No steelworkers strike expected this weekend; Lockout possible

  • Wednesday, September 5, 2012

There will be no strike this weekend at Georgetown’s steel-making plant — but that is not a guarantee work will continue.
In a memo to the 14,000 nationwide ArcelorMittal workers that was released this afternoon, United Steelworkers officials say the contract negotiations will continue this weekend. The current contract covering the workers expires Saturday night.
“Your Negotiating Committee has decided that our best course of action at this point in negotiations with ArcelorMittal is for all of us to continue working while we continue to press forward in an effort to reach an acceptable contract,” the memo states.
However, that does not mean the company will agree to allow work to continue after the contract expires.
 “Whether the company will agree to our offer to continue to work while we continue to bargain in good faith or instead choose to lock us out remains unknown at this time,” union leaders say. “We are not taking the strike option off the table — we are saying only that it is in our best interest to not call a strike at this time. We all need to make sure — above all that the stress and uncertainty on management does not interfere with our attention to safety on the job.”
The memo concludes by stating the union “may have to revisit our decision not to strike” if a deal is not reached soon.
“Should that become necessary we will schedule strike votes and take the appropriate action. For now we urge everyone to continue to work their schedule, and to continue to work safe.”

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