A new four-year labor agreement between United Steelworkers (USW) and ArcelorMittal has been ratified by USW members at ArcelorMittal facilities across the nation.
Harold Anderson, president of USW Local 6115 at ArcelorMittal Minorca, a 2.8 million ton-per-year taconite plant in Virginia, said the contract was unanimously approved.
About 304 USW members work at ArcelorMittal Minorca. The contract covers a total of about
15,000 USW members at 13 locals across the United States.
“After years of hard work and tremendous sacrifice to keep these facilities running and the company viable while the domestic steel industry languished through wave after wave of unfairly traded imports, it is right and just for ArcelorMittal steelworkers to share in the company’s success now that the market has rebounded,” USW International President Leo W. Gerard said in a USW statement. “The men and women we are privileged to represent earned these contracts by being the most efficient and productive steel making workforce in the world.”
USW District 1 Director David McCall, who chairs the union’s negotiations with ArcelorMittal,
credited the unity and solidarity of the USW membership for giving the bargaining committee the leverage it needed to resist ArcelorMittal management’s concessionary demands and fight for a fair contract.
“Thanks to the unwavering support of our membership, we successfully defended all of the rights and protections that management sought to reduce, restrict and eliminate,” McCall said. “On top of that, we were able to make improvements, fill gaps and fix the parts of our contracts that members identified as top priorities when we met before negotiations began.”
USW District 7 Director Mike Millsap, who serves as secretary of the USW committee, said the union is proud that the newly ratified contracts provide meaningful economic improvements without compromising job security or unfairly burdening current and future retirees by increasing the amount they already contribute toward their benefits.
“From start to finish, we were committed to negotiating more security for our earnings, benefits and retirements while management demanded less,” Millsap said. “We are proud to have achieved that goal and proud of our brothers and sisters who proved that they are willing to fight for fairness.”
The agreement, which includes a wage increase of about 14 percent over the four-year term, follows ratification of new labor agreements between the USW, Cleveland-Cliffs and U.S. Steel.