Municipal Government, New York

Steel Workers Seek Justice in Oregon

December 30, 2015
By Bill Hohlfeld

Pittsburgh, Pa – The United Steelworkers (USW) union was informed late last week by Region 19 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Seattle that the regional director, absent a settlement, will issue a complaint against Allegheny Technologies, Inc. (ATI) charging the company with unlawful labor practices during an organizing drive by the United Steelworkers (USW) at the ATI Cast Products plant in Albany, Ore.

ATI is charged with restraining and coercing employees in the exercise of rights guaranteed them by threatening employees should they choose representation. Threats included loss of jobs, plant closure, and bad faith bargaining made by company officials, including its lead negotiator during master bargaining with the USW at eight other locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts  and Oregon.

These charges come on the heels of a NLRB announcement 10 days ago that the director of Region 6 in Pittsburgh may issue a complaint charging ATI with illegally locking out workers at the eight USW-represented plants.

That complaint, absent settlement, will allege that ATI bargained in bad faith, both before and during the lockout. The remedy for the company’s violations would be to require ATI to make whole all 2,200 locked-out workers for any losses since the beginning of the lockout, including wages and benefits, and to require the company to bargain a new contract in good faith.

“ATI needs to cease its bad faith bargaining and return to negotiating a new contract with the union that is fair to its workers and all of its stakeholders,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.

“I would certainly hope that the company is starting to realize that bad faith bargaining is not conducive to good labor relations,” said USW International Vice President Tom Conway, who heads the union bargaining committee at ATI. “It will only cause more problems and waste more money.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.

 

December 29, 2015

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