Over 400 members of United Steelworkers Local 1016-3, who had been on strike for six months against NLMK Steel in Farrell, Pennsylvania, voted up a four-year contract March 1. At the center of the strike was workers’ efforts to keep the health care package the majority of workers preferred and not be forced onto a high-deductible scheme the bosses pushed.
Todd Clary, a United Steelworkers staff representative, told the Sharon Herald that all current members of the union would have what they had before. New hires would be limited to the high-deductible scheme for the first two years, but being able to get the better insurance plan.
Support locally for the strike was very evident during every trip I made to the picket line. There were lots of honks from workers in cars and trucks driving by the picket line in front of the main plant gate. Solidarity and contributions came in from other Steelworkers locals, and United Electrical Workers and IUE-CWA locals across western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.
Local 1016-3 President Jimmy Wells thanked the community for their support. “It meant that much to us, and I want to make sure that the community understands that we won’t forget. We don’t forget how much they supported us. We will support them, too,” he said.