PITTSBURGH, September 28 /CNW/ - News from USW: The United Steelworkers
(USW) announced today that tentative agreements have been reached covering
some 400 USW members employed at Gerdau Ameristeel plants in Sand Springs,
Okla., and Calvert City, Ky.
The tentative agreement at Sand Springs was reached last week but USW
Local 2741, representing 275 workers, delayed the ratification vote in
solidarity with Calvert City workers to help USW Local 9447-5 reach an
agreement covering its 135 members.
A secret ballot ratification vote is being held today in Sand Springs and
on Tuesday at Calvert City. Details of the agreements are being withheld until
after the members have been briefed and the ballots counted.
"These two contracts conclude a round of bargaining that began three
years ago with labor agreements at 12 locations in the U.S. and Canada," said
Jim Stewart, USW Director of Collective Bargaining and lead negotiator for the
"It was a long struggle but ultimately, we were successful because our
membership at every plant stuck together and supported each other with
extraordinary loyalty and solidarity," he said. "When Gerdau attempted to
break our union by locking our members out in Beaumont, Texas for six months
in 2005, our members at every other Gerdau plant took it personal, opening
their wallets and standing up to the company at every location to let Gerdau
know that the old union adage of 'An injury to one is an injury to all,' was
felt in everyone's heart in every workplace."
"When Gerdau admitted its defeat in Beaumont and recalled the work
force," Stewart said, "that's when serious negotiations began and we started
reaching decent settlements."
At the International union level, the USW Strategic Campaigns department
organized a corporate campaign that reached across the U.S., Canada, South
America and Europe. Representatives of Gerdau's workers from around the world
came together to share information and discuss strategy on how to develop
mutual assistance. Many global solidarity actions followed with Gerdau getting
the message that they would not be able to isolate any group of workers in any
"I'm proud of all USW Gerdau employees and all Gerdau union members from
every country. They made it happen," Stewart concluded.
For further information:
For further information: United Steelworkers Jim Stewart, 412-562-2500