Steel Mills

Tensions Escalate as USS Files Unfair Labor Charges Against USW

Written by Laura Miller

Tensions continue to escalate between US Steel and the United Steelworkers (USW) union as the two sides remain far apart on reaching a new labor agreement. On Sept. 26, the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker went so far as to file an unfair labor practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board against the USW.


“We have continued to bargain in good faith, but, despite what the union has said, we have not received a response to our proposal from the USW since our offer on Aug. 30,” a US Steel spokeswoman told SMU in an email on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

“We remain optimistic that if we work together, we can reach an agreement that is best for all,” the spokeswoman added.

The USW did not comment but referred SMU to a text sent to members on the evening of Sept. 26 that called the charges “frivolous.”

“USS has our proposal, and it was USS who said that we were too far apart and they could not respond,” the USW text read. “We’ve made it clear we’re available to meet and bargain fairly. Instead of wasting time and money on a lame ad campaign and legal maneuvering, USS should be like its competitor and come to the bargaining table without benefit concessions and with an economic proposal that rewards its employees for their value and sacrifices.”

The competitor the USW text cites is Cleveland-Cliffs, which reached a tentative labor agreement with the USW in late August, just before the Sept. 1 expiration of the prior labor contract. Both Cliffs and the USW have praised the agreement.

An Aug. 30 update from the Union shows a comparison of the deal reached with Cliffs versus US Steel’s proposal, seen below:

09.27.22 USW USS Cliffs Comparison

The prior contract between the USW and US Steel also expired on Sept. 1.

Last week, the two sides traded blows on the issue of investments made by the steelmaker at its USW-represented mills. This week, US Steel confirmed it will be indefinitely idling the No. 3 blast furnace at its union-represented Edgar Thomson works outside Pittsburgh.

By Laura Miller,

Laura Miller

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