A letter was found in the Rolling Mill break room on the south end.
letter should concern all of our Union Brothers. This letter is about
Union President and the supposedly way that he is handling our contract
If everyone will remember when Gerdau first took us over, we were told
everyone would be happy, with the new contract. They were going to take
of us and treat the Union fairly. So far none of this has come to
you remember, they brought us all in meetings, about what they were
offer us, and told us what they were going to take away. After this
did not work with the Union body as a whole, they brought us into
to show what the company was going to do for us per their expectations
running the mill.
If everyone will remember the company locked us out after Our Union
President would not bring back a contract, one that was not worth
back to the union body.
In order to get anything accomplished in contract negotiations, some
has to be made. This is what Our Union President has done. In order
the company to listen you have to yell loud. Old proverb, the squeaky
gets the most grease, morale, if you make enough noise you will be
As far as Our Union President trying not to get a contract, but being
pissing contest between him and the company, this is possibly just sour
grapes from those that did not get Our Union President out of office
from someone other than a Union member. Either way who ever it was that
wrote this letter is, as someone once said "not a good person".
had a chance to run for this office, only one person showed interest
that person was not eligible.
So, my Union Brothers, let us quit the bickering and arguing among
and get down to the business at hand. Let's keep backing Our Union
President and keep showing the company that we want to be treated as
A concerned Union Brother United Steel Workers Local 8586
Blackmail in Beaumont
What is Gerdau Ameristeel trying to gain with its lockout?
On May 26, with no advance notice, the top management of Gerdau Ameristeel
locked out nearly 300 members of United Steelworkers
Local 8586 in Beaumont, Texas. At the same time that company officials were meeting with the local union to spring their surprise, they were telling a news crew
from a Beaumont TV station that
Gerdau was temporarily idling the mill because of soft market conditions
The company says that "a major point of disagreement"
is the term of the agreement, and that it wants a four-year contract
"to reduce the uncertainty and anxiety of the collective bargaining process and ensure long-term stability." What management doesn’t want you to know is that the company has already
made a written, binding commitment to a two-year agreement.
How can broken promises and a vicious surprise lockout "reduce uncertainty
and anxiety" in Beaumont and "ensure long-term stability" at
The company says that "everyone . . . benefits financially" from
its "Last, Best and Final offer." What management doesn’t
want you to know is that its proposals would:
„ Eliminate overtime pay in all instances except as required by federal law. Hours over eight (8) in a workday, to
cite just one example, would be paid at straight time unless they totaled more than 40 hours in a work week.
The company also wants to eliminate
holiday hours being counted for overtime purposes.
„ Cut vacation pay by almost 30%. For workers with five to 15 years of service, for example, annual vacation pay would be slashed from 168 hours to 120.
„ Allow the company to unilaterally combine, alter, expand or reduce present job classifications.
This includes a totally new job classification system, and combining
the current 24 job classifications into 10.
„ Eliminate contractual penalties on the company for
supervisors doing bargaining unit work and missed assignment
„ Increase the number of hours management can force employees to work from 12 to 16 hours per day.
„ Drastically cut wages for workers who bid or hire into the bottom third of job classifications, and impose a four-year wage freeze for employees currently in those jobs.
„ Treat every employee as a new hire for pension purposes, regardless of length of service.
The company says the union left "no bargaining room on aspects of
the agreement that are key to the long-term, successful operation
of the mill," that its lockout is "an effort to encourage" a vote on its offer.
Management doesn’t say that the union has always been willing to bargain on all issues —including the term of the agreement — and that Local 8586 members already told the negotiating
committee that they’re not interested in voting on the
company’s concessionary proposal.
Help support our locked out brothers and sisters in Beaumont:
♦ Contribute at our local’s plant gate collection later
♦ And tell Gerdau Ameristeel management that
It’s Time to Start Bargaining in Beaumont!