Friday, July 13, 2012
The contract talks between ArcelorMittal and its more than 14,000 steelworkers company-wide are underway and workers are being asked to make concessions.
Georgetown’s steel-making plant is part of the company where the contracts expire Sept. 1.
Discussions, according to the Associated Press, began Monday and the two sides are far apart on issues such as wages and benefits.
The company is asking for cuts of about $28 per hour in wages and benefits from workers, according to published reports. Workers are also being asked to give the company the right to reduce wages during slowdowns.
According to the AP, the company is also seeking concessions in contributions of some pension plans and is seeking to eliminate retiree health care and pension benefits for workers hired after Sept. 1.
Under the proposal, health care costs for current and future retirees would increase.
In a statement released in a June newsletter, the United Steelworkers says ArcelorMittal has failed to honor its commitment to make the operations more efficient by ignoring workers’ suggestions.
In a statement, ArcelorMittal officials say the company wants “a fair agreement that creates a sustainable future for the company and its work force.”