August 30, 2008
Steelworkers Reach Tentative Agreement With ArcelorMittal on Four- Year Contract
To: LABOR EDITORS
Contact: Tony Montana, USW, +1-216-308-4798
"Our members and retirees at ArcelorMittal now have the opportunity to enjoy the employment security, economic security and retirement security they earned through years of hard work and sacrifice," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "These members' unwavering, long-term solidarity and support for our bargaining committee has been rewarded."
Over the next several weeks, about 14,000 USW-represented hourly production, maintenance, office and technical employees at ArcelorMittal facilities in eight states will discuss the proposed agreement with their negotiating committees before voting on whether to accept or reject the proposed four-year contract. The union will not disclose specific terms and conditions of the proposed new agreement until its members have had a chance to review it with their bargaining committees.
USW District 1 Director David McCall, who serves as chairman of the USW's ArcelorMittal negotiating committee, said that the solidarity of the union membership during the past four months of negotiations, and especially over the past several days, was absolutely key to achieving fairness at the bargaining table.
"We believe that ratification of the proposed agreement is a major step toward raising the industry standard in wages, benefits and other contractual protections without sacrificing the long term viability of ArcelorMittal in a competitive market," he said.
"I'd like to thank our local union leadership for their unwavering solidarity," McCall said, "our support staff and headquarters technicians for their talent and dedication, and most of all, our members and retirees for their commitment to keeping our proud traditions of union activism and steelmaking alive in their communities for over 100 years."
USW District 7 Director Jim Robinson, secretary of the USW's ArcelorMittal negotiating committee, said that the union members and retirees at ArcelorMittal deserve special recognition for keeping their plants open and communities alive through the steel crisis that began in 1998 and led to nearly 50 bankruptcies before it ended.
"We know that many of these plants would have been shut down years ago if not for the leadership role these men and women assumed when the time came to restructure and consolidate the steel industry in North America," he said.
Detailed contract summaries are being prepared and will be mailed to the membership, and ratification will be conducted by mail-in ballot.
For more information, contact: Tony Montana (USW) - 216-308-4798
SOURCE United Steelworkers
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