Win-Win Contract at Inland Steel

Monthly Labor Review, October 1993 | Go to article overview

Win-Win Contract at Inland Steel


Inland Steel Industries, Inc. and Local 1010 of the Steelworkers signed a potentially precedent setting 6-year collective bargaining agreement that gives the union more job security and more participation in the company's decisionmaking process in exchange for a longer term contract, a reduced work force, and the elimination of certain restrictive work rules. The pact covers 9,000 workers in Indiana and Minnesota. It was used as a pattern for settlements at Bethlehem Steel Corp. and National Steel Corp., and is expected to influence settlements at Armco, Inc., whose contracts expired May 31, and USX Corp.'s U.S. Steel Co., whose contract expires next year.

Under terms of the agreement, Inland can cut its work force by 25 percent through attrition, but must adhere to a no-layoff clause unless it experiences a major financial crisis. The company also won the right to eliminate certain restrictive work rules, such as those dealing with staffing levels, job assignments, and job descriptions. In return, the union gained a greater say in how Inland runs its business, a seat on the company's board of directors, and greater access to management through joint committees at corporate and department levels. It also gained the no-layoff agreement with a guaranteed 40-hour workweek, restrictions on overtime, 'an expansion of bumping rights for employees at the Indiana Harbor Works, a requirement that one laid-off craft or maintenance worker will be recalled for every craft or maintenance worker that retires; and a more stringent successorship provision.

The pact calls for $500 lump-sum bonuses immediately and on August 1, 1994; a wage increase of 50 cents an hour on August 1, 1995; and a bonus of 50 cents per hour worked, up to $1,000, on March 1, 1996, provided the company makes a profit of at least $150 million in 1995.

The contract establishes a managed health-care network effective in 1994, with annual deductibles of $150 for single coverage and $250 for family coverage, 90 percent reimbursement for hospital services and 80 percent for doctor and other services, maximum annual out-of-pocket expenses of $600, and $1 million lifetime maximum benefits. …

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