Friday, July 20, 2012
The talks between ArcelorMittal and representatives of the United Steelworkers of America continue this week in Pittsburgh but very little information is being released.
The current contract for the company’s 14,000 workers in eight states – including the Georgetown steel maker — expires Sept. 1.
The last USWA membership update, which was released Monday, said the two sides are still far apart and the talks have been slow and frustrating.
The Luxembourg-based company wants workers to agree to cuts of about $28 per hour in wages and benefits. Workers are also being asked to give the company the right to reduce wages during slowdowns.
Other concessions being asked for by ArcelorMittal include freezing company contributions to certain pension plans, and eliminating retiree health care and pension benefits for workers hired after Sept. 1.
The company says it needs to dramatically cut costs to remain competitive.
James Sanderson, head of the local USWA, has not returned calls this week seeking comments.
By Scott Harper