U.S. Steel Submits New Contract Proposal to Workers, Slightly Raising Wage Increase
US Steel has made a new contract offer to steelmakers that would slightly increase its proposed salary increase from 13.6% over four years to 15% and cap health insurance spending at current levels.
“This proposal offers strong wage growth, strong upside opportunity and strong downside protection for our employees. We know the steel industry can be volatile,” said US Steel President and CEO. , David Burritt, in a letter to the steelworkers. “That’s why our responsible compensation proposition of solid base salary increases, a guaranteed bonus payable immediately, uncapped profit sharing and inflation protection – combined with free healthcare – is designed to support and reward employees through economic cycles.”
US Steel is offering a 4% raise in the first year, a 3% raise in the second and third years, and a 4% raise in the fourth year. That’s a 15% compound pay raise, still short of the 20% offered by Cleveland-Cliffs.
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“We have revised our proposal to meet our employees’ need for health care consistency, but also to meet our cost control needs,” Burritt wrote in the letter to the metalworkers. “Instead of the High Performance Network, we are offering a cap and recuperation plan that will keep healthcare costs at 2022 levels. If costs rise, we will work with USW to offset the costs. This is similar to what the USW has negotiated with other steel companies.”
The United Steelworkers union was concerned that the health care plan would not have included in-network care for Community Hospital, Pinnacle Hospital, St. Catherine’s Hospital, St. Mary’s Medical Center, Community Health Network, Northwest Health, UChicago Medicine, Northern Medicine, Loyola University, LaPorte Hospital and Pulaski Memorial Hospital.
US Steel is offering a premium of $4,000, up from $7,000 because $3,000 was tied to ratification as of September 1. It offers an inflation recognition payment that provides quarterly payments when inflation hits certain marks.
It also offers unlimited profit-sharing bonuses that have paid out $66,000 so far in 2021 and 2022. Workers are expected to earn more than $20 an hour in profit sharing in the fourth quarter.
“US Steel is not the company we were five years ago. We are stronger and more competitive – and that is good for everyone. We have transformed our business model to better withstand the cyclical market “, Burritt said.
The USW was unhappy with the proposal, asking “what happened to ‘When we do well, you do well?'”
“USS’s latest proposal is a blow,” the union said in an update to members. “They changed their health care proposal so that nothing we have is guaranteed. Essentially their proposal is to take the cost of our health care in 2022 (medical, prescription, dental and vision) and what whatever that cost, they’ll cap theirs at that level, which means that every year we’ll be expected to absorb the rising cost of health care by reducing our benefits or paying premiums.
The union said this amounted to concessions.
“We didn’t work hard to make record profits at USW just to cut health care,” the USW said in the member update. “They also took out $3,000 in bonuses to punish us for not accepting the shitty offer they had on the table when it expired. They changed their salary proposal to 3%, 3%, 3%, 4% to 4%, 3%, 3%, 4%. What generosity!”
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