The United Steelworkers announced on Friday that the union will go on strike against Allegheny Technologies Inc. beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday.
Locals representing about 1,300 workers at nine facilities, including an estimated 200 at the Washington Plate mill in Canton Township, notified their negotiating committee on March 5 that they had voted “overwhelmingly” to authorize a strike.
The USW provided a statement in which David McCall, the USW International vice president, said “the company has no excuse for committing unfair labor practices in its drive to force workers into accepting unnecessary concessions.”
McCall, who chairs the union negotiations with ATI, added: “In addition to protesting the company’s serious unfair labor practices, it is the utmost desire of the union to achieve a fair and equitable contract, and we are prepared to meet with management all day, every day if it helps us reach a fair agreement. We will continue to bargain in good faith, and we strongly urge ATI to do start doing the same.”
Natalie Gillespie, vice president of communications for the Pittsburgh-based company, issued a statement saying ATI “is incredibly disappointed that our employees represented under the USW Master Contract have elected to strike. Our latest proposal increases wages and continues premium-free health care for our employees, at a time when we are losing money, following one of the worst years in company history.
“As we have said previously, we are committed to rewarding our people’s hard work. At the same time, we need to have a competitive cost structure that supports this business and our investment for the long term.”
A contract between ATI and the Steelworkers expired Feb. 29, 2020. Both sides then agreed to operate under a one-year extension, which ended on Feb. 28, and another extension was put into place.
The affected union members work at nine locations, including five in Pennsylvania: Canton Township, Brackenridge, Latrobe, Natrona Heights and Vandergrift. The other sites are in Lockport, N.Y.; Louisville, Ohio; New Bedford, Mass.; and Waterbury, Conn.
ATI has about 50 locations worldwide, more than 30 of them in the United States.