The chief executive officer of Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel Corp. will be in Indiana on Tuesday, and members of the United Steelworkers union are planning to make their presence known as contract negotiations continue. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the union will rally in Hobart as David Burrett speaks to the local chapter of the Association for Iron and Steel Technology.
The steelmaker and the union are negotiating for a new contract for steelworkers, including those at Gary Works and the Midwest Plant in Portage, according to the publication.
The union is seeking a 20% pay hike as opposed to the 15% increase offered by U.S. Steel. The two sides are also at odds over a plan that would keep healthcare costs at the 2022 level.
“Our meetings with U.S. Steel have resulted in no significant movement so far,” USW said in a statement. “The company is still insisting on a healthcare proposal that caps their costs at this year’s rates and forces us to cover all additional healthcare costs through paying premiums or cutting our benefit levels. This is unacceptable, especially after their record profits!”
In July, U.S. Steel reported a record $1.1 billion in second-quarter earnings. The following month, the steelmaker announced it would award bonus checks of up to $14,000 to its employees, including those in Gary and Portage.
In May, Burritt visited Gary Works to mark the beginning of construction on a $60 million pig iron caster in Gary. However, over the last two months, U.S. Steel has idled a tin line and blast furnace at Gary Works due to “market conditions.”
The Times says the current contract, which covers some 13,000 employees at 13 steel mills, expired in September, but the two sides continue to negotiate under the terms of that contract.