Workers at the Union Electric Steel plant in Valparaiso are on strike. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report more than 80 employees are picketing the plant over pay issues with the Pennsylvania-based company.
The plant makes forged and cast rolls for steel mills in Indiana and throughout the country. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 2018 had been negotiating with the company, but talks have stalled, according to the publication.
The company has proposed pay increases of 9 percent over a four-year period, the same amount that was offered three years ago. The workers say the steel industry is in a much better place than it was at that time and are asking for annual pay raises of 3 to 4 percent.
"It's a slap in the face," Kyle Yarnell, a worker at the plant, told The Times. "We've met every quota they've had. They have three times as many orders on the books. We've done everything they've asked, increasing productivity and production."
A spokesperson for Union Electric Steel says the company remains committed to reaching an agreement with the union. The company has 11 additional facilities throughout the world, according to the publication.
Yarnell says the union is prepared to stay on strike for as long as necessary in order to receive pay increases that cover the higher cost of living in the area.
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