Kirk Sides / AP Photo

US Steel, union reach tentative deal for 18,000 workers

The tentative contract covers workers at more than a dozen facilities but does not include Arcelor Mittal workers

U.S. Steel Corp. and the United Steel Workers Union (USW) have announced tentative agreement on a new contract covering about 18,000 workers at more than a dozen facilities across the country.

Neither side released details about the pact pending ratification by members of more than two dozen USW locals at the facilities.

The contract covers thousands of workers at the company's domestic flat-rolled and iron ore mining facilities as well as workers at tubular operations in Fairfield, Alabama; Lorain, Ohio; and Lone Star, Texas.

U.S. Steel President and CEO Mario Longhi called the pact "in the best interest of our company, our stakeholders and our employees."

Union president Leo Gerard said in a statement that it had been "a difficult year and a difficult round of bargaining." He said, however, that he was "proud of the way the brothers and sisters of the USW stood up and demanded fair treatment."

Negotiations began in June with both sides decrying low-priced imports from China and elsewhere, and amid price declines and slowing demand for steel because of a decline in oil and gas drilling. The company's cost-cutting measures included closing and idling mills across the country and laying off thousands of workers.

Last fall, USW officials said the company was seeking more money from members for health care and concessions on overtime, contracting out work to nonunion workers and other issues.

The old contract expired at the beginning of September, but the two sides agreed to continue operating under its provisions.

The tentative agreement, announced late Saturday, doesn't cover about 13,000 workers at steelmaker Arcelor Mittal whose contract also expired in June. Those negotiations continue.

The Associated Press

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