recognizing the deep sacrifices its workforce has made in recent years, the
company has instead approached this round of bargaining seeking even more
concessions and offering only empty promises:
hourly employees endured a three-year wage freeze, U.S. Steel is demanding a
ridiculous long-term wage package, benefit cuts, and crippling cost-shifting
to its employees and retirees as part of any settlement.
“--USW members have
had their wages frozen over the last three years, while consumer prices have
risen by 8 percent and private-sector wages have risen by 9.3 percent. The
members of the USW at U.S. Steel have recognized the difficulties facing the
industry and the company, but now that the steel market has improved, USS
employees deserve a raise and a fair contract.
“--Wages have been
stagnant in the United States but even so, the recent Bureau of Labor
Statistics data on wages have shown an average wage increase of 2.7 percent
so far in 2018.
has not shared in the sacrifices it has asked of its workers:
“--During this same
period, managers rigged their own bonus payments to ignore their lack of
profits and instead gave themselves significant cash payments at all levels.
“--This was done
while the company suffered serious financial issues due to unfair imports
and the failure of management to invest in the maintenance and upkeep of the
mills and equipment, causing them to suffer many operational setbacks.
boasts of their investment to finally revitalize the plants after starving
them of necessary maintenance and equipment upgrades to meet the market
“The company is in
a position to afford a fair and equitable contract:
“--U.S. Steel and
the analyst community have the company on track to earn $1.8 billion this
year and expect 2019 and going forward to be even richer years for them.
conditions and pricing the best they have been in a decade, this is not the
time for U.S. Steel to pick an unnecessary fight with its employees and risk
a labor dispute. It is irresponsible to its employees and its customers and
to do this while the company expects to thrive in the coming years is
inexplicable and inexcusable behavior.
dangerous and difficult work. Steelworkers deserve fair treatment:
are particularly difficult and dangerous and are performed in harsh
environmental and weather conditions. These are demanding, skilled jobs--not
entry-level positions. The union’s wage proposals are moderate and in line
with our increases in productivity.
“The USW did not
approach this round of bargaining seeking confrontation. We have fought
hard--inside and outside of our plants--to position the steel industry for
its current success:
“--The USW has been
the leading voice in our country for decades regarding the impact of illegal
and unfair imports on our industry, and we have led that fight at every
level of government. We recognize the futility of a fight at this time
within the industry and with management.
“--The union does
not want a confrontation. We simply want fair treatment, given our hard work
and sacrifices. We expect management to come to the table with the intention
of negotiating in good faith. Unfortunately, the company has used the
current trade climate to choose a foolish and reckless path.
“--The company has
created barriers to reaching an agreement by delaying its response to many
of the union’s information requests and providing incomplete or inconsistent
information when it has responded. It has also engaged in surveillance of
our lawful activities. The union is prepared to enforce our legal rights if
that’s what it comes to.
“--The USW is
committed to a responsible and fair contract and will resist an ideology
from the top of the house at USS that is without thought or reason. We do
not seek a fight with U.S. Steel but should they force one upon us, we will
last one day longer.”