The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that its members have overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with ArcelorMittal USA, setting the terms and conditions of employment for nearly 14,000 hourly production, maintenance, office and technical workers at 15 of the company's U.S. locations through Sept. 1, 2018.
"We have settled our differences with management at the table, so together now we can focus on addressing the industry's real problems, such as global overcapacity and the unfair and often illegal foreign trade practices that depress prices, close plants and cost jobs," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "The USW negotiating committee, activists and members at each of the facilities deserve our thanks and credit for staying united throughout the long, difficult process."
USW District 1 Director David McCall, who chairs the union's negotiations with ArcelorMittal, said that the union understood the challenges facing the company and the rest of the domestic steel industry and expected this round of negotiations to be tough when bargaining began just over a year ago.
"Even though negotiations took much longer than anyone anticipated, the solidarity of USW members within and between each of the facilities enabled our committee to fight for and win a fair agreement that works for all of us," McCall said. "Thanks to many months of hard work and dedication from everyone involved, the new contract preserves our wages, benefits and other contractual protections without lowering the standard of living for current or future retirees."
USW District 7 Director Mike Millsap, secretary of the ArcelorMittal committee, said that the union is proud that the tradition of steel making at these facilities will continue.
"For generations, our families have worked in these plants and established a way of life," Millsap said. "We are confident that as long as we work together and fight for fair trade instead of free trade, the steel industry will continue to provide good jobs that support families and sustain communities with fair pay and benefits."
The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.
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Source : prnewswire.com