USW Members Vote to Ratify 4-Year Contract with U.S. Steel

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              CONTACT:   R.J. Hufnagel: (412) 562-2450,
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018                                                  

PITTSBURGH (Nov. 13) – Thousands of members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union voted by an overwhelming margin to ratify a new contract with U.S. Steel.

The new four-year master agreement takes effect immediately. It includes a total of 14 percent in wage increases over the life of the contract, maintains the union’s high-quality, affordable health care coverage and strengthens retirement benefits for the USW’s 16,000 members at 14 U.S. Steel locations. The contract also allows for much-needed investments in the company’s facilities.

Bargaining on the new contract began in July. The previous agreement, which was negotiated in 2015 during a difficult period for the steel industry, contained a wage freeze and other concessions. That three-year agreement expired on Sept. 1.

“In 2015, workers recognized that the steel industry was struggling and agreed to make sacrifices so that U.S. Steel could get through some tough times,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “Now that the company has recovered and is projected to earn nearly $2 billion this year, workers rightly wanted a share of that success.”

Despite its improved financial position, U.S. Steel’s initial proposals demanded more concessions. In early September, USW members responded by voting unanimously to authorize a strike.

“The strength and solidarity of the USW membership were the keys to achieving a fair agreement,” said USW International Vice President Tom Conway, chair of the union’s U.S. Steel bargaining committee.  

The new agreement will run through Sept. 1, 2022.

“This contract puts the company in a position to succeed and ensures that the work force will be able to share in that success. It’s a win-win,” said Mike Millsap, USW District 7 director and secretary of the bargaining committee.

The contract covers members of 24 local unions who work at the following U.S. Steel facilities: Clairton Works, East Chicago Tin, Fairfield, Fairfield Southern, Fairless Hills, Gary Works, Granite City Works, Great Lakes Works, Keetac, Lone Star Tubular, Lorain Tubular, Midwest Plant, Minntac and Mon Valley Works.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. 
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