U.S. Steel, USW contract talks to resume Sunday

24 September 2015

The United Steelworkers and representatives from United States Steel Corp. will resume contract talks in Pittsburgh Sept. 27, according to an update from the union.

The USW said the parties remain far apart on key issues, but no additional details were provided. A representative of the union declined to provide additional comment.

Representatives of the union's bargaining committee have spent the past two weeks holding meetings and gathering feedback from members regarding negotiations. The negotiations with U.S. Steel (NSYE: X) cover more than 16,500 Steelworkers in production, maintenance, office & technical and plant protection units from 24 locals across the country.

Health care costs have emerged as a major sticking point throughout labor negotiations. According to the union, U.S. Steel has proposed dramatic benefit cuts and employee health care premiums for active employees, as well as a two-tier high-deductible health plan for new hires.

Since its contract expired Sept. 1, the union has continued to work at U.S. Steel facilities under the conditions of its most recent agreement.

U.S. Steel issued a statement Aug. 31 saying the company "remains committed to operating our facilities and servicing our customers without disruption as labor contract negotiations continue. We appreciate the United Steelworkers’ commitment to extend the contract negotiations to give 'the parties the fullest possible opportunity to resolve their differences and thereby avoid a work stoppage,' as stated in their letter dated August 31, 2015."

A spokeswoman for the company said Wednesday there is no further update.