The United Steelworkers (USW) Friday reached tentative agreements on new contracts with ArcelorMittal USA on behalf of about 15,000 workers at 14 of the company's U.S. locations. Subject to a vote by the membership of 13 local unions, the proposed four-year agreement would expire on Sept. 1, 2022.
"Our committee's hard work and dedication have resulted in tentative agreements with ArcelorMittal," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "Our members' unwavering solidarity throughout the bargaining process in the face of management's persistent concessionary demands has been rewarded with contracts that recognize the pivotal role Steelworkers have played in the company's success."
USW District 1 Director David McCall, who chairs the union's negotiations with ArcelorMittal, praised the leaders and members at all of the facilities for standing together to demand fair agreements.
"Through their hard work and sacrifices to improve the productivity and efficiency of our facilities, USW members earned the right to share in the company's success," McCall said. "We have negotiated fair agreements that improve wages and benefits while preserving retiree health care provisions and bolstering the protections afforded by our contract language."
USW District 7 Director Mike Millsap, who serves as secretary of the bargaining committee, added that the unity of local union leaders and activists provided leverage for the union throughout the bargaining process.
"From our first meeting with the company until our last, management challenged us every step of the way," Millsap said. "The vocal and visible unity of our membership gave our committee the strength we needed to resist the company's proposed cutbacks and fight for the issues important to our members, retirees and their families and communities."
In the coming days, the USW will schedule meetings to review the proposed new contracts with members at each location and deliver summaries with mail-in ballots and instructions for the ratification vote.
The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.