ATI Lockout Update: Fighting to Keep Good Jobs in Our Community

Fighting to Keep Good Jobs in Our Community

Click here to download a PDF of this update to distribute on your picket line or at your union hall.

Long before ATI illegally locked out 2,200 hard-working USW members, it was preparing an unprecedented attack. Before contract talks began, ATI managers were ‘shadowing’ us on our jobs, forcing us to sit through captive audience meetings, and contracting with scabs to take over our work.  

ATI then opened bargaining by delivering a jaw-dropping list of 146 concessions. Most of these demands stayed on the table; right up until the company gave its ‘take-it-or-leave-it” last, best and final contract offer on August 6th. 

The proposal included:

  • Dramatic cuts to healthcare. By the end of the contract we would pay $215/month for family healthcare coverage and as much as $6,000 in out-of-pocket costs.
  • Cuts in job security. ATI’s proposal would eliminate its commitment to the silicon steel business.
  • Changes in scheduling. The company’s proposal would allow management to force us to accept schedules with non-consecutive work days as well as days of either more or less than 8 consecutive hours of work.  
  • Increases in contracting out. ATI’s proposal would allow the company to use contractors to do ‘non-core’ work and specialized maintenance work, even when there are members on layoff available.

After receiving the proposal our bargaining team reviewed it. While the committee believed that the offer was woefully inadequate, we wanted to discuss it with membership.

The committee returned home and was in the process of scheduling these meetings when ATI announced that it would lock us out of our jobs.  

Bargaining Since the Lockout

There has only been one formal bargaining session since the lockout. On Sept. 11, we met with ATI and a federal mediator. We came to the session with a new proposal, but ATI refused to discuss anything but its last offer

Since then, we have been in regular touch with the federal mediator and have repeatedly urged him to try to move ATI off of its “last, best, and final offer.”  ATI has refused.  We, however, remain prepared to return to bargaining and, when we do, the company needs to be prepared to actually negotiate.

What is a Federal Mediator?

A Federal Mediator has been appointed to these negotiations by the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service, an independent government agency headquartered in Washington, DC. Mediators are helpful to opening dialogue between unions and management. They help to bring the parties together by offering suggestions throughout the process. However, a mediator does not have the authority to impose a settlement or determine the terms of a contract.  

Pending ULP Charges

The USW legal department has filed 18 Unfair Labor Practice Charges (ULPs) with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) alleging that ATI violated federal law at the bargaining table, on the shop floor and on the picket lines. 

Our lawyers have interviewed dozens of our members who have witnessed ATI’s unlawful conduct and assisted in providing the Board with sworn affidavits.  The NLRB’s investigation into ATI’s conduct is ongoing. We will keep you up to date as this process moves forward.

ATI Wasting Millions

The lockout is causing ATI to lose millions. During the third quarter earnings call, its CEO admitted that the first 46 days of the lockout had cost the company $50 million.

From the picket lines we see that ATI has only shipped a fraction of the product that we normally run. We even see coils from competitors coming into some facilities. 

We’ve seen ambulances go into the facilities on a regular basis and we’ve read in the newspaper about one scab on a felony warrant. 

Without the skilled and experienced workforce, ATI has not been able to effectively run their facilities.  

The USW’s bargaining positions are reasonable. We’ve put forward proposals that would save the company millions of dollars. But instead of bargaining in good faith, ATI continues in its reckless behavior that has cost shareholders millions.

Stay Strong, Together We Will Win

This is certainly a challenging time for all of us and for our families. ATI’s attack on our union and our livelihood is absolutely   unnecessary.  But, with our strength, solidarity and support, we have what it takes to win a fair contract – one that works for both sides. 

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor Jim McKay

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222