The union workers at the ArcelorMittal plant in Weirton have a new three-year contract. The United Steelworkers Union announced the ratification Thursday. It covers workers at 15 ArcelorMittal plants in eight states.

USW Local 2911 President Mark Glyptis says three months of negotiations paid off. He says the workers from each plant showed solidarity and didn’t give IN to the company’s original demands.

“We were able to preserve our retiree health care, which is the best in the industry,” Glyptis said. “As far as active health care benefits, we were able to increase those benefits as well and we resisted a two-tier pay system the company was seeking.”

ArcelorMittal wanted to begin newly hired steelworkers at a lower rate than current workers but Glyptis says the union wasn’t at all interested. He says they believe keeping the same rate for all workers will sustain solidarity among union members in future contract negotiations.

The contract also includes lump sum payments for workers that will total $2,500 and a 4.5 percent pay raise over the life of the contract.

Glyptis says the new deal covers nearly 1,000 active union workers at the Weirton plant and a retiree base at Weirton that now numbers 7,000.

“We’re the best steelworkers in the world and this contract is going to provide us the stability to continue to make steel, providing good benefits and give an opportunity for the company to be profitable,” he said.

ArcelorMittal has hired 100 additional workers at the Weirton plant in the past six months.

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