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Union at Nanticoke mill urges rejection of U.S. Steel contract offer

The U.S. Steel mill in Nanticoke, Ont.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

United States Steel Corp. and workers at its mill in Nanticoke, Ont., are on the verge of a dispute again with union leadership urging members to reject the steel maker's final contract offer.

A strike or lockout can be triggered on 72 hours notice after the contract covering about 900 employees expired this week with the two sides unable to reach a deal. A lockout or strike would be the third disruption at the Canadian operations of U.S. Steel, which were acquired when the Pittsburgh-based company acquired Stelco Inc. in 2007.

Since then, U.S. Steel locked out employees at the Lake Erie Works for nine months in 2009-2010 and 11 months at its Hamilton, Ont., mill in 2010-2011.

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About 900 workers at the Nanticoke operation were hearing details of the final offer at meetings Thursday.

The union leadership is not recommending the "concessionary" offer, said Bill Ferguson, president of United Steelworkers local 8782.

The final offer includes a wage freeze, eliminating of cost of living adjustments unless inflation is 3 per cent or higher, co-payments on drugs and reduction in holidays, Mr. Ferguson said.

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