Facebook Twitter



LTV Steel Co. joined other major domestic steelmakers in agreeing to a contract that gives workers job security and more say in management.

Negotiators for LTV - the nation's third-largest steelmaker - reached tentative agreement late Tuesday on the five-year contract with the United Steelworkers, averting a strike.The agreement, reached after about 36 hours of nonstop bargaining, was approved early Wednesday by a 10-8 vote of local union presidents. The contract still must be approved in mail balloting by the rank and file.

Union negotiators Joel Vattendahl and Jack Parton said in a joint statement that the agreement works well for the company and the union, a view not shared by all union workers.

"It offers our members economic, employment and retirement security and gives them a say in the decisions that affect them both on and off the job," they said.

The contract covers about 13,000 union members in Pittsburgh and Aliquippa, Pa.; Cleveland, Warren, Lorain, Elyria and Youngstown, Ohio; East Chicago, Ind.; Chicago and Hennepin, Ill.; Hoyt Lakes, Minn.; and Counce, Tenn.

The labor talks began in late April. In May, the union voted to strike if agreement wasn't reached when the current contract expired at midnight Tuesday.

The negotiations were the first for Cleveland-based LTV since the company emerged from seven years of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection a year ago.

The agreement is patterned after those ratified last year with other major steelmakers. The union has said the contracts, part of its New Directions strategy, give it more influence in the companies' operations and strategic planning.

The LTV agreement, for example, calls for establishment of self-directed work teams and a union-management committee that will plan the company's future.

The union won the right to representation on LTV's board as part of the company's bankruptcy reorganization. It gained seats at U.S. Steel and four other publicly held steelmakers under labor agreements ratified last year.

The union said the tentative contract would give LTV workers guaranteed employment, a raise of 50 cents an hour starting in August 1995, at least 14 cents an hour in profit sharing, pension improvements, $2,000 in bonuses and a payment of up to $1,000 in profit sharing.

Certain provisions, such as wages and holidays, will be open to renegotiation in the contract's second year.

LTV spokesman Mark Tomasch said he was not able to confirm the contract details provided by the union.