Steel Mills

USW: U.S. Steel Proposal an “Insult”

Written by Sandy Williams

United Steelworkers called the latest contract proposal from U.S. Steel an “insult.” The proposed seven-year labor agreement ties any future wage increases or economic adjustments to profit-sharing and bonus schemes, said the USW.

“After our many sacrifices and diligent work to keep this company in operation through tough times, and the misery our members have suffered in many locations, this is an extremely insulting proposal,” wrote the USW bargaining committee in an update to members.

“They talk of alignment with the bosses and then shave and ‘normalize’ the annual economics and profit share proposal. The U.S. Steel wage proposal is so far off the mark it is laughable. With time running short, the company needs to come to its senses and make an honest and fair contract with the union and recognize the work we’ve done at U.S. Steel.”

USS proposal

ArcelorMittal Counterproposal “Unacceptable”

The bargaining committee for USW members at ArcelorMittal said “another predictably unacceptable counterproposal” was received from the company this week that showed little flexibility. The counterproposal includes “unreasonable and unnecessary healthcare concessions” for current and retired employees and fails to provide needed wage and pension improvements, said the committee on Aug. 24.

“Due to market conditions in 2015, ArcelorMittal was not generating cash, and as a result, we showed flexibility in bargaining an agreement that did not include wage increases but protected the security of our jobs, earnings and retirements,” said the committee in its update to members. “The healthcare changes we negotiated actually reduced the company’s costs without cutting benefits or radical increases in out-of-pocket expenses for individual members or retirees.

“As the company continues to thrive, we should not need to remind management that none of the facilities currently owned by ArcelorMittal would be operating if it wasn’t for our hard work and the USW’s leadership in the decades-long struggle for fair trade – yet that is precisely what we must do.”

The current contracts for workers at U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal expire as of Sept. 1. Rallies are planned for Aug. 30 at ArcelorMittal gates to show solidarity.

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