Steel Workers Forgo Increases for Profit Sharing

By Ruben, George | Monthly Labor Review, June 1985 | Go to article overview

Steel Workers Forgo Increases for Profit Sharing


Ruben, George, Monthly Labor Review


Steel workers forgo increases for profit sharing

About 2,900 employees of Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s unprofitable bar, rod, and wire plants in Johnstown, PA, and Lackawanna, NY, have agreed to wage and benefit concessions in exchange for preferred stock and a profit-sharing plan. According to the president of United Steelworkers Local 2632 in Lackawanna, the company would probably have closed the operations if the workers had not accepted the modifications of the current agreement, which runs to July 31, 1986.

Under the accord, the workers will no longer receive incentive pay. Instead, they could receive the "first dollar' of daily incentive earnings from a profit-sharing plan and they will receive shares of preferred Bethlehem stock equivalent to the balance of daily incentive earnings.

They also will receive preferred stock (which will be given to them at age 62) equivalent to the other concessions, which include:

Elimination of 2 weeks of paid vacation, beginning in 1986.

Termination of dental and vision care insurance, effective July 1, 1985.

Elimination of an earnings protection plan, under which employees bumped into lower paying jobs received temporary pay supplements.

Reduction of Sunday work pay to time and one-quarter (from time and one-half) and holiday work pay to double time (from double time and one-half). …

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