September 10, 2008

Steelworkers OK New Pact With U.S. Steel

By Joe Napsha

The United Steelworkers union overwhelmingly approved a new labor contract this afternoon with U.S. Steel Corp., paving the way for four years of labor peace for about 16,000 steelworkers employed by the nation's largest steelmaker.

The new deal, approved in a 10,571 to 2,670 vote, was negotiated at a time when the domestic steel industry is enjoying record profits.

It gives workers a $6,000 ratification bonus, plus a $1 an hour wage hike in the first year of the contract and 4percent hikes in the remaining three years. Union leaders emphasized that the contract provides job security and plant security, in the form of a promise to invest $3 billion into its plants to keep them competitive.

The contract covers about 2,600 steelworkers at three Mon Valley mills -- the Edgar Thomson steelmaking plant in Braddock, the Irvin finishing plant in West Mifflin and the coke-producing plant in Clairton. It also covers nine other U.S. Steel flat-rolled plants and iron ore mining facilities, as well as its tubular pipe production operations in Lorain, Ohio, and Fairfield, Ala.

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