Steel of West Virginia Strike

By: Randy Yohe
By: Randy Yohe

Health care and health insurance are both things you really can't live without these days. That's the main sticking point for more than 400 Steel of West Virginia workers who are now on strike.

Looking ready for "as long as it takes," striking steel workers set up their sun shade umbrellas on Saturday afternoon, and had plenty of water and cold pop on hand to beat the heat. Rank and file members said they want to put the heat on the company over increases in health insurance premiums and deductibles

Striking worker Ed Porter said he doesn't know how he'll pay for his wife's recent surgery.

“They said if it's not life threatening than it probably won't be covered,” said Porter.

I knocked on the door and made repeated phone calls to get the management side of the labor dispute. I was told only that the company wasn't ready to comment. The plant safety manager would only tell me told me the plant was shut down, not operating.

But striking workers had plenty to say on Saturday on the health insurance contract impasse.

Many industries are going 80/20 and 70/30 on health insurance. Why should you be the exception?

Workers say a contract offer of fifty-cent raises a year over three years won't cover cost of living, much less health hikes.

No one from either side knew if any negotiations were scheduled.

Several workers said the company was making record profits and did not need to increase health insurance, and Steel of West Virginia's web site showed no mention of profits.


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