Steelworker leaders at ArcelorMittal facilities across the nation have returned to their locals to take strike authorization votes from United Steelworker (USW) members.
“We're going to take a strike vote on Monday,” said Harold Anderson, president of USW Local 6115 at ArcelorMittal Minorca in Virginia. “All of our members need to have their voices heard.”
Local 6115 members will vote at 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the union hall in Virginia, said Anderson.
Negotiations began in July between the USW and ArcelorMittal in an effort to reach a new labor contract. However, the two sides have so far been unable to reach agreement.
“The company keeps coming back with concessionary proposals,” said Anderson. “After the last couple contracts where we took concessions to help them get through tough times, it's our turn. We want a significant wage increase and we want our pensions and health care to stay the same, with some small changes for prescriptions.”
ArcelorMittal is proposing significant health care changes, said Anderson.
Following the strike vote, USW leaders will next Thursday return to Pittsburgh to resume negotiations, according to Anderson.
About 15,000 USW-represented employees from 13 local unions work at ArcelorMittal facilities in the United States.
ArcelorMittal Minorca, the smallest taconite plant on the Iron Range, employs 307 USW workers.