The United Steelworkers union is scheduling meetings to explain a tentative, four-year contract agreement with Allegheny Technologies, Inc. to its members and for them to vote on ratifying it.
ATI and the union announced Friday that they had reached the tentative agreement. If approved, it would end a strike that began March 30 after a one-year contract extension ran out Feb. 28.
According to the USW, the proposed agreement provides lump sum payments, wage increases and maintains a premium-free health insurance plan without a lower tier of benefits for new hires.
No further details or specifics were released.
ATI had said it could not reach an agreement without addressing health care costs. A federal mediator was involved in talks.
Reached after three days of talks, it would be retroactive to March 1 and run through Feb. 28, 2025. It would cover 1,300 workers at nine ATI facilities, including Harrison, Vandergrift, Derry Township and Washington.
USW International Vice President David McCall, who chaired negotiations with ATI, credited the union’s solidarity and the support of its members over six months of bargaining and three months of picketing.
“The unity of USW members at ATI has proven that we can accomplish great things when we stand together to fight for the respect and dignity of a fair contract,” McCall said in a statement. “Despite management’s repeated attempts to divide and conquer its workers, we showed once again that our solidarity is a tremendously powerful force.”
According to the union, the contract agreement was reached early Friday morning, after meetings all day Wednesday and late into Thursday night. But talks on a return-to-work agreement took all day Friday.
“A fair return-to-work agreement ensures an orderly recall of all eligible bargaining unit members, prevents USW members from working with temporary replacement workers who took our jobs, bridges our seniority for the duration of the labor dispute and protects returning strikers from unfair discipline,” the union’s notice said.
In a bulletin to union members, the USW said the union had achieved its goals and that its bargaining committee “has secured a fair contact that preserves our premium-free health insurance and includes meaningful wage improvements.
“Most importantly, the company relented on its demands for workers to cover the cost of wage increases by paying vastly more for health insurance.”
The union said ratification votes will be scheduled as soon as possible. If ratified, the recall process would begin immediately, and USW members are expected to return to work shortly after the ratification process is complete, the union said.
ATI kept its plants operating during the strike with a combination of salaried personnel and replacement workers.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, email@example.com or via Twitter .
Local | Pittsburgh | Top Stories | Valley News Dispatch | Westmoreland