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Steel of West Virginia Contract Expires

By: Michael Wooten
By: Michael Wooten

Major news on the jobs front - about 435 union workers are without a contract tonight. The agreement between the United Steelworkers Union and Steel of West Virginia in Huntington expired at 4:00p.m.

A strike is very possible, but at this point workers are still on the job.

The union says its members will report to work tonight and tomorrow morning as a show of good faith. But unless the company offers a better contract, the union says it's ready to strike.

The two sides have been negotiating since April. Their last meeting was on Friday, which was the 18th time the sides have come together. During that meeting the company gave what it calls, its last, best and final offer.

Steel of West Virginia's Vice President Bruce Groff says, “We have accommodated the union's request for several extensions. Now we've made that offer, and it's a very generous and fair agreement."

He says it includes a generous pay increase, but the union's president says that's not enough.

During a vote last night, the union members gave their negotiating team the power to strike. So at this point, workers could walk off the job at any moment.

Both sides say the last thing they want is a strike.

They remain hopeful something will give, and they'll be able to find some common ground.


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