Steel Mills

USW/USS Master Negotiations Are All Business

Written by David Schollaert

The United Steelworkers (USW) and United States Steel Corp. got underway with master contract bargaining talks this week, and they got straight down to business, according an update sent to union members.


The USW struck a hopeful tone in early talks with Cliffs. The tone in an update on bargaining with USS was more business-like.

The notice highlighted the union-negotiated Inflation Recognition Payment (IRP). The IRP provision – which was negotiated in the current contract (which expires on Sept. 1) – was triggered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ release of its June inflation calculation.

The IRP provides a quarterly lump-sum payment if cumulative inflation, as measured over the life of the contract, exceeds 3% per year. According to USW, the clause ensures all USW-represented US Steel employees will receive a 5% IRP bonus payment based on their total Q2 earnings.

The IRP payment is due by Aug. 15 and may be combined with the profit-sharing payment.

The USW added that negotiations continue, and focus on (among other things) pay, healthcare, pensions, profit sharing, and job security.

The master contract negotiations cover the locations below. Also listed is what products those operations make:

  • Local 1299, Great Lakes Works, Ecorse, Mich.: pickled, cold-rolled and galvanized sheet
  • Local 1014, Gary Eastside; Gary, Ind.: hot-rolled, cold-rolled and galvanized sheet as well as tin mill products and strip mill plate
  • Local 1066, Gary Westside; Gary, Ind.: hot-rolled, cold-rolled and galvanized sheet as well as tin mill products and strip mill plate
  • Local 2695, Gary Works/Midwest; Gary/Portage, Ind.: hot rolled, cold rolled, galvanized, tin mill products and strip mill plate
  • Local 6103, Midwest; Portage, Ind.: cold rolled, galvanized, electrical lamination steels, and tin mill products
  • Local 1899, Granite City Works; Granite City, Ill.: hot-rolled, cold-rolled, and coated sheet
  • Local 1013, Fairfield Tubular Operations; Fairfield, Ala.: seamless steel line pipe, standard pipe and OCTG
  • Local 2122, Fairfield Works; Fairfield, Ala.: galvanized and Galvalume sheet
  • Local 1219, Mon Valley Works – Edgar Thomson Plant; Braddock, Pa.: slab
  • Local 1557, Mon Valley Works – Clairton Plant; Clairton, Pa.: coke
  • Local 2227, Mon Valley Works – Irvin Plant; West Mifflin, Pa.: hot-rolled, cold-rolled and coated sheet
  • Local 2227-1, Mon Valley Works; Mon Valley, Pa.
  • Local 4889, Mon Valley Works – Fairless Plant; Fairless Hills, Pa.: cold rolled and galvanized sheet
  • Local 1938, Minnesota Ore Operations – Minntac; Mt. Iron, Minn.: iron ore pellets
  • Local 2660, Minnesota Ore Operations – Keetac; Keewatin, Minn.: iron ore pellets
  • Local 1104, Lorain Tubular Operations; Lorain, Ohio: seamless line pipe, standard pipe and OCTG (indefinitely idled in 2020)

Excluded from master contract bargaining is Big River Steel Works, US Steel’s non-union electric arc furnace (EAF) sheet mill in Osceola, Ark.

US Steel did not immediately respond to a request for comment as of Thursday afternoon.

By David Schollaert,


David Schollaert

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