Steel union ratifies labor deals with ArcelorMittal

150 workers at Warren coke plant included

PITTSBURGH — The United Steelworkers have ratified new, four-year labor agreements with ArcelorMittal USA that will increase wages, support retirement provisions, improve benefits and strengthen contract language for approximately 15,000 hourly workers belonging to 13 local unions in 14 facilities throughout Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

USW Local 1375-07 represents approximately 150 workers at the coke plant on Main Avenue SW in Warren. The facility produces coke for supply primarily to ArcelorMittal Cleveland. The facility is capable of producing 550,000 tons of coke annually, according to the company’s website.

Coke is a raw material fed into a blast furnace needed to make steel.

“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,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard in a news release. “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 credited the unity and solidarity of the USW 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 in the release. “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 said the union is proud 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 USW represents 850,000 people working in metal, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.