Tuesday, August 28, 2012
The contracts for ArcelorMittall’s workers at a dozen steel-making plants in the United States — including the Georgetown facility — expires Saturday and, based on information released today, it looks like employees are gearing up for a strike.
Tony Montana, a United Steelworkers spokesman, says ArcelorMittal company officials do not seem to be in a hurry to reach a deal, even though the deadline is this week.
An email sent to a company spokesperson has not been answered.
“With major economic and non-economic items to address before our deadline, ArcelorMittal management shows no sense of urgency by postponing and canceling subcommittee meetings. The company is still challenging even relatively minor issues such as contract language about scheduling bereavement leave and justice and dignity,” the update, released today, states.
The union negotiating committee has reportedly presented the company with a series of proposals that address the issues they believe are consistent with securing the future for workers.
“For generations, our union has fought to make our mills and communities places we can be proud to work and live. ArcelorMittal management — after months of hearing your strong and loud NO — still wants an agreement that would allow the company to turn our plants over to contractors and salaried engineers,” states the release.
Unlike past communications with workers, this newsletter also gives details about what workers can expect if a strike takes place.
In the event of a strike, the Steelworkers International Strike and Defense Fund provides money to help union members while they are not working.
“The Fund pays to your local union $200 per week per member, beginning with the fourth week of a strike or lockout,” union leaders say, adding the money is distributed based on individual need.