U.S. Steel on Wednesday made a revised labor contract proposal to United Steelworkers (USW).
U.S. Steel said the proposal includes a 14 percent base wage increase over six years, guaranteed profit sharing and health care premiums offset with transition payments.
“We have submitted a revised proposal to USW leadership that reflects the ongoing dialogue during our most recent round of negotiations,” U.S. Steel said in a media advisory. “The revised six-year proposal, which we strongly believe is in the best long-term interest of all U.S. Steel stakeholders, includes a 14 percent base wage increase over the term of the agreement, guaranteed profit sharing, and health care premiums offset with transition payments.”
A USW bargaining committee late Wednesday afternoon was still reviewing the proposal, according to R.J. Hufnagel, USW communications. A formal USW response to the proposal would be issued later Wednesday or Thursday, said Hufnagel.
U.S. Steel, in an informal general outline, said the company is offering a 4 percent base wage increase effective Sept. 1 and 2 percent wage increases on September 1 of each year 2019 through 2023. The offer also proposes a $4,000 ratification bonus paid within 30 days of September 22 to bargaining unit employees accruing pension service as of Sept. 1 and $6,000 in guaranteed
minimum profit sharing for the combined third and fourth quarters of 2018 paid within 30 days of Sept. 22.
Healthcare transition payments of $1,500 (lump sum) or $125 per month for the following calendar year, are proposed depending on an employees' health insurance plan.
Negotiations started in July between the USW and U.S. Steel. Wages, pensions and health care costs for active members and retirees, are major issues.
More than 16,000 USW members from 24 local unions work at U.S. Steel facilities across the nation. About 1,550 USW-represented workers at U.S. Steel's Minntac Mine in Mountain Iron (Local 1938) and Keetac in Keewatin (Local 2660) are affected by the negotiations.
“Talks continue this week, and we continue to work diligently to reach a mutually agreeable conclusion,” stated U.S. Steel. “Our plants continue to operate in a afe and orderly manner.”