Unions hold protests as steelworker contract talks continue

  • Thursday, September 6, 2012

Members of the AFL-CIO who are in Georgetown for the organizations annual conference took time to show support for the United Steelworkers who are in the midst of tense contract negotiations with ArcelorMittal.
Dozens of members of the organization spent part of this afternoon picketing outside the two gates of the company’s Georgetown plant.
“This is not a strike,” said Sam Wragg, local USW member who was with a group of picketers at the Front Street gate. “This is to show solidarity. To show the union is together and what happens to one union happens to all unions.”
USW spokesman Tony Montana says the three biggest hangups in the negotiations are:
• The refusal of the company to properly fund the Benefit Trust that enables us to keep retiree health care premiums at an affordable level (as well as provide benefits to our retirees from previous companies). Without this, retiree health care premiums could skyrocket.
• The attempt by the company to eliminate the $10,000 Pension Enhancement Payment, which is paid at retirement.
•  The refusal of the company to commit to continue funding the former Inland defined benefit pension plan to a minimum of 80 percent.

Read more in Friday’s Georgetown Times.

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