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Steelworkers' Contract Reflects Changing Union Agenda

March 1, 1995
Two years ago, the United Steelworkers devised a model contract to be used by its local affiliates in negotiations. The key components of the contract reflect the changing concerns of all unions today. According to the Harvard Business Review, the major provisions of the model contract are:

  • No-layoff guarantees
  • Labor involvement at all levels
  • Longer term contracts, with caveats, which would provide stability for markets, companies and employees
  • Revitalization of craft apprenticeships and job-training programs
  • Health-care reductions through managed care, without shifting costs to employees
  • Preservation of the pensions, insurance and other benefits for active and retired workers
  • Company neutrality in organizing drives and a simplified process of union recognition
  • Continuing commitment to plant modernization.

Furthermore, as Barbara Presley Noble writes in the Harvard Business Review, "The Steelworkers would also like the industry to join the union in lobbying for a mutually beneficial public policy agenda: investment in rebuilding the nation's disintegrating infrastructure, adoption of a national health-care program, enforcement and strengthening of U.S. trade laws, and labor law reform. With such an agenda, two legendary antagonists may one day stand shoulder to shoulder."

Personnel Journal, March 1995, Vol. 74, No. 3, p. 45.