Steel Mills

ATI Keeps Rolling With Non-Union Staff, Temps

Written by Michael Cowden

Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI) has continued operations in the face of a United Steelworkers union strike with temporary and non-union represented staff, a company spokeswoman said.

“Most if not all of the plants that were active before the strike are in some phase of operations,” she told Steel Market Update on Thursday, April 8.

USWUsing temporary and non-union staff had always been part of ATI’s business continuity plan, the spokeswoman said.

She declined to provide status updates for specific facilities. But she noted that ATI’s hot rolling and processing facility (HRPF) at Brackenridge, Pa., fell under that continuity plan.

ATI’s primary business is specialty metals and components for high-end sectors such as aerospace. But the company also toll rolls carbon slabs into coil at the Brackenridge HRPF for a handful of third-party customers, including not only certain domestic mills but also slab importers.

“Hopefully we’ll get this resolved. But in the meantime, we need to protect our customers and our business,” the spokeswoman said.

USW members at ATI went on strike on March 30, alleging unfair labor practices and seeking more generous wage increases and healthcare benefits than the company was willing to offer.

The USW indicated in a text to members on Thursday that the two sides remained far apart.

USW International Vice President David McCall continues to talk “almost daily” with ATI’s negotiator. “Our issues remain unaddressed,” the union said.

Key sticking points include healthcare for new hires, healthcare costs, funding for a Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association (VEBA) Plan, and attempts to “eliminate” union-represented office and technical jobs, the USW said.

By Michael Cowden,

Michael Cowden

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