US Steel Mediation Continues
Tuesday, October, 6, 2015
Mediated talks between US Steel and the United Steelworkers employee union continue in private, according to union representatives. The talks come ahead of a public court hearing that is expected during the beginning of October.
Representatives of the United Steelworkers union in Nanticoke and Hamilton, Ontario issued a statement that the disputing parties are unable to provide specific details of the five day discussions, but that the talks continue moving forward at their location in Toronto. They also stated discussions are expected to continue throughout the week and they called on union members, both current and retired, as well as third-party supporters, to attend the upcoming public hearing scheduled for October 7th and 8th.
The dispute is the result of the union opposing the company’s request for permission to cease payment for some retiree benefits, as well as a request to stop making some contributions to employee pension plans.
On September 17, 2015, US Steel Canada, Inc. said it would seek a court order permitting it to continue restructuring under court protection beyond the end of the year. The restructuring process began in September 2014 and the protection has been extended so far to December 11th.
US Steel took acquired Stelco, Inc. in 2007, but so far was unable to negotiate a sale of its operations or reach any type of restructuring agreement with creditors. No one is sure what will happen if the company is unable to restructure under its current plan, though union representatives and the company are hopeful the current mediation is successful.