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USW: US Steel’s Labor Proposal ‘Fails to Meet Standard’

Written by David Schollaert

The United Steelworkers (USW) said United States Steel Corp. (USS) latest collective bargaining labor proposal “fails to meet standard” and that its members at USS will not be treated as “second class” citizens.

USWThe proposal, according to the USW bargaining committee, stands in “stark contrast” to the tentative agreement recently reached between the USW and Cleveland-Cliffs.

The USW said that USS is aware of the advances made with Cliffs, but that USS has no intention of “making the same kind of progress”, adding that the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker is “done negotiating about the major items”.

“We strongly believe in rewarding performance,” a US Steel spokeswoman told SMU. “That’s why we say, when we do well, you do well. However, we will not be forced into an agreement that does not work for our business or employees.”

US Steel’s proposal offers an 11% wage increase over the life of the proposed four-year contract, a $7,000 bonus payment for each USW employee, and no changes to its uncapped profit-sharing program.

Despite the apparent impasse, she said that US Steel remains “optimistic that we will reach an agreement that works for all.” 

The USW remains concerned about other issues. This includes what the union contends is a restricted healthcare network and no increase to pensions despite rising inflation and costs, among other things.

“They are far short of what their competitors are offering, and they need to be giving serious thought to the consequences of treating their workforce is such a dramatically different manner,” the USW’s bargaining committee said. “This arrogance will not stand. The workforce at US Steel will not tolerate being treated like 2nd class citizens while continuing to deliver 1st class quality steel products to the market.”

The USW went so far as to lay out in detail (shown below) to its members what Cliffs’ tentative agreement includes versus the most recent proposal from USS, according to an Aug. 30 update.


The bargaining committee said that it made it clear to USS that its members deserve a fair contract that reflects its sacrifices.

“We’ve worked very hard to achieve record profits that have greatly benefited executives and shareholders. Their proposal needs to reflect our contributions,” the committee said.

The USW’s contract with US Steel is set to expire on Sept. 1.

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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