|By PR Newswire||
|September 3, 2012 10:20 AM EDT||
PITTSBURGH, Sept. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) today issued the following statement regarding the status of negotiations with ArcelorMittal USA on behalf of nearly 14,000 workers at 15 U.S. locations:
"We have been exchanging proposals with the company and remain engaged in negotiations," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "Our members continue to work under the terms and conditions of our 2008 agreements with ArcelorMittal while this long, frustrating process continues."
Gerard also said that ArcelorMittal has begun to restart the blast furnaces that the company irresponsibly and unnecessarily idled in the run-up to the contract expiration at midnight Saturday.
"We take this as a sign that the company may now recognize that neither the USW negotiating committee nor the union membership as a whole will be intimidated into accepting unwarranted concessions by the implied threat of a lockout," said USW District 1 Director David McCall, who chairs the USW's talks with ArcelorMittal.
McCall said that USW members will continue to operate the plants while this important struggle to get management to negotiate a fair and equitable contract continues.
"Our contract has not been formally extended, but we will continue to work under the terms of our contract," he said. "Management has confirmed that they will continue to abide by those terms as well."
USW District 7 Director Jim Robinson, serving as secretary of the USW committee, said that the union has made extraordinary efforts to reach a fair settlement.
"We still face a number of obstacles -- including our desire for modest wage and benefit improvements, outstanding contract language items, the company's demands for concessions that remain on the table and issues that should have been addressed in plant-level negotiations weeks ago," Robinson said.
"We are proud of our solidarity and thankful for the continued support of the union membership during this critical time in the history of our plants, our communities and our industry," he said. "Throughout this Labor Day weekend, we continue to remember that we are 14,000 loyal, dedicated, efficient and experienced steelworkers and that we are strongest when we are as united as we are today."
"We cannot and will not allow management to forget that we all have a stake in the plants – no matter whose name is on the door," Robinson said. "It is appropriate that we continue this struggle over Labor Day weekend. We cannot think of a better way to honor the successes of America's working men and women for a better society."
More information, contact: Tony Montana (412) 562-2592; email@example.com
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)