PITTSBURGH, Dec. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the union and members of Local 7898 at the rod and wire mill in Georgetown, S.C., are looking forward to restarting production now that Liberty Steel has completed its acquisition of the facility from ArcelorMittal.
USW District 1 Director David McCall, who chairs negotiations with ArcelorMittal, said that workers at the mill, which ArcelorMittal idled in 2015 when the company announced its decision to exit the rod and wire business, should begin returning to their jobs in early 2018.
"Our track record of operating the Georgetown steelworks productively and profitably for generations under different employers speaks for itself," McCall said. "Given a level playing field, there's no question that American steelworkers can compete with anyone, anywhere."
USW District 9 Director Daniel Flippo said that the union established a good relationship with Liberty management during successful negotiations on a collective bargaining agreement to facilitate the restart.
"We are very proud that USW members have this opportunity to go back to work with a fair contract that provides wages, pensions and benefits in line with the industry pattern," Flippo said. "Liberty's commitment to operate and invest in Georgetown shows great faith in our members, and we are dedicated to ensure that trust is rewarded."
Local 7898 President James Sanderson said that workers, their families and the community will all benefit from the mill's restart.
"I cannot overstate what an important, positive development it is that Liberty Steel has chosen Georgetown as the starting point for its strategic expansion into North America," Sanderson said. "The mill has provided good jobs for decades, and we hope that successfully restoring production will enable future generations of steelworkers to support their families and sustain the growth of our community."
The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in manufacturing, metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.
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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)