Dennis Williams said that based on those discussions negotiations have been reopened with General Motors. The 2011 contract has been extended until Nov. 20 while concerns are ironed out.

Ratification voting began last Thursday on the proposed UAW-Ford agreement and will continue through Wednesday, November 18. So far voting results at Ford facilities have been in favor of the new agreement. At the Michigan Assembly plant, which employs about 4,100 workers, 81 percent of production workers and 83 percent of skilled workers voted yes.

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