WTRF.com spoke to USW President of Local 2911, Mark Glyptis, on Sunday regarding the tentative contract agreement that has been reached after 10 weeks of negotiations in Pittsburgh with ArcelorMittal.
Glyptis says the new three year contract is still tentative, until union members hold a vote. He says that could take up to a month. Glyptis says he's pleased with the way negotiations ended, and believes the rest of the workers will be as well. He says their biggest victory lies in retaining health care benefits for current and retired steel workers.
"We were able to maintain our healthcare as well as attain additional benefits, so we're quite satisfied with that," he says. "Then the seniority provisions, contracting out, and a whole host of other issues we fought very hard for and came out with a good result. It's a three year contract and there are increases in wages throughout that three year period. It's a fair deal and the final determination is always made by the members."
This tentative agreement reaches nearly 14- thousand steelworkers at 15 ArcelorMittal locations across the United States.
An agreement has been reached between ArcelorMittal and the United Steelworkers (USW) Saturday over labor contracts.
ArcelorMittal announced it has reached a tentative agreement with the USW on a new, three-year labor contract covering nearly 14,000 USW-represented employees at 15 of ArcelorMittal USA's flat carbon, long carbon and iron ore mining locations.
The tentative agreement will cover Weirton workers as well. Large parts of the former Weirton Steel became available for sale earlier this year with several interested buyers. WTRF.com first reported ArcelorMittal is selling just about every piece of property the company sits on except the tin mill. Click here for more information on the initial sale of the steel plant.
The tentative agreement will replace the existing contract that was originally set to expire on Sept. 1, 2012 and remains subject to ratification by the USW membership.
President and Chief Executive Officer of ArcelorMittal USA, Michael Rippey, said the company is pleased an agreement could be met.
"We are pleased to have a new, tentative agreement with the USW and to have reached a fair and equitable outcome without disruption to our business operations," said Rippey. "We extend our appreciation to our employees, customers and the community for their patience and support during the negotiation process."
The USW informed members they would be getting details soon as well as dates and locations of informational meetings before a ratification vote. Union officials say the current contract, which expired Sept. 1, will be extended until then.
The USW had opted not to go on strike when negotiations had stalled with the steel giant last week.
According to The Associated Press, The union won wage increases and improved health care and maintained seniority rights and protections against the use of outside contractors.
The announcement comes shortly after the company's decision to back down on pension talks for workers hired after the Sept. 1 deadline. Click here for more information pertaining to U.S. workers' pensions.