Steelworkers say no ArcelorMittal strike now

AP News
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Posted: Aug 31, 2012 3:39 PM

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The United Steelworkers have decided not to go on strike now over stalled negotiations with steelmaker ArcelorMittal.

The union says in a statement Friday that striking is still an option for the future. The contract, which expires Saturday, covers 14,000 employees in eight states — Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Louisiana and South Carolina.

Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal wants to slash wages and benefits and have the unilateral right to cut wages during business slowdowns.

It also proposes freezing its contributions to certain pension plans, and eliminating retiree health care and pension benefits for workers hired after Saturday.

ArcelorMittal says it needs to dramatically cut costs to remain competitive.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the union decision not to strike.