Steel Mills

SMU Recap: Where Contract Talks Stand Between Mills and the USW

Written by Michael Cowden

We’ve been covering the latest turn of the screw in contract talks between US and Canadian steelmakers and the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

Some of you have asked us lately what the key dates and companies are. Below is a summary of where things stand – rhetoric and minutia aside – with USW and Canadian steelmakers Stelco and Algoma as well as with the union and US steelmakers US Steel and Cleveland-Cliffs.


A prior contract expired on June 30. Local USW chapters have voted to authorize a strike. The USW has also requested conciliators from the Ontario Ministry of Labour to resolve differences between the Hamilton, Ontario-based steelmaker and the union.


Local unions representing workers at the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario-based steelmaker have voted to authorize a strike. The contract between Stelco and the USW runs through July 31. Talks continue in the meantime.

US Steel

Master contract negotiations between US Steel and the USW are underway in Pittsburgh, which is home to both the company and the union. The current labor pact between the USW and US Steel runs through Sept. 1. SunCoke Energy has joined the talks because it is expected to take over the two blast furnaces at US Steel’s Granite City Works near St. Louis to make pig iron. Granite City, like most of US Steel’s mills, is represented by the USW. Not included in the talks is US Steel’s Big River Steel subsidiary in Arkansas. Big River is a non-union mill.


Master contract negotiations between the USW and the steelmaker are underway in Pittsburgh. As with US Steel, the labor agreement between Cliffs and the USW does not expire until Sept. 1.

Recall that a strike authorization vote gives union negotiators the authority to call a strike if they decide to. It is a largely procedural step. It does not mean that the union will go a strike.

By Michael Cowden,

Michael Cowden

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