|LOCAL 1899 GRANITE CITY, IL|
It is our pleasure to welcome you on behalf of the membership of United Steelworkers Local 1899. We are dedicated to informing our members and building solidarity. Our Local is proud to represent over 100 years of unbroken unionism at Granite City Steel. Read more >>>
Local 1899 and Amalgamated Units* Union Meetings are held at the Tri-Cities Labor Temple, 2014 State Street, Granite City, IL
*Credit Union Unit meetings held at the Local 1899 Grievance Hall, 2334 E. 25th Street, Granite City. For meeting times, please click Blue Title Above
Over 200 workers became USW members at Granite City Steel in 1973. This was the hire group that maintains the dubious distinction of being within months, some of them mere weeks from reaching the 30 year pension qualifying seniority mark when global trade cheats flooded the U.S. steel industry with irrationally priced steel. Over 42 domestic steelmakers filed for bankruptcy, including the U.S. Steel Granite City Works predecessor, National Steel, terminating the pensions for this group in the year 2002. The battle continues today, Nov 30, 2015 with unenforced trade laws dashing hope and opportunities for steelworkers.
Dan Simmons, President, Local 1899
November 23, 2015
The Local Unions were notified late this afternoon of the company's decision to temporarily idle the Granite City Works facility. The idling is part of an ongoing adjustment of steelmaking operations throughout North America to match customer demand.Read more >>>
ANNUAL ENROLLMENT NOTICE
TO: UNION-REPRESENTED EMPLOYEES ELIGIBLE FOR COVERAGE UNDER THE U. S. STEEL PROGRAM OF INSURANCE BENEFITS
Randy R. Virgin, USW Joint Efforts Coordinator
November 19, 2015
Please be advised that United States Steel Corporation and United Steelworkers have not reached agreement on successor Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) to the 2012 CBAs that were scheduled to expire on September 1, 2015. At this time, the 2012 CBAs are being continued including benefit coverage offered as part of this enrollment. However, there may be future changes to your benefit coverage as a result of the ongoing negotiations.Read more >>>
USW International Vice President Tom Conway Presentation at the The 2015 National Single-Payer Strategy Conference in Chicago
Chicago. Oct. 31- Nov. 1. The 2015 National Single-Payer Strategy Conference was the largest ever national conference of single-payer advocates. It was jointly sponsored by the Labor Campaign for Single Payer, Healthcare NOW! and One Payer States.
We all recognize and understand that ArcelorMittal has attempted to use the current downturn in the steel market as an excuse to demand concessions from USW workers that would lower the standard of living for tens of thousands of USW members and retirees.
We all know that the steel industry in the U.S. is suffering the effects of unfair trade, and we will continue to fight to stop subsidized and illegally imported foreign products from flooding the domestic market, creating downward pressure on prices and disruptions throughout the supply chain.Read more >>>
November 4, 2015
You may not know coverage on your dependent son and/or daughter has terminated
(Oct. 3, 2015) As part of improvements to benefits negotiated in 2012, U.S. Steel offered in May of 2015 a special enrollment opportunity to apply for or to increase represented members' optional employee life insurance. During this special enrollment members could elect to enroll for coverage on the life of their eligible children.
It has been brought to the Union's attention that not all members are aware due to the separation in the combined spouse/child life offering, members' child(ren) life coverage was not automatically renewed.Read more >>>
October 27, 2015
USW Looks Forward to Continuing Negotiations
Although we are currently taking a brief break from the bargaining table, we thought it would be helpful to make sure all of our brothers and sisters are up to speed on where things stand in our negotiations with U.S. Steel.
Our committee looks forward to continuing our discussions soon, we remain committed to reaching a fair agreement, and we are determined to continue bargaining for as long as it takes to achieve that goal.
Our hope is that U.S. Steel uses this time away from the table to re-evaluate its positions and re-think some of its most drastic demands for concessions. Here is a look at some of the company’s demands:Read more >>>
October 21, 2015
Unfortunately, Locals 1899 and 50 had almost 80 members laid off this week, as US Steel consolidates North American operations due to steel industry over capacity.
The Local Unions tried to soften the blow by once again going into member emergency service mode. Providing what is commonly referred to by those affected as a "one stop shop" to prepare for layoff, Steelworkers were able to get all necessary information concerning matters from SUB pay and unemployment benefits to insurance, pension benefits, and contractual recall rights.Read more >>>
The fate that steelworkers face this year is in stark contrast to the gains autoworkers will get out of their new contracts.
Brent Snavely, Detroit Free Press
October 20, 2015
As thousands of autoworkers represented by the UAW vote today on a new contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles that provides wage increases, more than 1,800 steelworkers at Great Lakes Works are bracing for possible wage and benefit cuts.
The workers at U.S. Steel's plants in Ecorse and River Rouge are among 30,000 steelworkers at three companies represented by the United Steelworkers who have been anxiously waiting for a new contract since the summer.Read more >>>
October 9, 2015
USS Continues to Demand Deep Concessions
Our USW bargaining committee continued to meet regularly with U.S. Steel representatives this week in Pittsburgh.
Unfortunately, U.S. Steel continues to demand deep concessions, and the company has yet to move away from some of its most onerous proposals. Also, the company has issued more WARN notices in anticipation of further layoffs, and we are awaiting more details about those decisions.Read more >>>
Market Fluctuations, Consolidation of Flat-Rolled Operations Cited
(Oct. 7, 2015) As most members may now be aware, U.S. Steel has notified the Local Unions at Granite City Works of their intention to issue a 60 day WARN notice to temporarily idle or substantially layoff a number of employees, if current market conditions remain or worsen.Read more >>>
October 2, 2015
USW Committee Continues to Push for Fair Agreement
The USW’s U.S. Steel bargaining committee continued to meet regularly among ourselves and with the company’s representatives this week in Pittsburgh.
This week’s meetings touched on a number of unresolved issues on which we still have significant differences with the company, including contracting out, health care benefits for both active and retired members, as well as safety and health.Read more >>>
September 22, 2015
USW International Vice President and Bargaining Chairman for USS negotiations, Tom Conway, has notified the Local Unions to return their Negotiating Committees to Pittsburgh next week.Read more >>>
As conract bargaining enters a crucial period with USS, members are strongly urged to show their solidarity and support for their Union Bargaining Committee! Read more >>>
USW Bargaining Committee Returns Home; Talks Continue as Company Still Demands Unacceptable Cuts
Our USW bargaining committee members are on their way back to their home locals this week to meet with members and discuss the status of our ongoing negotiations with U.S. Steel. While we have made some significant progress this summer on some important issues, we remain far apart on many others.Read more >>>
Sept. 7, 2015
Important Message From Your Bargaining Committee
On Monday, August 31st, the USW extended an offer to the company to keep working under the terms of the existing labor agreement while the two sides continue to negotiate. We believe that this course of action is in the best interests of USW members. It allows us to continue to pursue a settlement that preserves the decades of progress we have made at the bargaining table, while positioning the company for future success.
September 1, 2015
"Whatta we want? FAIR CONTRACT!"
"When do we want it? NOW!"Read more >>>
August 21, 2015
GCW Fair Contract Rally Draws Hundreds of Steelworkers, Supporters
GRANITE CITY, ILL (CBS NEWS/KMOX)
“Stand up! Fight back!” That was the chant hundreds of union steel workers from the U.S. Steel Granite City Works screamed, Friday afternoon, at a rally outside their union hall.Read more >>>
August 16, 2015
Forced Overtime, Long Hours, Not Bloated Wages Drive Earning Numbers at ATI
Last week, ATI locked out the experienced and dedicated workforce that has served them faithfully over many years and brought this company to the position that they were able to build and finance their new hot strip mill.
ATI management likes to say they financed this project on their own without going into debt, but they fail to mention the unionized workforce’s role in the restructuring of their workplaces in order to bring the mill to fruition. They also fail to mention the reduction of the workforce affected by this project and the fact that when the project was announced, there were approximately 950 employees at their Brackenridge operation while today it stands at about 575.
The company further fails to mention the help, inducements, incentives, relief and grants they received from many levels of government to accomplish the project. In the course of trying to explain the foolishness of this lock out action, ATI through its mouth piece Bob Wetherbee and PR consultants continue to resort to “spinning” and intentionally misleading statements regarding the pay levels of the workforce and other issues involved in this bargaining.Read more >>>
August 14, 2015
Getting Ready to Do Whatever it Takes...
As our contract negotiations in Pittsburgh continue to proceed slowly, Steelworkers at U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal are gearing up for a busy week of events.
Our sisters and brothers from ArcelorMittal will set the stage for action with their national day of action on Wednesday, August 19th. Then Steelworkers from U.S. Steel, ArcelorMittal and Cliffs Natural Resources will come together for a Solidarity on the Iron Range mobilization in Virginia, MN on Thursday, August 20. And U.S. Steel local unions will cap off the week with major actions on Friday, August 21st. The day will culminate with a mass “Solidarity on the Lakefront” march and rally in downtown Gary, IN on Friday afternoon.Read more >>>
August 11, 2015
Steelworkers & Supporters at U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal to Take Action
This summer more than 17,000 Steelworkers across the country are bargaining a new labor agreement with U.S. Steel and thousands more with ArcelorMittal. Management at the companies are attempting to use a temporary downturn in the domestic steel market as an excuse to permanently gut workers’ contract language and benefits.Read more >>>
August 10, 2015
Important Information for Members
As we enter the final month of our current contract with U.S. Steel, one question on the minds of many USW members is: What might happen on Sept. 1 if we have not agreed to a new contract?
There are a number of possible outcomes: 1) We could agree to extend the contract while we continue to bargain (the company must also agree to this), 2) We could vote to go on strike, 3) We could continue to work without a contract, and the company must honor all the terms of the contract except arbitration unless the parties have already negotiated to impasse or 4) The company could choose to lock us out. Each of these situations would mean different things for USW members.
Strikes and Lockouts
Your bargaining committee will not do anything to jeopardize members’ jobs, and we will do everything we can to avoid a work stoppage. Still, often the best way to avoid a strike is to be prepared for one. That’s why we want every USW member at every U.S. Steel site to be ready for the worst case scenario even as your bargaining committee continues working diligently each day toward reaching a fair agreement.
Remember, your right to strike is protected by law, so it would be illegal for U.S. Steel to fire you for simply participating in a strike. (Union members can, however, be disciplined for misconduct on picket lines.)
There are two types of strikes under the law. If one of the causes of a strike is an unfair labor practice, it is an “unfair labor practice strike”, and the company can only hire temporary replacements, who must be discharged at the end of the strike to permit the return of strikers - and the same is true for a lockout. Unless one of the causes of the strike is an unfair labor practice, it is an “economic strike”, and the company can hire permanent replacements, who do not have to be discharged at the end of the strike. However, a company and union can legally agree to their discharge as part of a strike settlement.
The Strike and Defense Fund
For more than 40 years, the Steelworkers International Strike and Defense Fund has provided support for USW members during strikes and lockouts. The money ients distributed on the basis of each member’s individual need. If necessary, each local would establish a committee to assess members’ needs and distribute money. The key to winning a strike or lockout is maintaining the solidarity of everyone, and all members working together to support each other.
Health Insurance Coverage
In the event of a strike, the Insurance Agreement requires the company to continue coverage for 30 days from the beginning of the strike. During this period, the company and union would discuss further continuation of coverage and repayment for the coverage advanced. Employees who participate in the strike and whose coverage is terminated 30 days after the beginning of the strike (and/or their dependents) would be eligible to elect COBRA continuation coverage.
In the event of a lockout, it is the union’s position is that U.S. Steel must continue insurance coverage until February 1, 2016. U.S. Steel may disagree with this, and the issue would have to be resolved by negotiations, arbitration or in court.
For more information on strikes, lockouts and working without a contract, talk to a CAT coordinator or visit usw.org/steel.
Steelworkers and supporters at Granite City Works will gather Friday, August 21st at 3:00 p.m. on the Tri-Cities Labor Temple parking lot, 2014 State Street, Granite City for a major rally demanding U.S. Steel negotiate a fair contract with the USW. Show your support for your Bargaining Committee!
IT'S TIME WE TELL USS "WE WANT A FAIR CONTRACT NOW!"
August 7, 2015
U.S. Steel Seeking Significant Contract Language Changes
Although U.S. Steel has yet to offer our USW bargaining committee a full proposal on contract language, the company has provided us with a summary of changes that it intends to propose. As a whole, these changes would represent a significant step backward for all of us.Read more >>>
July 31, 2015
USW Benefits Committee Responds to Company's Proposal
The USW’s Benefits Committee this week responded to the company’s benefits proposal and presented the union’s counter proposal. The USW negotiating team explained that the union would be flexible and willing to solve problems, but that the USW was not interested in large employee health care premiums or the dramatic deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums laid out in the company’s proposed Consumer Driven Health Care Plan (CDHP).Read more >>>
July 28, 2015
Health Costs Would Surge Under U. S. Steel Plan!
U.S. Steel has proposed sweeping cuts in insurance benefits for both active and retired USW members, which are too numerous to list. Here is a summary of the company’s most onerous proposals on health benefits.Read more >>>
July 27, 2015
What we are fighting for . . .
Our Union Solidarity Gives us a Strong Voice
Since Steelworkers won their first contracts in the 1930s and 40s, our union has built on their success to turn jobs that once were looked upon with scorn into solid, family-supporting careers that provide dignity and form the backbone of our communities.Read more >>>
July 24, 2015
Committee Receives Outline of Initial Proposal; Company Wants to Turn Back the Clock!
Your USW negotiating committee has received an outline of U.S. Steel’s initial contract proposal, which includes dozens of concessionary demands that would turn back the clock on decades of contractual improvements and benefits for workers and their families.
While we have yet to receive a formal, detailed proposal from the company, it’s clear from this initial outline that U.S. Steel is attempting to use the current industry downturn to gut our contract and weaken our union.Read more >>>
July 20, 2015
Information on how an agreement gets reached and how your involvement can help win a fair contract.
Q: What is collective bargaining?
A: Collective bargaining is the legal process for reaching an agreement between a labor union and an employer over the terms and conditions of employment, such as wages, hours of work, paid time off, benefits, employment security and protections against unfair treatment or discharge. Collective bargaining usually results in a written agreement or contract which outlines the terms and conditions of employment, continues for a specified term and is subject to renegotiation.Read more >>>
July 17, 2015
Committee Awaits Company Proposal
USW leaders from U.S. Steel facilities around the United States continued to meet every day this week with representatives of the company in Pittsburgh.
The 100 members of the bargaining committee are still hard at work trying to finalize language on specific issues concerning each of our 14 individual locals, while also meeting in several subcommittees.Read more >>>
July 10, 2015
Some Progress In First Week of Bargaining
USW leaders reported some progress in bargaining with U.S. Steel this week on local issues specific to each site. As the week came to a close, bargaining committee members were working hard to wrap up local discussions and preparing to turn their attention next week to proposals addressing toptable issues including wages, benefits, safety, health care and pensions.Read more >>>
July 7, 2015
Bargaining Gets Under Way In Pittsburgh
USW leaders from U.S. Steel facilities across the United States returned to Pittsburgh on Monday, July 6, to begin the process of bargaining a new master agreement with the company.
For the past several weeks, members of the bargaining committee have been in their home locals, negotiating over issues specific to each site. The committee members will spend the next several days in Pittsburgh resolving as many of those issues as possible before turning their attention to the “top table” issues, including wages, benefits, safety, health care and pensions.
The group will examine each of those issues closely and divide them among a handful of sub-committees for further discussion. The ultimate goal is to reach a new master agreement with U.S. Steel to replace the current three-year contract that expires on Sept. 1.Read more >>>
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- Your 2015 Bargaining Committee
June 23, 2015
Contract Kick Off Meeting Held
About 100 USW leaders, representing thousands of workers from U.S. Steel facilities around the United States, kicked off contract talks during a series of meetings in Pittsburgh on June 16 and 17.
The members first met privately to map out the union’s plan for bargaining a new master agreement, then gathered for a presentation from U.S. Steel representatives outlining the state of the industry and the company. While USW and U.S. Steel leaders agreed that industry conditions – particularly the effects of unfair trade - will make this round of bargaining difficult, both sides also expressed an interest in working together to combat those issues and reach a fair agreement.Read more >>>
August 11, 2015
Six major U.S. steel producers – AK Steel Corporation, ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Nucor Corporation, SSAB Enterprises, LLC, Steel Dynamics, Inc., and United States Steel Corporation – today filed petitions charging that unfairly-traded imports of certain hot-rolled steel flat products from Australia, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Turkey, and the United Kingdom are causing material injury to the domestic industry:Read more >>>
Granite City Steel and 1899 Members are Featured Cover Story in the Latest Issue of #USW@Work magazime
July 28, 2015
The USW members who work at U.S. Steel’s Granite City Works in southwest Illinois have seen more than their share of tough times.They’ve seen their industry in crisis several times over the past four decades, seen the products they make threatened by unfairly traded imports from China, South Korea and elsewhere, and seen their mill idled for months at a time as a result. Still, the members of one of the oldest locals in the USW have managed not just to survive but to thrive.Read more >>>
NEW BIDDING PROCESS June 25, 2015
Based on what's occurring in the marketplace, it's the dream of every company to change the status of their workers from "employee" to "independent contractor," thereby allowing them not to have to pay for insurance, pensions, vacations or holidays. Read more >>>
Your Representative Needs to Commit Publicly Today to Vote ‘No’ on Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
Now is the time to do something about the dirtiest free trade deal you have never heard of - The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement or TPP. Fast Track legislation through Congress must be stopped. A strong public outcry is necessary. Once it’s passed, TPP is here forever.
Like previous “free trade” agreements, this one is being facilitated to ensure maximum profits for corporate interests while stripping our economy of manufacturing and the well-paying jobs that come with them.
Whether the topic is current steel market trends, legislative actions, or Local 1899 developments - those that can be publicly discussed - follow us on Local 1899 Facebook and 'Like' us to recieve immediate post notifications. If our website and social media do not provide you with the informational resources you desire, please check our members 'Meeting Schedules' www.local1899.org and try to attend.
Fun and educational black and white YouTube video capturing the 1938 era of the city, the steelmaking process with theater style period voice-over describing "The Niagara of liquid fury" when tapping an open-hearth heat of steel.
If you are injured in the course of your work, you should report the injury to your supervisor immediately, regardless of how minor you think the injury may be.
Following an injury sustained at work, you may choose the doctor or hospital of your choice for your treatment and the Company must provide transportation for your care. If you are transported to the Veeder Health Clinic and the USS medical personnel provide first aid treatment or any other immediate medical attention, this will not be considered as your choice for treatment. If the injury is of a serious nature, in need of hospital care, you should request to go directly to the hospital of your choice.
For more information on your rights under the State of Illinois Workers Compensation Program, you can find the Illinois Compensation Handbook at the following link; http://www.iwcc.il.gov/handbook062811.pdf
When an injury occurs, your care should be the first and foremost concern and not the investigation into the cause or the details concerning the injury. If you are questioned or interviewed by a representative of the Company as to the cause or details of an incident with or without an injury, you have the right to Union Representative (a Union Grievance Committee Member). The Company has the contractual obligation to advise you of your right to have a Union Representative present at the interview. If you request a Union Representative, you have the right to not answer any questions until one is provided. This is also known as your Weingarten Rights. These rights apply when you’re at the Veeder Health Clinic as well. The Union Safety Representative’s job is to investigate the cause of an injury and to promote a safe workplace and cannot protect you in the same manner as the Union Grievance Representative can. No member should be disciplined for suffering an injury or illness or for reporting and incident/accident in good faith. In cases where disciplinary action is involved as a result of a safety violation, the newly negotiated 2012 contract language – an industry first – requires the Company to adhere to principles of progressive discipline; to take into account the gravity of the violation and member’s prior discipline record unless the violation results from malice, recklessness or knowing defiance of an established and properly communicated safety rule, policy or procedure.
The Right to a Reasonable Policy on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse:
Steelworkers Organization for Active Retirees
See Resources Link Page for GCW SOAR Website >>>
SOAR was established in 1985 to organically link the USW’s active members with those in retirement so that both can work on common problems. SOAR has proven to be a true partner of our active membership in the pursuit of economic security.Read more >>>
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