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U.S. Steel Lake Erie workers to vote April 23

Keywords: Tags  steel, U.S. Steel, Lake Erie, USW, Pittsburgh, Bill Ferguson, Local 8782

NEW YORK — United Steelworkers employees at U.S. Steel Corp.’s Lake Erie Works will vote April 23 on a contract offer from the steelmaker as the union continues to consider triggering a 72-hour strike notification clock if an agreement is not reached.

The company, which issued a final contract offer to the negotiating committee April 15, has extended the deadline for its offer to April 24 from April 21, according to USW Local 8782 president Bill Ferguson. An information session for members will be held April 22, with a ratification vote set for April 23, the union said in a member bulletin.

“People haven’t been impressed with the concessions so far, but we’ll see what happens,” Ferguson told AMM, without providing details.

Ferguson added that triggering the 72-hour strike clock is contingent on the results of the vote.

Negotiations between the union and the Nanticoke, Ontario-based mill reached an “impasse” as the labor contract between the two parties expired April 16, the union said this past week (, April 16).
During a meeting April 18, the majority of union members voted 99.6 percent to support a strike authorization mandate and trigger a 72-hour clock if both parties could not come to agreement, according to the bulletin.

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 was 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).

A U.S. Steel spokesman could not be reached for comment.

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