January 2, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Gary, IND —The United Steelworkers and U.S. Steel announced a tentative contract deal Dec. 20, three months after the old contract expired.
The proposed three-year agreement will cover 18,000 workers, including those in northwest Indiana’s steel belt. Details were not released, but the union implied it had at least reduced management’s initial proposals to have workers pay as much as $6,300 a year out of pocket for health care. “This tentative agreement represents a major step forward from the position we found ourselves in earlier this summer when we were facing relentless company demands for deep and permanent concessions,” the Steelworkers said in an update to members. “We have been determined not to be forced to pay the full price for the problems of unfair trade and global overcapacity…. Our goal throughout this process was to make sure we were not made scapegoats for what are global and, we believe, temporary problems.” The proposal needs to be ratified by the 26 locals representing U.S. Steel workers. The union is still negotiating with ArcelorMittal, the other major steel manufacturer in northwest Indiana, and is in a bitter lockout at 12 plants owned by Allegheny Technologies Inc. Read more