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Steelworkers Call U.S. Steel Offer ‘Bad-Faith Attempt’

September 17, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

PITTSBURGH, Pa.—The week after more than 16,000 United Steelworkers members voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike at U.S. Steel, union leaders dismissed the company’s revised contract offer as “another clumsy and bad-faith attempt.” The proposed six-year deal would raise wages by a total of 14%, slightly more than the offer the union rejected. But, the Steelworkers said in a message to members Sept. 12, it would replace the current health-care plan with one that “doubles the deductibles, coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximums” while offering “a bribe of $1,500 per year for the transition.” The Steelworkers’ master agreement with U.S. Steel, which covers workers at 14 steel mills in eight states, expired Sept. 1. U.S. Steel is expecting to make a profit of nearly $2 billion this year, Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard said in a statement Sept. 10, so workers who endured a three-year wage freeze should “share in the success.” Workers at Clairton Coke Works, south of Pittsburgh, began signing up for picketing shifts Sept. 10-11. “They’re ready to roll,” Local 1557 President Don Furko said. Meanwhile, Steelworkers members at competitor ArcelorMittal will vote Sept. 17 on whether to authorize a strike. Read more

September 17, 2018

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