ATI, United Steelworkers resume contract talks

| Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, 4:39 p.m.

Allegheny Technologies Inc. and United Steelworkers resumed talks Wednesday, the first time the sides have met since September in a labor dispute punctuated by a four-month-long lockout of more than 2,200 workers.

The talks, which were held at the union's offices Downtown with a federal mediator and lasted three hours, were held on the heels of the Pittsburgh office of the National Labor Relations Board deciding to pursue unfair labor practice charges against ATI and the union reaching a tentative labor deal with U.S. Steel Corp.

The Steelworkers said the two sides discussed the lockout, the union's deal with U.S. Steel and the NLRB charges.

“We have scheduled additional meetings next week to determine if we have a path forward to a settlement,” the union wrote in a statement.

ATI spokesman Dan Greenfield confirmed the meeting and said the Downtown-based specialty steelmaker was “committed to negotiating fair and competitive labor agreements.”

He declined to answer other questions, citing the mediator's request for the talks to remain private.

Bargaining on a contract stalled in August when ATI demanded the union accept concessions on health care benefits, worker scheduling and job outsourcing. The company proposed monthly premium contributions starting at $125 a month and increasing to $215 by the end of the contract, coupled with higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

The company locked out workers from a dozen plants in six states on Aug. 15.

The NLRB's Pittsburgh office this month said it planned to issue a complaint against ATI alleging the lockout violated federal labor law.

U.S. Steel reached a tentative deal with the union this month on a three-year contract, which the union said doesn't require workers to contribute toward health insurance premiums but includes a wage freeze and higher co-payments for doctor visits and prescription drugs.

Alex Nixon is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7928 or anixon@tribweb.com.

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