Steelworkers ratify contract with U.S. Steel
Post-Tribune staff report September 28, 2012 4:24PM
Updated: October 30, 2012 6:09AM
The United Steelworkers have ratified by a margin of about four to one a new three-year contract with U.S. Steel covering more than 16,000 workers at the steelmaker’s U.S. facilities.
A tentative deal was reached shortly before the previous contract expired Sept. 1 and members voted by mail during the past three weeks. The new deal will last until Sept. 1, 2015.
“This contract was about building toward a lasting future,” International President Leo W. Gerard said. “Today, the future is brighter for U.S. Steel employees and retirees because of all of the hard work that went into this agreement.”
Under the new contract workers will receive 4.5 percent in wage increases over the next three years and the union will have an expanded influence on workplace issues such as civil rights, training and health and safety.
The new agreement protects health care benefits for retirees, which was one of the top issues for the two sides during bargaining. The contract makes some changes in plan design and increases contributions. Additionally, certain retirees will receive a series of cash payments.
“This is a fair agreement that ensures a stable future for workers, for retirees, and for the company,” said USW International Vice President Tom Conway, who led the negotiations for the union. “Both sides should be proud of the work they have done.”