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USS-USW Lake Erie pact set to expire

Keywords: Tags  USW, United Steelworkers union, U.S. Steel, USS, Lake Erie Works, hot strip, labor contract, Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — Only a day remains before a labor contract between U.S. Steel Corp.’s Lake Erie Works and the United Steelworkers union expires, and a strike could be called as early as this week if a new deal isn’t reached.

The two parties had yet to settle on an agreement as of late April 15, according to a bulletin posted on USW Local 8782’s website. The contract is set to expire 12:01 a.m. April 16.

However, the union’s 72-hour strike notification clock "has not been started yet," the bulletin said.

Last week, local union members overwhelmingly put their support behind a strike mandate, with 83 percent of membership turning out for a 99.6-percent vote in support of a strike if needed.

The union had previously alleged that the Pittsburgh-based company was training salaried, nonunion workers to operate its hot-strip mill, including rolling slabs, at Lake Erie Works, raising speculation that a lockout might be possible (, April 8).

A lockout during the last set of contract negotiations at the Lake Erie Works lasted eight months before the two sides struck a three-year deal (, April 16, 2010).

Neither union representatives nor a spokesman for the company could be reached for comment.

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