Steel Mills

ATI Contract “Better Than We Expected”

Written by Sandy Williams

Workers at Allegheny Technologies received details of the tentative contract proposal on Saturday and were pleased by what they heard.

According to TribLive the USW workers said the contract is “better than what we expected” and “overall, it’s not a bad contract.”

The new contract includes a $3,500 signing bonus paid over the life of the contract with $1,500 paid immediately. The $1.50 per-hour-worked quarterly bonuses have been dropped in favor of an immediate raise of $1.00 to base pay.

A quarterly profit sharing plan will be established. When profits exceed $12.5 million, union workers will split 2 percent of profits ($250,000). As the profit threshold increases, so does the percentage shared by workers, up to a maximum of 6.5 percent with a cap of $3.75 million.

Health insurance benefits were a topic of major contention in steel negotiations this year and last. ATI workers will lose their 100 percent paid coverage. A new co-insurance plan will go into effect in which the company pays 90 percent of costs and employees 10 percent after meeting deductibles. Deductible and out-of-pocket expense will be $300 and $1,500 for individuals, and $600 and $3,000 for families.

New hires will not have a defined benefits pension plan but instead a 401(k) retirement plan to which ATI will contribute $2.65 per hour worked.

The USW has agreed to the use of outside contractors with the provision: “The company does not intend for this proposal to result in any active employee losing their employment.” Union leaders agree that because of attrition during the lockout, contractors will be needed to get the plants back to normal production.

Walt Hill, USW Local 1196 and contract coordinator for ATI plants, commented on the proposal to TribLive:

“It doesn’t solve all our problems, but it’s definitely a victory for the union considering what the company wanted to do to us.”

Informational meetings were held with union members over the weekend and the vote will take place today, March 1.  If the proposal is ratified, the lockout will be ended.


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