Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

USWA reaches contract agreement with US Steel

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The United States Steel Corp. and United Steelworkers (USW) have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year labor contract that will cover approximately 16,000 USW-represented employees at U. S. Steel’s domestic flat-rolled and iron ore mining facilities as well as tubular operations in Lorain, Ohio, and Fairfield, Ala.

U. S. Steel Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John P. Surma said, “We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with the United Steelworkers on a competitive four-year contract well in advance of the expiration of our current contract. We value our ongoing relationship with the USW and appreciate the contributions that our employees make to the success of our business. We believe that this agreement is in the best interests of our company and all of our stakeholders.”

In a prepared statement the USW said the pact provides wage, bonus and pension increases and sets benefit programs for active employees and retirees while reducing health care premiums for retirees.

Steelworkers President Leo W. Gerad said, “We’ve gone through some tough times in the steel industry during the last 20 years. Our union was instrumental in restructuring the industry and this new contract rewards our members for their hard work, improves the living standards of our retirees and the capital investments that will be made in our mills protects our communities far into the future. This contract is the new standard in the industry.”

The union also said the tentative agreement requires the company to make capital investment in our plants to keep the mills state of the art in order to compete in a global steel market.

“With an awareness of the threat of global warming and how it may impact the steel industry, the agreement provides for an ‘Energy Efficiency and Carbon Emissions Task Force’ to protect and benefit the industry and the environment,” the USW statement said

The union said issues involving local working conditions were also resolved, including the outsourcing of work that will return to the jurisdiction of USW members. “This is an historic agreement,” said USW International Vice President Tom Conway, who served as the union’s chief negotiator. “There are only improvements. No steps back. Our members have worked very hard and deserve everything that we’ve gained in this round of bargaining. Our union is proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

The local union presidents have approved the tentative agreement and it will be sent to the rank- and-file union members for ratification. Detailed contract summaries are being prepared and will be mailed to the membership. Explanation meetings will be held by local unions at each plant location and details of the proposal will be withheld until that review by the membership is complete. Ratification will be conducted by mail-in ballot.

The current agreement expires September 1, covering some 16,000 USW members employed at Granite City, Ill.; Gary, East Chicago, Portage, Ind.; Ecorse, Mich.; Braddock, Clairton, West Mifflin and Fairless Hills, Pa.; Fairfield, Ala.; Lorain, Ohio; Keewatin and Mt. Iron, Minn.; and Lone Star, Texas.


Posted 8/14/2008




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