Steel Mills

USW Calls for Strike Authorization at ArcelorMittal

Written by Sandy Williams

Thirteen local unions representing United Steelworkers at ArcelorMittal voted unanimously to authorize the USW negotating committee to call a strike.  The USW says the latest contract proposal is not fair to employees and contains too many concessionary demands that would wipe out any pay increases.

“ArcelorMittal is trying to convince us that we should ignore how profitable the company is now and accept major concessions for the sake of ‘sustainability’ because the industry has faced downturns in the past – conveniently overlooking the critical fact that the flexibility of our contracts has enabled the company to survive the tough times and thrive now that the market has rebounded,” wrote the USW in a Sept. 17 update.

Early voting at Indiana Harbor East on Monday morning showed unanimous support for a strike authorization. “ArcelorMittal should not continue to underestimate our resolve and our sense of fairness when it comes to the USW negotiating a contract that we deserve,” said Local 1010 President Steve Wagner.

USW District 1 Director David McCall, chairman of negotiations with ArcelorMittal said the union would prefer reach a satisfactory contract agreement without a work stoppage, but the vote sends a clear message to management.  

“We are organized and mobilized and will not allow ArcelorMittal to bully us into accepting anything less than the fair contracts we have earned and deserve,” McCall said. “These are jobs worth fighting for, and we intend to keep it that way.”

Negotiations are currently stalled and expected to continue Sept. 20, according to an update from the company. United Steelworkers at ArcelorMittal USA are currently working under the terms of the contract that expired on Sept. 1.

Updated 10:08 pm ET 9/17/2018

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