Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

More Steel Settlements

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

More Steel Settlements

Article excerpt

More steel settlements

The third settlement in the round of bargaining in the steel industry occurred when Bethlehem Steel Corp. and the United Steelworkers agreed on a 37-month contract for 30,000 employees. Reflecting the breakup of the major companies' united bargaining front and the union's recognition of the variations in the competitive problems facing the individual companies, Bethlehem's terms varied from the leadoff LTV Steel and National Steel accords (See Monthly Labor Review, June 1986, pp. 45-46.)

The Bethlehem contract, which the workers approved by a vote of 11,600 to 8,369, calls for a cut in compensation totaling $1.97 an hour. According to the union, this reduces average hourly labor costs to between $22.50 and $23. The wage portion of compensation was cut 8.1 percent, or an average of 98.6 cents an hour.

As at LTV Steel, the settlement provides for a plan under which employees' wage and benefit sacrifices will be repaid in cash or shares of a new issue of dividend-bearing stock. Retirees and employees will receive annual payments from an allocation equal to 10 percent of profits up to $100 million and 20 percent of any excess. If this is not enough to offset the employees' sacrifices, the balance will be in shares of the stock. …

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