Georgetown steel mill union negotiations called 'slow and frustr - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Georgetown steel mill union negotiations called 'slow and frustrating'

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Negotiators for the United Steelworkers union say their contract talks with ArcelorMittal are slow and frustrating so far.

Bargaining with the world's largest steelmaker began last week in Pittsburgh on a contract to replace the one expiring Sept. 1. It covers 14,000 employees in eight states -- Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Louisiana and South Carolina.

Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal wants to slash wages and benefits, and have the unilateral right to cut wages during business slowdowns.

It also proposes redesigning incentives, freezing its contributions to certain pension plans, and eliminating retiree health care and pension benefits for workers hired after Sept. 1.

The company says it needs to dramatically cut costs to remain competitive,

In a membership update Monday, the union said the two sides remain far apart.

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