Steel Mills

USW Continues to Rally for a ‘Fair Contract’ with USS

Written by David Schollaert

A new labor pact between US Steel Corp. and the United Steelworkers (USW) union remains elusive, though some progress seems to have been made during the latest round of bargaining last week.

The two sides, however, remain miles apart when it comes to major sticking points like wages, health care, retirement, and pensions, a USW spokesperson said in an email to Steel Market Update on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

“While we’ve made some progress over the last week of bargaining, important issues like wages, health care, retirement, vacations, and holiday remain unresolved,” he said.

The union spokesperson said that the bargaining committee would be updating members on specifics but added that: “It’s time for USS to get serious so when we get back to the bargaining table, we can achieve a fair contract.”

The USW has intensified its picketing over the past couple of weeks, rallying for a “fair contract.” Earlier this week, union members descended on northwest Indiana and crashed US Steel president and CEO David Burritt’s appearance at an Association for Iron and Steel Technology event. They lobbied for a contract with no concessions, especially given the company has seen an extended period of record profits.

“US Steel is making record profits and our members are entitled to a fair contract,” Jerome Davidson, USW District 7 rapid response coordinator, told The Times of Northwest Indiana.

Davidson argued that the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker is trying to “use profit sharing as a tool” to limit wage increases, according to the paper, adding that: “We are not going to get a concessionary contract. We are going to get a fair contract, one for all, one for our brothers and sisters. Solidarity forever,” the paper said.

USW USS rally Fig1

“Hundreds of Steelworkers showed up in the rain to greet Burritt and guests attending an event in Northwest Indiana,” the union said in a text to members on Wednesday, Oct. 12. “Burritt tried to sneak past us, but we were ready, and our message was clear: FDB! It’s time for a fair deal now!!!”

When asked for comment, US Steel again said in an email to SMU on Wednesday, Oct. 12., that they “appreciate their employees’ dedication and respect their right to assemble.”

“We continue to bargain with the USW in good faith and remain optimistic that we will reach an agreement that is best for all,” a company spokeswoman said.

Talks between the steelmaker and the union have been ongoing since master bargaining began in mid-July. They are now in their fourth month of bargaining and negotiations are now a month past the original Sept. 1 contract expiration.

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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