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USS workers told to avoid picketers: union

Keywords: Tags  USS, U.S. Steel, union, USW, Lake Erie Works, Nanticoke, hot strip, pickling line lockout

NEW YORK — Employees at U.S. Steel Corp.’s pickling operations in Nanticoke, Ontario, have been told by management not to talk to locked-out United Steelworkers union members outside its Lake Erie Works, according to a notice posted on the union’s website.

"We appreciate that at this time it is a difficult situation at the plant, but we expect all employees to refrain from any interactions (including conversations, phone calls, texting, etc.) with the Local 8782 picket line employees during their scheduled working hours," said the letter posted on the USW Local 8782 website, which was said to have been sent by the company to pickling line workers.

U.S. Steel locked out nearly 1,000 unionized workers April 28 at Lake Erie Works after contract negotiations between the two parties failed. While it was unclear if hot-mill operations would be taken offline, at least one industry source previously told AMM that the hot-strip pickling line was represented by a different union so it would not be affected by the lockout (, April 29).

Steel buyers told AMM that the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker stocked up on inventory before giving the union a 72-hour lockout notice April 25 (, April 25).

Earlier this week, U.S. Steel chairman and chief executive officer John P. Surma said in an earnings conference call that the company does not expect a supply disruption as a result of the lockout, adding that the company could ship from its operations in the Great Lakes to its finishing lines in Canada if needed (, May 1).

Neither U.S. Steel nor the union could be reached for comment.

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