Updated April 28, 2016 – The United Steelworkers announced Wednesday that they have a tentative agreement contract agreement with ArcelorMittal USA.
“After almost a year of difficult bargaining that continued eight months past the expiration of our previous contract, our committee’s hard work and dedication have resulted in a tentative agreement with ArcelorMittal,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “Our members’ unwavering solidarity throughout the bargaining process in the face of management’s persistent demands for major cutbacks has been rewarded.”
Union member have been working under the terms of the previous contract that expired September 1, 2015. The USW the proposed new agreement preserves economic security and other contractual protections. If ratified, the new contract will expire Sept. 1, 2018.
“Thanks to your support and solidarity on the shop floors while we resisted ArcelorMittal’s persistent concessionary demands at the table, we have negotiated a fair agreement that balances the needs of management to save money with our commitment to maintain our standards of living,” said the USW in their press release.
“Although it has taken much longer than anyone could have anticipated, we are proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to the challenges ahead.”
USW District 1 Director David McCall, who chairs the union’s negotiations with ArcelorMittal, praised the leadership and membership at all of the facilities for standing together and resisting management’s attempts to divide them.
“Early in the process, we committed to our members and retirees that we would not allow the company to use a temporary downturn in our industry as an excuse to reverse decades of collective bargaining progress,” McCall said. “Thanks to the solidarity of USW members within and between all of our locals, we have negotiated a fair agreement that preserves our wages, benefits and other contractual protections without lowering the standard of living for current or future retirees.”
ArcelorMittal USW CEO John Brett said,“We are pleased to have reached a fair and equitable agreement with the USW on a new three-year contract, however we are unable to comment on specific details out of respect (for) the ratification process. After a lengthy negotiations process, we look forward to working with our represented employees to fight market pressures due to unfairly traded imports and create long-term value for all of our stakeholders.”
Meetings will be scheduled in the near future to review the agreement with members before voting commences.
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