The talks between ArcelorMittal and representatives for the company’s 14,000 workers continue in Pittsburgh as both sides try to reach an agreement for a new contract that needs to be ratified by Sept. 1.
A release from the United Steelworkers of America on Monday calls the talks “frustrating” because management “continues to demand both steep cuts to our compensation and benefits as well as radical, unnecessary changes to our contract language.”
The contract that expires in September covers all ArcelorMittal workers, including those at Georgetown’s steel-making plant.
USWA leaders and workers understand their job security is based on the company’s success.
“We know that there are a wide variety of factors that can and will contribute to the company’s long-term viability and success. Investing in our plants to meet customer needs and the demands of the market; better utilizing the existing contract language to improve operations and efficiency; and eliminating redundancy and bureaucracy in management are just three examples,” the release states.
“So far, management’s only ideas to prepare for the future involve undermining the very things that make steelworker jobs the kind of jobs we have fought for so long and so hard to preserve.”
USWA leaders say “treating workers with dignity and respect will not bankrupt ArcelorMittal, but ignoring our input now – when it’s needed most – cannot help the company.”
Proposals from union leaders to the company are expected to be presented as soon as this week.
By Scott Harper
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