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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, DC 20549

 

 

 

FORM 8-K

 

 

 

CURRENT REPORT

 

Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

 

Date of report (Date of earliest event reported): August 17, 2023 (August 17, 2023)

 

 

 

United States Steel Corporation

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

 

 

Delaware   1-16811   25-1897152

(State or Other Jurisdiction

of Incorporation)

 

(Commission

File Number)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

600 Grant Street,

Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2800

(Address of Principal Executive Offices, and Zip Code)

 

(412) 433-1121

Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code

 

 

 

(Former Name or Former Address, if Changed Since Last Report)

 

Check the appropriate box below if the Form 8-K filing is intended to simultaneously satisfy the filing obligation of the registrant under any of the following provisions:

 

¨ Written communications pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act (17 CFR 230.425)

 

¨ Soliciting material pursuant to Rule 14a-12 under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14a-12)

 

¨ Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 14d-2(b) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14d-2(b))

 

¨ Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 13e-4(c) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.13e-4(c))

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class Trading Symbol(s) Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock X New York Stock Exchange
Common Stock X Chicago Stock Exchange

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933 (17 CFR §230.405) or Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (17 CFR §240.12b-2).

 

Emerging growth company ¨

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨

 

 

 

 

 

Item 7.01.Regulation FD

 

On August 13, 2023, United States Steel Corporation (the “Corporation”) announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a process to review strategic alternatives for the Corporation. To provide clarity in how the Corporation’s labor agreement relates to that process, the Corporation is providing its basic labor agreement (the “BLA”) with the United Steelworkers labor union (the “USW”), including the below excerpts and attached summary relevant to the USW’s successorship rights, subject to the terms and conditions thereof, right to submit a bid in the Corporation’s strategic review process.

 

The summary, attached hereto as Exhibit 99.2, and excerpts are qualified by reference to the full text of the BLA, which is attached as Exhibit 99.1 to this current report on Form 8-K and incorporated herein by reference.

 

ARTICLE TWO—UNION SECURITY

 

Section D. Successorship

 

1.The Company agrees that it will not sell, convey, assign or otherwise transfer, using any form of transaction, any Plant or significant part thereof covered by this Agreement (any of the foregoing, a Sale) to any other party (Buyer), unless the following conditions have been satisfied prior to the closing date of the Sale:

 

a.the Buyer shall have entered into an agreement with the Union recognizing it as the bargaining representative for the Employees working at the Plant(s) to be sold, and

 

b.the Buyer shall have entered into an agreement with the Union, either (i) establishing the terms and conditions of employment to be effective as of the closing date of the Sale, or (ii) assuming all agreements applicable to the Plant(s) acquired.

 

2.Change of Control is defined as (a) the purchase or acquisition by any person, entity or group, as these terms are used in Sections 13(d) and 14 (d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, of securities that constitute or are exchangeable for a majority of the common equity or securities entitled to vote in the election of directors of the Company; (b) a merger or consolidation in which the holders of the Company’s common equity or securities entitled to vote in the election of directors immediately prior to such merger or consolidation hold less than fifty percent (50%) of such common equity or voting securities of the succeeding entity or of its ultimate parent immediately after such merger or consolidation; or (c) the sale of all or substantially all of the assets of the Company.

 

3.The Company agrees that it will not consummate any transaction resulting in a Change of Control of the Company (a Transaction) unless the ultimate parent company of the entity which gains Control (Newco) has satisfied the following conditions prior to the consummation of the Transaction:

 

a.Newco shall have recognized the Union as the bargaining representative for the Employees then employed by the Company;

 

b.Newco shall have provided the Union with reasonable assurances that it has both the willingness and financial wherewithal to honor the commitments contained in all of the agreements between the Company and the Union applicable to the Employees (All USW Agreements);

 

ARTICLE ELEVEN—CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

Section C. Right to Bid

 

1.Should the Company decide or be presented with a bona fide offer to sell or otherwise transfer a controlling interest in the corporate entity which owns one or more of its facilities covered by this Agreement, (a Controlling Interest) or all or a portion of one or more of its facilities covered by this Agreement (Facilities) (either or both, the Assets), it will provide the USW with the earliest practicable notification concerning such transactions and grant to the USW the right to organize a transaction to purchase the Assets (a Transaction).

 

2.The Company will provide the USW with any information provided to other bidders so that the Union may determine whether it wishes to pursue a Transaction. All such information shall be subject to an executed Confidentiality Agreement.

 

 

 

3.The Company shall promptly notify the USW of the schedule and/or timetable for consideration by the Company of any possible transaction. The Company will provide the USW with forty-five (45) days to submit an offer for the Assets.

 

4.During the period described in Paragraph 3 above, the Company will not enter into any contract regarding the Assets with another party.

 

5.In the event that the USW submits an offer pursuant to the above, the Company shall not be under any obligation to accept such offer. However, the Company may not enter into an agreement with regard to the Assets with an entity other than the USW unless that transaction is superior to the USW offer. The Company may only deem a proposed transaction superior if its Board of Directors reasonably determines that such transaction is more favorable to the Company and/or its shareholders, taking into consideration such factors as price, form of consideration, certainty of payment, conditions precedent to closing, competitive factors, and other factors which influence which of the transactions is in the best interests of the Company and/or its shareholders.

 

6.This Section shall not cover any public offering of equity or the transfer of any assets between the Company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries.

 

7.The rights granted to the USW in this Section may be transferred or assigned by the USW but only on a Transaction specific basis and provided further, that:

 

a.in the event the person or entity to whom such right is transferred or assigned is a competitor of the Company, then the Company may reasonably manage the provision of confidential information to said entity;

 

b.the Union and such person or entity have entered into an agreement satisfying the successorship provisions of Article Two, Section D of this Agreement; and

 

c.in the event of a transaction that does not involve a Controlling Interest and where the Company decides to only pursue, for legitimate business reasons, a transaction which will result in a sale of less than 100% of the Company’s interest in the Assets, the USW’s transferee or assignee must be reasonably acceptable to the Company.

 

Item 9.01.Financial Statements and Exhibits

 

(d) Exhibits:

 

Description  
99.1 Agreement, dated September 1, 2022 (the Basic Labor Agreement, BLA, or the Agreement), is between United States Steel Corporation and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, or its successor on behalf of Employees of the Company (as defined in Article Two, Section A (Coverage)) at the Plants.
99.2 Summary Slide on basic labor agreement considerations
104 Cover Page Interactive Data File (embedded within the Inline XBRL document).

 

This report may contain information that may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. We intend the forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements in those sections. Generally, we have identified such forward-looking statements by using the words “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “project,” “target,” “forecast,” “aim,” “should,” “plan,” “goal,” “future,” “will,” “may,” and similar expressions or by using future dates. However, the absence of these words or similar expressions does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts, but instead represent only the Company’s beliefs regarding future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of the Company’s control. It is possible that the Company’s actual results, financial condition and developments may differ, possibly materially, from the anticipated results, developments and financial condition indicated in these forward-looking statements. Management believes that these forward-looking statements are reasonable as of the time made. However, caution should be taken not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements because such statements speak only as of the date when made. Our Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. In addition, forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our Company's historical experience and our present expectations or projections. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, whether the objectives of the strategic alternative review process will be achieved; the terms, structure, benefits and costs of any strategic transaction; the timing of any transaction and whether any transaction will be consummated at all; the risk that the strategic alternatives review and its announcement could have an adverse effect on the ability of the Company to retain customers and retain and hire key personnel and maintain relationships with customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders and other business relationships and on its operating results and business generally; the risk the strategic alternatives review could divert the attention and time of the Company’s management, the risk of any unexpected costs or expenses resulting from the review; the risk of any litigation relating to the review; and the risks and uncertainties described in “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in our Annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022 and those described from time to time in our future reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

 

 

SIGNATURE

 

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto duly authorized.

 

UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION 
  
By:  /s/ Manpreet Grewal 
  Name: Manpreet Grewal 
  Title: Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer 
  
Dated: August 17, 2023 

 

 

 

Exhibit 99.1

 

AGREEMENT

 

between

 

United States Steel Corporation

 

and the

 

United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union

 

Production and Maintenance Employees

 

September 1, 2022

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

ARTICLE One —AGREEMENT 1
Section A. Parties to the Agreement 1
Section B. Term of the Agreement 1
     
ARTICLE Two —UNION SECURITY 1
Section A. Recognition and Coverage 1
Section B. Union Membership and Dues Checkoff 3
Section C. PAC and SOAR Checkoff 4
Section D. Successorship 5
Section E. Neutrality 6
Section F. Contracting Out 13
Section G. Printing of Contracts 20
Section H. Hiring Preference 21
Section I. Local Union Elections 21
     
ARTICLE Three —HEALTH, SAFETY AND THE ENVIRONMENT 21
Section A. Employee and Union Rights 21
Section B. The Right to a Safe and Healthful Workplace 22
Section C. The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work 22
Section D. The Right to Adequate Personal Protective Equipment 23
Section E. The Right to Safety and Health Training 23
Section F. The Right to a Proper Medical Program for Workplace Injuries and Illnesses 23
Section G. The Right to a Reasonable Policy on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse 24
Section H. The Union’s Right to Participate in a Joint Safety and Health Committee 25
Section I. The Union’s Right to Participate in Environmental Issues 27
Section J. The Right to Union Safety and Health Coordinators 27
Section K. The Union’s Right to Participate in Incident/Accident Investigations 28
Section L. Carbon Monoxide Control, Toxic Substances and Harmful Physical Agents 28
Section M. Ergonomics 29
Section N. Safety Shoe Allowance 29
Section O. No Union Liability 29
     
ARTICLE Four —CIVIL RIGHTS 30
Section A. Non-Discrimination 30
Section B. Civil Rights Committee 30
Section C. Workplace Harassment, Awareness and Prevention 31
Section D. Child Care, Elder Care and Dependent Care 32
     
ARTICLE Five —WORKPLACE PROCEDURES 33
Section A. Local Working Conditions 33
Section B. New or Changed Jobs 34
Section C. Hours of Work 35

 

i

 

 

Section D. Overtime 37
Section E. Seniority 38
Section F. Testing 44
Section G. Permanent Closures 45
Section H. Manning of New Facilities 46
Section I. Adjustment of Grievances 47
Section J. Management Rights 59
Section K. Prohibition on Strikes and Lockouts 59
Section L. No Discipline for Wage Garnishments 59
     
ARTICLE Six : JOINT EFFORTS 59
Section A. Partnership 59
Section B. Public Policy Activities 65
Section C. Coordinators 67
Section D. New Employee Orientation 68
     
ARTICLE Seven : TRAINING 69
Section A. Workforce Training Program 69
Section B. Institute for Career Development 73
     
ARTICLE Eight : EARNINGS SECURITY 75
Section A. Employment Security 75
Section B. Supplemental Unemployment Benefits 77
Section C. Severance Allowance 80
Section D. Interplant Job Opportunities 83
     
ARTICLE Nine – ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY 84
Section A. Wages 84
Section B. Incentives 84
Section C. Transition Program 86
Section D. Correction of Errors 87
Section E. Shift Premium 87
Section F. Sunday Premium 87
Section G. Profit Sharing 88
Section H. Inflation Recognition Payment 91
     
ARTICLE Ten —PAID TIME OFF AND LEAVES OF ABSENCE 93
Section A. Holidays 93
Section B. Vacations 95
Section C. Bereavement Leave 97
Section D. Jury or Witness Duty 98
Section E. Leave of Absence for Employment with the Union 98
Section F. Service with the Armed Forces 98
Section G. Family and Medical Leave Act 100
Section H. Parental Leave 101
Section I. Domestic Violence and Abuse Leave 102

 

ii

 

 

ARTICLE Eleven —CORPORATE GOVERNANCE 103
Section A. Investment Commitment 103
Section B. Upstreaming 104
Section C. Right to Bid 104
Section D. Lean Management 106
Section E. General Provisions 106

 

APPENDIX A—WAGES BONUSES AND JOB DESCRIPTIONS 109
APPENDIX A-1: WAGES & LUMP SUM BONUSES 109
Appendix A-2: Job Descriptions 109
APPENDIX A-3: FORMER LIMITED SCOPE MASON AND CARPENTER JOBS 111
APPENDIX A-4: FORMER LIMITED SCOPE MAINTENANCE JOBS 111
APPENDIX A-5: SYSTEMS REPAIRMEN SKILLS TESTING 111
APPENDIX A-6: EARNINGS PROTECTION/RED CIRCLE ADJUSTMENT 111
   
Appendix B - CONTRACTING OUT AGREEMENTS 112
Appendix B-1: Interpretation of Certain Contracting out Language 112
APPENDIX B-2: BASE MANNING LEVELS AND FABRICATION AND REPAIR WORK OUTSIDE THE PLANT 113
APPENDIX B-3: WORK SUBJECT TO TRANSFER 114
Appendix B-4: Non-Core Work 115
APPENDIX B-5: MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING CONCERNING MAINTENANCE MANNING, TRAINING, AND CONTRACTING OUT MATTERS 115
Appendix B-6: Fairfield Works Contracting Out Agreement 118
APPENDIX B-7: CONTRACTING OUT MATTERS AT FAIRFIELD WORKS 120
APPENDIX B-8: MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT CONCERNING THE APPLICATION OF APPENDIX B-5 121
Appendix B-9: Evaluation of Appendix B-2 Shops 121
work using Carnegie Way Method 121
APPENDIX B-10: MAINTENANCE PLANNING COMMITTEE ASSESSMENT TEAM 121
   
APPENDIX C—OPERATING TECHNICIAN II POSITIONS FILLED BY MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS AND/OR HYBRID OPERATING TECHNICIAN IIs 122
   
APPENDIX D-FORMER NATIONAL FACILITIES 124
Appendix D-1: Incentive Plans at Former National Steel Facilities 124
Appendix D-2: Transitional Matters Applicable to USW Represented Employees at Former National Steel Facilities 124
   
APPENDIX E—TRANSITION MATTERS 124
   
APPENDIX F—UNION OFFICER BIDDING RIGHTS 125

 

iii

 

 

APPENDIX G-ROLLER, BLOWER AND MELTER 125
APPENDIX G-1: STATUS OF ROLLER, BLOWER AND MELTER POSITIONS 125
APPENDIX G-2: CORPORATE MELTER ACADEMY 126
   
APPENDIX H—GRIEVANCE SCREENING PROCEDURE 126
   
APPENDIX I—RETENTION OF PREEXISTING AGREEMENTS 128
   
APPENDIX J—CREW LEADERS 128
   
APPENDIX K—APPLICABILITY OF NEUTRALITY 129
   
APPENDIX L—USW REPRESENTED EMPLOYEES OF FUTURE ACQUIRED FACILITIES 130
   
APPENDIX M—INVESTMENT COMMITMENT 130
   
APPENDIX N—FLSA MATTERS 131
   
APPENDIX O-SPECIAL PAY CALCULATIONS 132
APPENDIX O-1: UNION VACATION PAY CALCULATION 132
APPENDIX O-2: USS-USW UNDERSTANDING ON ALTERNATIVE WORK SCHEDULES 132
APPENDIX O-3: MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT REGARDING SUNDAY PREMIUM 135
APPENDIX O-4: CORRECTION OF PAYROLL ERRORS AND PAYSLIP INFORMATION 136
   
APENDIX P—INCENTIVES 136
   
APPENDIX Q-SAFETY AND HEALTH 137
APPENDIX Q-1: COOKING EQUIPMENT 137
APPENDIX Q-2: GAS RESCUE PROGRAM 137
APPENDIX Q-3: AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATORS (AEDs) 138
APPENDIX Q-4: WORKING ALONE 138
APPENDIX-Q-5: ELECTRICAL BREAKERS 138
APPENDIX Q-6: FULL-TIME JOINT SAFETY COMMITTEE MEMBERS 139
APPENDIX Q-7: JOINT SAFETY COMMITTEE MEMBERS AT FAIRFIELD 139
APPENDIX Q-8: JOINT SAFETY COMMITTEE TRAINING 139
APPENDIX Q-9: CORPORATE LEVEL-SAFETY AND HEALTH COORDINATOR 140
APPENDIX Q-10: DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING 140
APPENDIX Q-11: LAST CHANCE AGREEMENTS 141
   
APPENDIX R—COORDINATORS 141

 

iv

 

 

APPENDIX S-TRAINING 142
APPENDIX S-1: MAINTENANCE TRAINING PROGRAM 142
APPENDIX S-2: SPECIAL MAINTENANCE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES FOR EMPLOYEES 143
APPENDIX S-3: PRE-LEARNER MAINTENANCE TRAINING PROGRAM 143
APPENDIX S-4: GRANITE CITY MAINTENANCE TRAINING FACILITY 144
APPENDIX S-5: ICD OUTREACH 144
APPENDIX S-6: MAINTENANCE TECHNICIAN POSTINGS 144
APPENDIX S-7: PLANT SPECIFIC TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES 144
Appendix S-8: Systems Repair Training 145
   
APPENDIX T-WORKFORCE PRODUCTIVITY 146
APPENDIX T-1: PRODUCTIVITY AND PREFERENCES 146
APPENDIX T-2: AGREEMENT REGARDING PREFERENCE AREAS 148
APPENDIX T-3: SPECIAL ASSIGNMENTS 148
APPENDIX T-4: CLAIRTON DOOR COORDINATOR & TOP SIDE PIPES 148
APPENDIX T-5: GRANITE CITY STEELMAKING PREFERENCES 148
APPENDIX T-6: AGREEMENT REGARDING HYBRID SHIFT PREFERENCE 149
   
APPENDIX U --PROFIT SHARING AND TRANSACTIONS 149
   
APPENDIX V—TEMPORARY FOREMAN 150
   
APPENDIX W—USW LOGO 150
   
APPENDIX X-MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT REGARDING FAIRLESS 150
   
APPENDIX Y—PLANTS COVERED BY THE BLA 150

 

v

 

 

ARTICLE One—AGREEMENT

 

Section A. Parties to the Agreement

 

This Agreement, dated September 1, 2022 (the Basic Labor Agreement, BLA, or the Agreement), is between United States Steel Corporation (USS or the Company) and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, or its successor (the Union or USW) on behalf of Employees of the Company (as defined in Article Two, Section A (Coverage)) at the Plants listed in Appendix Y (Covered Plants).

 

Section B. Term of the Agreement

 

1.The effective date of the Agreement shall be September 1, 2022 (the Effective Date) except as otherwise expressly provided.

 

2.Except as otherwise provided below, this Basic Labor Agreement shall terminate at the expiration of sixty (60) days after either Party shall give written notice of termination to the other Party, but in any event, shall not terminate earlier than September 1, 2026 (the Termination Date).

 

3.If either Party gives such notice, it may include therein notice of its desire to negotiate with respect to insurance, pensions, successorship and supplemental unemployment benefits. If the Parties do not reach agreement with respect to such matters by the end of sixty (60) days after giving such notice, either Party may thereafter resort to strike or lockout, as the case may be, in support of its position with respect to such matters, as well as any other matter in dispute. This Paragraph shall apply to all such matters, including insurance, pensions, successorship and supplemental unemployment benefits, notwithstanding any contrary provision of existing agreements on those subjects.

 

4.Any notice to be given under this Agreement shall be given by certified mail and shall be postmarked by the required date. Mailing of notice to the Union should be addressed to the United Steelworkers, Five Gateway Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222; mailing of notice to the Company should be addressed to 600 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219-4776. Either Party may, by like written notice, change the address to which certified mail notice shall be given.

 

ARTICLE TwoUNION SECURITY

 

Section A. Recognition and Coverage

 

1.The Company recognizes the Union as the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit made up of individuals occupying production and maintenance jobs in the Company facilities covered by this Agreement. Individuals within this bargaining unit shall be known as “Employees.” The term “Employees” excludes only managers, confidential employees, supervisors and guards as defined under the National Labor Relations Act. Individuals who are employed by the Company and are not in this bargaining unit shall be known as “non-bargaining unit employees.” Individuals who are in the bargaining unit and those who are not in the bargaining unit shall be known collectively as “employees.”

 

1

 

 

2.Except as expressly provided herein, the provisions of this BLA constitute the sole procedure for the processing and settlement of any claim by an Employee or the Union of a violation by the Company of this Agreement. As the representative of the Employees, the Union may process grievances through the grievance procedure, including arbitration, in accordance with this BLA or may adjust or settle same.

 

3.When the Company establishes a new or changed job in a Plant with duties that include a material level of production or maintenance work or both, which is (or, in the case of new work, would be) performed on a job within the bargaining unit, the resulting job shall be considered a job within the bargaining unit; provided that where non-bargaining unit duties are added to a job in the bargaining unit on a temporary basis, they may be withdrawn.

 

4.The Parties acknowledge that this Agreement contemplates a substantial restructuring of bargaining unit work that broadens the duties historically performed by the bargaining unit, thereby reducing the need for and level of supervision. Consistent with the foregoing, supervisors at a Plant shall not perform work which, under the restructuring it is contemplated will be performed by the bargaining unit, except:

 

a.experimental work;

 

b.demonstration work performed for the purpose of instructing and training Employees;

 

c.work required by conditions which, if not performed, might result in interference with operations, bodily injury or loss or damage to material or equipment;

 

d.work that would be unreasonable to assign to an Employee or which is negligible in amount; and

 

e.work which is incidental to supervisory duties on a job normally performed by a supervisor.

 

5.If a non-bargaining unit employee performs work in violation of Paragraph 4 and the Employee who otherwise would have performed this work can reasonably be identified, the Company shall pay such Employee his/her applicable Regular Rate of Pay for the time involved or for four (4) hours, whichever is greater.

 

2

 

 

6.When an Employee is assigned as a temporary foreman or supervisor, Management shall notify the Local Union Grievance Chairperson in writing within fourteen (14) days of the assignment. Such assignments shall be limited to:

 

a.The short-term absence of a foreman for reasons such as sickness, jury duty or vacation.

 

b.A foreman position resulting from increases in operating requirements over and above normal levels. Such a position shall not be filled by the assignment of any Employee as temporary foreman for a period in excess of ten (10) consecutive months, provided however, that such period may be extended by mutual agreement.

 

c.Twenty-first turn coverage on continuous operations.

 

d.Evaluation as a candidate for a managerial position for up to six (6) months during the term of the Agreement.

 

7.An Employee assigned as a temporary foreman or supervisor will not issue discipline to Employees, provided that this provision will not prevent a temporary foreman or supervisor from relieving an Employee from work for the balance of the turn for alleged misconduct. An Employee will not be called by either Party in the grievance procedure or arbitration to testify as a witness regarding any events involving discipline which occurred while the Employee was assigned as a temporary foreman or supervisor.

 

Section B. Union Membership and Dues Checkoff

 

1.Each Employee who, on the Effective Date of this Agreement, is a member of the Union and each Employee who becomes a member after that date shall, as a condition of employment, maintain membership in the Union. Each Employee who is not a member of the Union on the Effective Date of this Agreement and each Employee who is hired thereafter shall, as a condition of employment, beginning on the thirtieth (30th) day following the beginning of such employment or the Effective Date of this Agreement, whichever is later, acquire and maintain membership in the Union.

 

2.Should the above provision be unenforceable for any reason, then, to the extent permitted by law, each Employee who would be required to acquire or maintain membership in the Union if the provision in Paragraph 1 above could lawfully be enforced, and who fails voluntarily to acquire or maintain membership in the Union, shall be required, as a condition of employment, beginning on the thirtieth (30th) day following the beginning of such employment or the effective date of this Agreement, whichever is later, to pay to the Union each month a service charge as a contribution towards the Union’s collective bargaining representative expenses. The amount of the service charge, including an initiation fee if applicable, shall be as designated by the International Union Secretary-Treasurer.

 

3

 

 

3.Wherever Paragraph 1 or 2 above is applicable:

 

a.The Company will check off, by pay period, monthly dues or service charges, including, where applicable, initiation fees and assessments, each in amounts as designated by the International Union Secretary-Treasurer, effective upon receipt of individually signed voluntary checkoff authorization cards. The Company shall within ten (10) days remit any and all amounts so deducted to the International Union Secretary-Treasurer with a completed summary of USW Form R-115 or its equivalent.

 

b.At the time of employment, the Company will suggest that each new Employee voluntarily execute an authorization for the checkoff of amounts due or to be due under Paragraph 1 or 2 above. A copy of the card will be forwarded at the time of signing to the Financial Secretary of the Local Union.

 

c.The Union will be notified of the amount transmitted for each Employee (including the hours and earnings used in the calculation of such amount) and the reason for non-transmission, such as in the case of interplant transfer, layoff, discharge, resignation, leave of absence, sick leave, retirement, death or insufficient earnings.

 

d.The International Union Secretary-Treasurer shall notify the Company in writing of any Employee who is in violation of any provision of Paragraph 1 or 2 above.

 

e.The Union shall indemnify the Company and hold it harmless against any and all claims, demands, suits and liabilities that shall arise out of or by reason of any action taken or not taken by the Company for the purpose of complying with the foregoing provisions of this Section B, or in reliance on any list, notice, or assignment furnished under such provisions.

 

Section C. PAC and SOAR Checkoff

 

1.The Company will deduct Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions for active Employees who have submitted authorization for such deductions from their wages and for retirees who have submitted authorization for such deductions from their pension. Such deductions shall be on a form reasonably acceptable to the Company and shall be promptly remitted to the Secretary-Treasurer of the USW PAC Fund.

 

2.For retirees who are or wish to become members of the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) and who have submitted authorization for such deductions from their pension, the Company will deduct SOAR dues from their pension. Such deductions shall be on a form reasonably acceptable to the Company and shall be promptly remitted to the International Union Secretary-Treasurer.

 

4

 

 

3.The Union shall indemnify the Company and hold it harmless against any and all claims, demands, suits and liabilities that shall arise out of or by reason of any action taken or not taken by the Company for the purpose of complying with the foregoing provisions of this Section C, or in reliance on any list, notice, or assignment furnished under such provisions.

 

Section D. Successorship

 

1.The Company agrees that it will not sell, convey, assign or otherwise transfer, using any form of transaction, any Plant or significant part thereof covered by this Agreement (any of the foregoing, a Sale) to any other party (Buyer), unless the following conditions have been satisfied prior to the closing date of the Sale:

 

a.the Buyer shall have entered into an agreement with the Union recognizing it as the bargaining representative for the Employees working at the Plant(s) to be sold, and

 

b.the Buyer shall have entered into an agreement with the Union, either (i) establishing the terms and conditions of employment to be effective as of the closing date of the Sale, or (ii) assuming all agreements applicable to the Plant(s) acquired.

 

2.Change of Control is defined as (a) the purchase or acquisition by any person, entity or group, as these terms are used in Sections 13(d) and 14 (d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, of securities that constitute or are exchangeable for a majority of the common equity or securities entitled to vote in the election of directors of the Company; (b) a merger or consolidation in which the holders of the Company’s common equity or securities entitled to vote in the election of directors immediately prior to such merger or consolidation hold less than fifty percent (50%) of such common equity or voting securities of the succeeding entity or of its ultimate parent immediately after such merger or consolidation; or (c) the sale of all or substantially all of the assets of the Company.

 

3.The Company agrees that it will not consummate any transaction resulting in a Change of Control of the Company (a Transaction) unless the ultimate parent company of the entity which gains Control (Newco) has satisfied the following conditions prior to the consummation of the Transaction:

 

a.Newco shall have recognized the Union as the bargaining representative for the Employees then employed by the Company;

 

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b.Newco shall have provided the Union with reasonable assurances that it has both the willingness and financial wherewithal to honor the commitments contained in all of the agreements between the Company and the Union applicable to the Employees (All USW Agreements);

 

c.Newco shall have assumed all USW Agreements.

 

4.This Section shall not apply to any transactions solely between the Company and any of its Affiliates, or to a public offering of registered securities.

 

5.Notwithstanding the provisions of Article One, Section B (Term of the Agreement), this Section shall expire one (1) year after the Termination Date.

 

Section E. Neutrality

 

1.Introduction

 

The Company and the Union have developed a constructive and harmonious relationship built on trust, integrity and mutual respect. The Parties place a high value on the continuation and improvement of that relationship.

 

2.Neutrality

 

a.To underscore the Company’s commitment in this matter, it agrees to adopt a position of Neutrality regarding the unionization of any employees of the Company.

 

b.Neutrality means that, except as explicitly provided herein, the Company will not in any way, directly or indirectly, involve itself in any matter which involves the unionization of its employees, including but not limited to efforts by the Union to represent the Company’s employees or efforts by its employees to investigate or pursue unionization.

 

c.The Company’s commitment to remain neutral as defined above may only cease upon the Company demonstrating to the arbitrator under Paragraph 7 below that in connection with an Organizing Campaign (as defined in Paragraphs 3(a) through 3(c) below) the Union is intentionally or repeatedly (after having the matter called to the Union’s attention) materially misrepresenting to the employees the facts surrounding their employment or is unfairly demeaning the integrity or character of the Company or its representatives.

 

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3.Organizing Procedures

 

a.Prior to the Union distributing authorization cards to non-represented employees at a facility owned, controlled or operated by the Company, the Union shall provide the Company with written notification (Written Notification) that an organizing campaign (Organizing Campaign) will begin. The Written Notification will include a description of the proposed bargaining unit.

 

b.The Organizing Campaign shall begin immediately upon provision of Written Notification and continue until the earliest of: (1) the Union gaining recognition under Paragraph 3(d)(5) below; (2) written notification by the Union that it wishes to discontinue the Organizing Campaign; or (3) ninety (90) days from provision of Written Notification to the Company.

 

c.There shall be no more than one (1) Organizing Campaign in a bargaining unit in any twelve (12) month period.

 

d.Upon Written Notification, the following shall occur:

 

(1)Notice Posting

 

The Company shall post a notice on all bulletin boards of the facility where notices are customarily posted as soon as the Unit Determination Procedure in Paragraph 3(d)(3) below is completed. This notice shall read as follows:

 

“NOTICE TO EMPLOYEES

 

We have been formally advised that the United Steelworkers is conducting an organizing campaign among certain of our employees. This is to advise you that:

 

(1)The Company does not oppose collective bargaining or the unionization of our employees.

 

(2)The choice of whether or not to be represented by a union is yours alone to make.

 

(3)We will not interfere in any way with your exercise of that choice.

 

(4)The Union will conduct its organizing effort over the next ninety (90) days.

 

(5)In their conduct of the organizing effort, the Union and its representatives are prohibited from misrepresenting the facts surrounding your employment. Nor may they unfairly demean the integrity or character of the Company or its representatives.

 

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(6)If the Union secures a simple majority of authorization cards of the employees in [insert description of bargaining unit provided by the Union] the Company shall recognize the Union as the exclusive representative of such employees without a secret ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.

 

(7)The authorization cards must unambiguously state that the signing employees desire to designate the Union as their exclusive representative.

 

(8)Employee signatures on the authorization cards will be confidentially verified by a neutral third party chosen by the Company and the Union.”

 

Following receipt of Written Notification, the Company may only communicate to its employees on subjects which directly or indirectly concern unionization on the issues covered in the Notice set forth above or raised by other terms of this Neutrality Section and consistent with this Section and its spirit and intent.

 

(2)Employee Lists

 

Within five (5) days following Written Notification, the Company shall provide the Union with a complete list of all of its employees in the proposed bargaining unit who are eligible for Union representation. Such list shall include each employee’s full name, home address, job title and work location. Upon the completion of the Unit Determination Procedure described in Paragraph 3(d)(3) below, an amended list will be provided if the proposed unit is changed as a result of such Unit Determination Procedure. Thereafter during the Organizing Campaign, the Company will provide the Union with updated lists monthly.

 

(3)Determination of Appropriate Unit

 

As soon as practicable following Written Notification, the Parties will meet to attempt to reach an agreement on the unit appropriate for bargaining. In the event that the Parties are unable to agree on an appropriate unit, either Party may refer the matter to the Dispute Resolution Procedure contained in Paragraph 7 below. In resolving any dispute over the scope of the unit, the arbitrator shall apply the principles used by the National Labor Relations Board.

 

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(4)Access to Company Facilities

 

During the Organizing Campaign the Company, upon written request, shall grant continuous access to well-traveled areas of its facilities to the Union for the purpose of distributing literature and meeting with unrepresented Company employees. Distribution of Union literature shall not compromise safety or production or unreasonably disrupt ingress or egress or the normal business of the facility. Distribution of Union literature and meetings with employees shall be limited to non-work areas during non-work time.

 

(5)Card Check/Union Recognition

 

(a)If, at any time during an Organizing Campaign which follows the existence of a substantial and representative complement of employees in any unit appropriate for collective bargaining, the Union demands recognition, the Parties will request that a mutually acceptable neutral (or an arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association if no agreement on a mutually acceptable neutral can be reached) conduct a card check within five (5) days of the making of the request.

 

(b)The neutral shall confidentially compare the authorization cards submitted by the Union against original handwriting exemplars of the entire bargaining unit furnished by the Company. If the neutral determines that a simple majority of eligible employees has signed cards which unambiguously state that the signing employees desire to designate the Union as their exclusive representative for collective bargaining purposes, and that cards were signed and dated during the Organizing Campaign, then the Company shall recognize the Union as the exclusive representative of such employees without a secret ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.

 

(c)The list of eligible employees submitted to the neutral shall be jointly prepared by the Union and the Company.

 

4.Hiring

 

a.The Company shall, at any facility which it builds or acquires, give preference in hiring to qualified Employees of the Company then accruing Continuous Service under the Agreement. In choosing between qualified applicants, the Company shall apply standards established by Article Five, Section E (Seniority) of the Agreement.

 

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b.The hiring provision set forth above shall not apply where the employer for the purposes of collective bargaining is or will be a Venture (as defined in Paragraph 5(a) below); provided, however, that in a case where a Venture could have an adverse impact on employment opportunities for the current Employees, then the hiring provision set forth above shall apply to such Venture as well.

 

c.Before implementing Paragraphs 4(a) and (b), the Company and the Union will decide how this preference will be applied.

 

d.In determining whether to hire any applicant (whether or not such applicant is an Employee covered by the Agreement), the Company shall refrain from using any selection procedure which, directly or indirectly, evaluates applicants based on their attitudes or behavior toward unions or collective bargaining.

 

5.Definitions and Scope of this Agreement

 

a.Rules with Respect to Affiliates and Ventures

 

(1)For purposes of this Section, the Company includes (in addition to the Company) any entity which is:

 

(a)engaged in the United States or Canada in (1) the mining, refining, production, processing, transportation, distribution or warehousing of raw materials used in the making of steel; or (2) the making, finishing, processing, fabricating, transportation, distribution or warehousing of steel; and

 

(b)either an Affiliate or Venture of the Company.

 

(2)An Affiliate shall mean any business enterprise that Controls, is under the Control of, or is under common Control with the Company.

 

Control of a business enterprise shall mean possession, directly or indirectly, of either:

 

(a)fifty percent (50%) of the equity of the enterprise; or

 

(b)the power to direct the management and policies of said enterprise.

 

(3)Venture shall mean a business enterprise in which the Company owns a material interest.

 

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b.Rules with Respect to Existing Affiliates and Ventures

 

The Company agrees to cause all of its existing Affiliates and/or Ventures that are covered by the provisions of Paragraph 5(a)(1)(a) above, to become a Party/Parties to this Section and to achieve compliance with its provisions.

 

c.Rules with Respect to New Affiliates and Ventures

 

The Company agrees that it will not consummate a transaction which would result in the Company having or creating (1) an Affiliate or (2) a Venture, without ensuring that the New Affiliate and/or New Venture, if covered by the provisions of Paragraph 5(a)(1)(a) above, agrees to and becomes bound by this Section.

 

d.In the event that an Affiliate or Venture is not itself engaged in the operations described in Paragraph 5(a)(1)(a) above, but has an Affiliate or Venture that is engaged in such operations, then such Affiliate or Venture shall be covered by all provisions of this Section.

 

6.Bargaining in Newly-Organized Units

 

Where the Union is recognized pursuant to the above procedures, the first collective bargaining agreement applicable to the new bargaining unit will be determined as follows:

 

a.The employer and the Union shall meet within fourteen (14) days following recognition to begin negotiations for a first collective bargaining agreement covering the new unit. In these negotiations, the Parties shall bear in mind the wages, benefits and working conditions in the most comparable operations of the Company (if any comparable operations exist), and those of unionized competitors to the facility in which the newly recognized unit is located.

 

b.If after ninety (90) days following recognition the Parties are unable to reach agreement for such a collective bargaining agreement, they shall submit those matters that remain in dispute to the Chair of the Union Negotiating Committee and the Chair of the Company Negotiating Committee, who shall use their best efforts to assist the Parties in reaching a collective bargaining agreement.

 

c.If after thirty (30) days following the submission of outstanding matters the Parties remain unable to reach a collective bargaining agreement, the matter may be submitted to final offer interest arbitration in accordance with procedures to be developed by the Parties.

 

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d.If interest arbitration is invoked, it shall be a final offer package interest arbitration proceeding. The interest arbitrator shall have no authority to add to, detract from or modify the final offers submitted by the Parties, and the arbitrator shall not be authorized to engage in mediation of the dispute. The arbitrator shall select one or the other of the final offer packages submitted by the Parties on the unresolved issues. The interest arbitrator shall select the final offer package found to be the more reasonable when considering (1) the negotiating guidelines described in Paragraph 6(a) above, (2) any matters agreed to by the Parties and therefore not submitted to interest arbitration and (3) the fact that the collective bargaining agreement will be a first contract between the Parties. The decision shall be in writing and shall be rendered within thirty (30) days after the close of the interest arbitration hearing record.

 

e.Throughout the proceedings described above concerning the negotiation of a first collective bargaining agreement and any interest arbitration that may be engaged in relative thereto, the Union agrees that there shall be no strikes, slowdowns, sympathy strikes, work stoppages or concerted refusals to work in support of any of its bargaining demands. The Company, for its part, likewise agrees not to resort to the lockout of Employees to support its bargaining position.

 

7.Dispute Resolution

 

a.Any alleged violation or dispute involving the terms of this Section may be brought to a joint committee of one (1) representative each from the Company and the Union. If the alleged violation or dispute cannot be satisfactorily resolved by the Parties, either Party may submit such dispute to the Board of Arbitration. A hearing shall be held within ten (10) days following such submission and the Board shall issue a decision within five (5) days thereafter. Such decision shall be in writing and need only succinctly explain the basis for the findings. All decisions by the Board pursuant to this Section shall be based on the terms of this Section and the applicable provisions of the law. The Board’s remedial authority shall include the power to issue an order requiring the Company to recognize the Union where, in all the circumstances, such an order would be appropriate.

 

b.The Board’s award shall be final and binding on the Parties and all Employees covered by this Section. Each Party expressly waives the right to seek judicial review of said award; however, each Party retains the right to seek judicial enforcement of said award.

 

c.For any dispute under this Section and the interest arbitration procedure described in Paragraph 6 above, the Parties shall present such dispute to the Board of Arbitration which shall honor the time table set forth above for the hearing and the decision.

 

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Section F. Contracting Out

 

1.Guiding Principle

 

a.The Guiding Principle is that the Company will use Employees to perform any and all work which they are or could be capable (in terms of skill and ability) of performing (Bargaining Unit Work), unless the work meets one of the exceptions outlined in Paragraph 2 below.

 

b.Any individual or entity other than an employee who performs Bargaining Unit Work shall be referred to herein as an Outside Entity.

 

2.Exceptions

 

In order for work to qualify as an exception to the Guiding Principle, such work must meet all aspects of one (1) of the definitions outlined below and the Company must be in full compliance with all of the requirements of the particular exception as outlined below.

 

a.Work Performed in or Around the Plant

 

(1)New Construction Work

 

New Construction Work is work associated with significant (in the context of the facility) projects involving the installation, replacement or reconstruction of any equipment or productive facilities which (a) is not regular, routine or day-to-day maintenance or repair work; (b) does not involve bundling unrelated work; and (c) does not involve any work not related to the project in question.

 

The Company may use Outside Entities to perform New Construction Work.

 

(2)Surge Maintenance Work

 

Surge Maintenance Work is maintenance and repair work which is required, by bona fide operational needs, to be performed on equipment or facilities where: (a) the use of Outside Entities would materially reduce the duration of the work; and (b) the work cannot reasonably be performed by bargaining unit forces without delaying other work necessary to the Plant’s operations.

 

The Company may use Outside Entities to perform Surge Maintenance Work provided that the Company has first offered all reasonable and appropriate requested overtime on the Surge Maintenance Work to all qualified Employees.

 

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b.Work Performed Outside the Plant or its Environs

 

(1)Fabrication and Repair Work

 

Fabrication Work is the creation outside of the Plant or its environs of items or parts used in the Company’s business, which are not themselves, either directly or after additional work is performed on them, sold to customers. Repair Work is the repair, renovation or reconstruction of those items.

 

Fabrication and Repair Work may be performed by Outside Entities only where the location of the work’s performance is for a bona fide business purpose and the Company can demonstrate a meaningful sustainable economic advantage to having such work performed by an Outside Entity.

 

In determining whether a meaningful sustainable economic advantage exists, neither lower wage rates, if any, of the Outside Entity, nor the lack of necessary equipment (unless the purchase, lease or use of such equipment would not be economically feasible) shall be a factor.

 

(2)Production Work

 

The Company may use Outside Entities to perform production work outside the Plant and its environs provided the Company demonstrates that it is utilizing Plant equipment to the maximum extent consistent with equipment capability and customer requirements and the Company is making necessary capital investments to remain competitive in the steel business and is in compliance with Article Eleven, Section B (Investment Commitment).

 

(3)Shelf Items

 

(a)Notwithstanding the above, the Union recognizes that as part of the Company’s normal business, it may purchase standard components, parts or supply items, produced for sale generally (“Shelf Items”). No item shall be deemed a standard component or part or supply item if:

 

(1)its fabrication requires the use of prints, sketches or detailed manufacturing instructions supplied by the Company or at the Company’s behest or by another company engaged in producing or finishing steel or it is otherwise made according to detailed Company specifications or those of such other company;

 

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(2)it involves a unit exchange; or

 

(3)it involves the purchase of electric motors, engines, transmissions, or converters under a core exchange program (whether or not title to the unit passes to the vendor/purchaser as part of the transaction), unless such transaction is undertaken with an original equipment manufacturer, or with one of its authorized dealers, provided that the items in the core exchange program that are sold to the Company are rebuilt using instructions and parts supplied by the original equipment manufacturer (or, if the part or parts are not stocked by the original equipment manufacturer, approved by such manufacturer).

 

(b)It is further provided that adjustments in the length, size, or shape of a Shelf Item, so that it can be used for a Company specific application, shall be deemed for the purposes of this Section to be Fabrication Work performed outside the Plant.

 

(c)With respect to Shelf Items, the Company may purchase goods, materials, and equipment, where the design or manufacturing expertise involved is supplied by the vendor as part of the sale.

 

(4)Shelf Item Procedure

 

(a)No later than June 1, 2004, and annually thereafter, the Company shall provide the Union members of the Contracting Out Committee with a list and description of anticipated ongoing purchases of each item which the Company asserts to be a Shelf Item within the meaning of Paragraph 3 above. If the Union members of the Committee so request, the list shall not include any item included on a previous list where the status of that item, as a Shelf Item, has been expressly resolved.

 

(b)Within sixty (60) days of the submission of the list, either the Union members or the Company members of the Contracting Out Committee may convene a prompt meeting of the Committee to discuss and review the list of items, and, if requested, the facts underlying the Company’s assertion that such items are Shelf Items.

 

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(c)The Contracting Out Committee may resolve the matter by mutually agreeing that the item in question either is or is not a Shelf Item. With respect to any item which the Union members of the Committee agree is a Shelf Item, the Company shall be relieved of any obligation to furnish a contracting out notice until the next review following such agreement and thereafter, if the Union has requested that a resolved item be deleted from the Shelf Item list in accordance with Paragraph 4(a) above.

 

(d)If the matter is not resolved, any dispute may be processed further by filing, within thirty (30) days of the date of the last discussion, a grievance in Step 2 of the Grievance Procedure described in Article Five, Section I.

 

(e)An item which the Company asserts to be a Shelf Item, but which was not included on the list referred to in Paragraph 4(a) above because no purchase was anticipated, shall be listed and described on a notice provided to the Union not later than the regularly scheduled meeting of the Contracting Out Committee next following purchase of the item. Thereafter, the Parties shall follow the procedures set forth in Paragraphs 4(c) and (d) above.

 

c.Warranty Work

 

Warranty Work is work which is not a service contract and which is performed pursuant to a pre-existing warranty on new or rehabilitated equipment or systems (1) in order to assure that seller representations will be honored at no additional cost to the Company; (2) within eighteen (18) months of the installation of such warranted equipment unless longer warranties are the manufacturer’s published standard warranties offered to customers in the normal course of business; and (3) for the limited time necessary to make effective seller guarantees that such equipment or systems are free of errors or will perform at stated levels of performance.

 

The Company may use Outside Entities to perform Warranty Work provided the Company is not responsible for the cost of such work.

 

3.Commitment

 

In addition to the understandings described in Paragraphs 1 and 2 above, the Company agrees that:

 

a.Where total hours worked by employees of Outside Entities in or outside the Plant reach or exceed the equivalent of one (1) full time employee, defined as forty (40) hours per week over a period of time sufficient to indicate that the work is full time, the work performed by Outside Entities will be assigned to Employees and the number of Employees will be appropriately increased if necessary, unless the Company is able to clearly demonstrate that the work cannot be performed by the addition of an Employee(s), or that assignment of the work to Employees would not be economically feasible. In determining whether the assignment of the work to Employees is or is not economically feasible, the lower wage rates, if any, of an Outside Entity shall not be a factor.

 

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b.The Parties agree that the Union may at any time enforce the obligations described above, irrespective of the Company’s compliance with any other obligation in this Section or any other part of the Agreement, and that an arbitrator shall specifically require the Company to meet the above Commitment, including imposing hiring orders and penalties.

 

c.The Company shall supply the Contracting Out Committee (as defined below) with all requested information regarding compliance with the Commitment.

 

4.Contracting Out Committee

 

At each Plant, a committee consisting of four (4) employees, two (2) individuals designated by each of the Parties, shall be constituted to serve as the Contracting Out Committee. The Committee shall meet as required but not less than monthly to:

 

a.review bargaining unit force levels for the Plant;

 

b.review historical contractor utilization by the Plant;

 

c.review projections for contractor utilization by the Plant;

 

d.monitor the implementation of new programs or hiring to reduce contractor utilization; and

 

e.develop new ideas and implementation plans to effectively reduce contractor usage in accordance with the terms of this Section.

 

5.Notice and Information

 

a.Prior to the Company entering into any agreement or arrangement to use Outside Entities to perform Bargaining Unit Work, except in the case of emergencies, the Company will provide written notice to the Contracting Out Committee. In all cases other than emergencies (where the notice shall be provided as soon as practicable) and day-to-day maintenance and repair, such notice will be provided in sufficient time to permit a final determination, using the Expedited Procedure, of whether or not the proposed use of Outside Entities is permitted. Such notice shall include the following:

 

(1)location, type, duration and detailed description of the work;

 

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(2)occupations involved and anticipated utilization of bargaining unit forces;

 

(3)effect on operations if the work is not completed in a timely fashion; and

 

(4)copies of any bids from Outside Entities and any internal estimating done by or on behalf of the Company regarding the use of the Outside Entities.

 

b.Should either the Union or the Company believe a meeting to be necessary, a written request shall be made within five (5) days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) after receipt of such notice. The meeting shall be held within three (3) days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) thereafter. At such meeting, the Parties shall review in detail the plans for the work to be performed and the reasons for using Outside Entities. The Union shall be provided with all relevant information available to the Company concerning the use of Outside Entities at issue.

 

c.Should the Company fail to give notice as provided above, then not later than thirty (30) days from the later of the date of the commencement of the work or when the Union becomes aware of the work, a grievance relating to such matter may be filed.

 

6.Mutual Agreement

 

a.On the effective date of the 2003 Basic Labor Agreement, all agreements, understandings or practices of any kind that directly or indirectly permitted the use of Outside Entities to perform Bargaining Unit Work were agreed to be null and void.

 

b.In the event the Contracting Out Committee resolves a matter in a fashion which in any way permits the use of Outside Entities, such resolution shall be final and binding only as to the matter under consideration and shall not affect future determinations under this Section.

 

c.No agreement entered into subsequent to the effective date of the 2003 Basic Labor Agreement, whether or not reached pursuant to this Section, which directly or indirectly permits the use of Outside Entities on an ongoing basis, shall be valid or enforceable unless it is in writing and signed by the President/Unit Chair and the Grievance Committee Chair/Unit Grievance Committeeperson of the affected Local Union.

 

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7.Expedited Procedure

 

In the event the Union or the Company requests an expedited resolution of any dispute arising under this Section, it shall be submitted to the Expedited Procedure in accordance with the following:

 

a.Within three (3) days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) after either the Union or the Company determines that the Contracting Out Committee cannot resolve the dispute, the moving Party must advise the other in writing that it is invoking this Expedited Procedure.

 

b.An expedited arbitration must be scheduled within three (3) days (excluding Saturdays, Sunday and holidays) of such notice and heard at a hearing commencing within five (5) days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) thereafter.

 

c.The Board shall render a decision within forty-eight (48) hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) of the conclusion of the hearing.

 

d.Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, any case heard in the Expedited Procedure before the work in dispute was performed may be reopened by the Union if such work, as actually performed, varied in any substantial respect from the description presented in arbitration. The request to reopen the case must be submitted within seven (7) days of the date on which the Union knew or should have known of the variance.

 

8.Quarterly Review

 

a.Not less than quarterly, the Contracting Out Committee shall meet with the Local Union President/Unit Chair and the General Manager of the Plant, or his/her designee, for the purpose of reviewing all work for which the Company anticipates utilizing Outside Entities at some time during the next or subsequent quarters. The Union shall be entitled to review any current or proposed contracts concerning such work and shall keep such information confidential.

 

b.During the review, the Contracting Out Committee may (1) agree on items of work that should be performed by Outside Entities for which Notice under Paragraph 5 above is therefore not required; or (2) disagree on which items of work should be performed by Employees and which should be performed by Outside Entities for which notice under Paragraph 5 is therefore required.

 

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c.During the quarterly review, the Company will provide to the Contracting Out Committee a detailed report showing work performed by Outside Entities since the last such report. For each item of work the report shall include the date and shift the work was performed; a description of the work; and the total number of hours worked by trade, craft or occupation.

 

9.General Provisions

 

a.Special Remedies

 

(1)Where it is found that the Company (a) engaged in conduct which constitutes willful or repeated violations of this Section or (b) violated a cease and desist order previously issued by the Board of Arbitration in connection with this Section F, the Board shall fashion a remedy or penalty specifically designed to deter the Company’s behavior.

 

(2)With respect to any instance of the use of an Outside Entity, where it is found that notice or information was not provided as required under Paragraph 5 above, and that such failure was willful or repeated and deprived the Union of a reasonable opportunity to suggest and discuss practicable alternatives to the use of an Outside Entity, the Board shall fashion a remedy which includes earnings and benefits to Employees who otherwise would have performed the work.

 

b.Outside Individuals Testifying in Arbitration

 

No testimony offered by an individual associated with an Outside Entity may be considered in any proceeding unless the Party calling the outsider provides the other Party with a copy of each Outside Entity document to be offered in connection with such testimony at least forty-eight (48) hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) before commencement of that hearing.

 

Section G. Printing of Contracts

 

1.Immediately following the Effective Date of this Agreement, the Parties will create mutually acceptable labor and benefits agreements. These agreements shall, at the expense of the Company, be printed by a union printer in a form (size, paper stock, number of copies, etc.) and a manner of distribution reasonably designated by the Union. The distribution shall occur within three (3) months of the Effective Date.

 

2.The Company shall provide the Union with electronic versions of all agreements between the Parties.

 

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Section H. Hiring Preference

 

1.In all hiring for bargaining unit positions, the Company shall, subject to its obligations under applicable equal employment opportunity laws and regulations, give consideration, to the full extent of interest, to applicants who are the direct relatives (children, children-in-law, step-children, spouse, siblings, grandchildren, nieces and nephews) of Employees who meet established hiring criteria.

 

2.Such hiring shall conform to applicable lines of progression, bidding, promotion and other requirements under this Agreement.

 

3.The Company shall, subject to these and other applicable provisions, make the final decision to accept or reject a particular applicant for employment.

 

Section I. Local Union Elections

 

Upon request and adequate notice, the Company will provide the Local Union with a suitable area on Company property for conducting a Union election. The Company will not be required to provide an area which will interfere with Plant operations or with ingress or egress.

 

ARTICLE Three—HEALTH, SAFETY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

 

Section A. Employee and Union Rights

 

1.Employees have the right to a safe and healthful workplace, to refuse dangerous work, to adequate personal protective equipment, to safety and health training, to a proper medical program for workplace injuries and illnesses, and to a reasonable alcoholism and drug abuse policy.

 

2.The Union has the right to participate in active and informed Joint Safety and Health and Environmental Committees, to appoint Union Health and Safety representatives, to join in regular safety audits and accident/incident investigations, to receive full and continuing access to all information related to the work of the Committees (including all OSHA reports), and to participate in programs which address certain special hazards. The Company will provide the Union Health, Safety and Environment Department (Union Safety Department) with prompt telephonic notification of the basic facts concerning any fatality at the worksite, followed by a written communication, and a copy of the fatal accident report.

 

3.The Company will develop and implement, with the involvement of the Union as provided below, policies and programs for ensuring these rights.

 

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Section B. The Right to a Safe and Healthful Workplace

 

1.The Company will provide safe and healthful conditions of work for its Employees and will, at a minimum, comply with all applicable laws and regulations concerning the health and safety of Employees at work and the protection of the environment. The Company will install and maintain any equipment reasonably necessary to protect Employees from hazards.

 

2.The Company will make every reasonable effort to ensure that all equipment is maintained in a safe condition. Its inspection and maintenance program will give top priority to equipment critical to Employee safety and health. Where faulty equipment creates an abnormal risk to Employees, the Company will take all necessary steps to eliminate the risk.

 

3.The Company will provide suitable heating and ventilation systems and keep them in good working order.

 

Section C. The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work

 

1.If an Employee, acting in good faith and on the basis of objective evidence, believes that there exists an unsafe or unhealthful condition beyond the normal hazards inherent in the operation (Unsafe Condition), s/he shall notify his/her immediate supervisor. The Employee and the supervisor will make every attempt to resolve the condition in the interest of safety. Thereafter, s/he has the right, subject to reasonable steps for protecting other Employees and equipment, to be relieved from duty on that job and to return to that job only when the Unsafe Condition has been remedied. The Company shall assign the Employee to other available work in the Plant, consistent with this Agreement and without displacing another Employee.

 

2.If the Company disputes the existence of the allegedly Unsafe Condition, the Grievance Chair and the Plant General Manager or Plant Safety Manager or their designees will immediately investigate and determine whether it exists.

 

3.If after the investigation it is determined that the condition existed, the Employee will be made whole for any lost time in connection with the condition. If after the investigation the Company does not agree that an Unsafe Condition exists, the Union has the right to present a grievance in writing to the appropriate Company representative and thereafter the Employee shall continue to be relieved from duty on that job. The grievance will be presented without delay directly to the Board of Arbitration, which will determine whether the Employee acted in good faith in refusing the work and whether the Unsafe Condition was in fact present.

 

4.No Employee who in good faith exercises his/her rights under this Section will be disciplined for doing so. Should the Company contend that an Employee did not exercise his/her rights under this Section in good faith and discipline is issued, the protections of Article 5, Section I(9)(c) (Justice and Dignity) shall apply.

 

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5.If the Board of Arbitration determines that an Unsafe Condition within the meaning of this Section exists, it shall order that the Condition be corrected and that the correction occur before the Employee returns to work on the job in question and the Employee shall be made whole for any lost earnings.

 

Section D. The Right to Adequate Personal Protective Equipment

 

The Company will provide, without cost to the Employee, effective protective equipment in good working order, appropriate to environmental conditions, when required by law or regulation or when necessary to protect Employees from injury or illness. Consideration will be given for environmental conditions. Such equipment includes, but is not limited to, goggles, hard hats, safety glasses, hearing protectors, face shields, respirators, special-purpose gloves, protective clothing and harnesses. The Company may assess a fair charge to cover negligent loss or willful destruction by the Employee.

 

Section E. The Right to Safety and Health Training

 

1.All Employees will be provided with periodic safety and health training. This training shall be no less than eight (8) hours annually. In addition, before the initial assignment to a particular job, Employees will receive training on the nature of the operation or process; the hazards of the job; controls in place; safe working procedures and the reasons for them; the purpose, use and limitations of the required personal protective equipment; and other controls or precautions associated with the job. Such training will also be provided when the job changes in a way that affects the nature or severity of the hazards.

 

2.All Plant-specific safety and health training programs will be fully discussed and reviewed by the Joint Safety and Health Committee prior to implementation. The Company will make a reasonable effort to use qualified Employees chosen by the Union Chair of the Joint Safety Committee as trainers and will ensure that trainers are instructed in effective teaching techniques. Upon request, the USW Corporate-Level Safety and Health Coordinator will be provided with a copy of all safety and health training materials and be afforded the opportunity to review the training.

 

Section F. The Right to a Proper Medical Program for Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

 

1.The Company will provide first aid equipment and trained personnel in close proximity to each of its facilities. The Company will provide Employees who are seriously injured on the job with prompt emergency transportation, in accordance with applicable first responder (EMT) protocols, to an appropriate treatment facility and return transportation to the Plant. Where such Employees are unable to safely transport themselves home and alternatives are not available, the Company will make arrangements for such Employees to be transported home.

 

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2.An Employee who, as a result of an occupational injury or illness, is unable to return to his/her assigned job for the balance of the shift, will be paid any earnings lost on that shift.

 

3.The Company will make medical screening for occupational illnesses available to Employees or retirees of the Company where a government agency requires such screening.

 

4.The Company will not require any Employee to submit to any medical test or answer any medical history question that is not related to the Employee’s ability to perform his/her job.

 

5.The Company will maintain the privacy of reports of medical examinations of its Employees and will only furnish such reports to a physician designated by the Employee with the written authorization of the Employee; provided that the Company may use or supply such medical examination reports of its Employees in response to subpoenas, requests by a governmental agency authorized by law to obtain such reports and in arbitration or litigation of any claim or action involving the Company and the Employee. Upon written request by the Employee, the Company will provide the Employee with a copy of the Employee’s medical records at no cost to the Employee. All medical examinations will be conducted by or under the supervision of a licensed physician.

 

6.If a Company physician detects a medical condition that requires further medical attention, s/he will advise the Employee of such condition.

 

Section G. The Right to a Reasonable Policy on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

 

1.The Parties desire a drug and alcohol-free workplace. Consistent with this objective, alcoholism and drug abuse are recognized by the Parties as treatable conditions. The Company and the Union agree to the need for an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), administered and funded by the Company to encourage and facilitate the rehabilitation of Employees afflicted with alcoholism or drug abuse. The EAP will utilize professional counselors and Employee advocates who will operate under conditions of strict confidentiality.

 

2.The Company may require an Employee to submit to for cause drug and alcohol testing where there is a reasonable basis to believe the Employee is affected by drugs or alcohol (as established by the completion of the DA-1 form). Employees involved in an incident/accident will be tested only when based on the written assessment of the incident (Form DA-1) an error in their coordination or judgment could have contributed to the incident/accident. The Company may require Employees in their probationary period to submit to periodic drug and alcohol testing and may also require drug and alcohol testing as part of the physical examination of an Employee returning to work after an absence due to layoff in excess of ninety (90) days.

 

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3.Drug and alcohol tests will utilize scientifically accepted methods for evaluating use. Testing methods currently in use at U.S. Steel will be deemed to have met this standard. D.O.T cut-off levels will be used for purposes of determining whether a urine test is positive for drugs. When a biological sample is taken, a portion will be retained for retesting should the Employee dispute a positive result and request a retest. Hair testing will not be used for “for cause” testing as set forth in Paragraph 2 above.

 

4.Employees (other than probationary Employees) who test positive for drugs or have a blood or breath alcohol level of .04 or greater will be offered an opportunity for rehabilitation in lieu of discipline pursuant to a Last Chance Agreement. However, this provision shall not affect the right of the Company to discipline Employees for other reasons.

 

5.Employees will not be required to submit to drug or alcohol testing for any other reason, unless such testing is conducted pursuant to a Last Chance Agreement or is required by law.

 

Section H. The Union’s Right to Participate in a Joint Safety and Health Committee

 

1.A Joint Safety and Health Committee (Joint Safety Committee) will be established at each facility to be composed of the Local Union President/Unit Chair, Plant Manager, and the Safety Manager and one (1) additional member for each department (but no less than three (3) additional members) as designated by each Chair, respectively. The Parties recognize the value of having highly qualified employees serve on the Joint Safety Committee. The Parties will designate their respective Chairs and provide each other with updated lists of the members of the Joint Safety Committee. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Parties agree to maintain the local practices and agreements in effect as of September 1, 2008, with respect to the number of Employee members of the Joint Safety Committee at each Plant.

 

2.The Joint Safety Committee will have the following Plant (Works) functions: participating in the design of safety and health programs including strategic planning; assisting in the establishment of safe job procedures; participating in safety and health audits; reviewing safety rules; participating in the investigation of workplace incidents/accidents; reviewing accident, injury, illness and other statistics related to safety and health; participating in the design of safety and health training programs; reviewing proposed changes in technology or operations for their impact on Employee safety and health; participating in Safety & Operating Inspections (SOIs); participating in the selection of personal protective equipment; participating in divisional safety activities; participating in hazard assessments; discussing the Company’s response to proposed regulations and legislation affecting safety and health; participating in and reviewing the results of safety and health inspections or industrial hygiene monitoring by OSHA, MSHA, and NIOSH; collecting and responding to safety and health concerns raised by individual members of the Joint Safety Committee or Employees; and working together to promote an awareness of safety and health hazards and safe work procedures. The Union Chair will meet with the Safety Manager on at least a weekly basis to discuss past and future Joint Safety Committee activities as well as other safety and health issues.

 

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3.The Joint Safety Committee will hold periodic meetings at times determined by the Chairs, but no less often than monthly. Either Chair may request a special meeting of the Joint Safety Committee, which request shall not unreasonably be denied. The Union members will be afforded time to meet privately as needed to prepare for meetings of the Joint Safety Committee.

 

4.The Company and the Union will each keep minutes of meetings. Prior to every regular meeting, the Company will prepare a written response to concerns or action items noted at the previous meeting, as well as any open items from previous meetings. The two (2) sets of minutes, or a jointly agreed reconciled version, along with the Company’s written response to concerns and action items, will be included in the official record of the meeting.

 

5.The Company will not implement any substantive changes to the Plant’s safety and health programs, policies or rules; introduce new protective equipment or eliminate existing protective equipment; or modify safety and health training, unless the Joint Safety Committee has been notified and the Union has been provided the opportunity to fully discuss the change and make recommendations which the Company will in good faith consider. Where substantive changes are made to Corporate standard safety practices, the USW Corporate-Level Safety and Health Coordinator will be notified and provided the same opportunities set forth above. Such notifications will be made at the earliest practicable time.

 

6.The Joint Safety Committee will not handle grievances, although it may discuss safety and health issues that have led to a grievance.

 

7.The Company, in cooperation with the Union Safety Department, will provide annual training for full-time Company paid members of the Joint Safety Committee. The Company will pay the reasonable cost of training materials and facilities, as well as necessary expenses and lost time in accordance with local Plant understandings. The training shall be held in conjunction with the annual meeting described below and will include four (4), eight (8) hour training sessions. The Union may, at its discretion, use one (1) of those sessions to deliver training to Union members only.

 

8.Members of the Joint Safety Committee will be afforded access, consistent with their own safety and the safety of the operation, to all operational areas of the Plant for the purpose of conducting the legitimate business of the Committee, upon notification to the appropriate Company representative. The Director of the Union Safety Department or his/her designee will be allowed access to the Plant upon notification to the Company.

 

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9.The Company will provide an office in a convenient location in the Plant for the exclusive use of Union members of the Joint Safety Committee. The office will be equipped with a telephone and a computer.

 

10.The Union members of the Joint Safety Committee will be compensated for lost time for all hours spent on Committee work as described in H-2 and H-3 above, in accordance with existing local Plant understandings and Appendix Q-6.

 

11.The Parties will sponsor an annual safety and health meeting, attended by full-time Company paid Union members of the Joint Safety Committee from each Plant covered by this Agreement, Union Safety and Health Coordinators, appropriate Company counterparts and members of the Union Safety Department. The Company will pay reasonable travel expenses, other expenses and lost time for Employees determined in accordance with local Plant understandings.

 

Section I. The Union’s Right to Participate in Environmental Issues

 

1.A Joint Environmental Sub-Committee of the Joint Safety and Health Committee will be established at each location, composed of an equal number of employees designated by the Union and the Company. The Joint Safety and Health Sub-Committee will meet regularly to discuss environmental issues affecting the Company and to make appropriate recommendations.

 

2.The Company will make available for review to the Sub-Committee all non-confidential environmental reports, monitoring results, analyses, materials received from the EPA and other agencies, and any other relevant, non-confidential documents related to the Company’s environmental program and obligations.

 

Section J. The Right to Union Safety and Health Coordinators

 

1.The full-time Safety and Health Coordinators selected by the Chair of the Union Negotiating Committee in accordance with Article Six, Section C will work in cooperation with the Plant Safety Manager on safety and health matters such as those identified in H-2 above. The Coordinator will participate in the weekly meetings between the Union Chairs of the Joint Safety Committee(s) and the Plant Safety Manager as described in H-2 above.

 

2.The Joint Safety Committee, Company Safety and Health Department and Union Safety Department will cooperate in designing and implementing training for Union Safety and Health Coordinators.

 

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Section K. The Union’s Right to Participate in Incident/Accident Investigations

 

1.When an incident/accident occurs that results, or could have resulted, in a serious injury, the Company will immediately notify the Union Chair of the Joint Safety Committee who will have the right to immediately visit the scene, or to assign another Union member of the Joint Safety Committee to visit the scene, consistent with his/her safety. The Union Chair or designee will serve on the investigation team established to determine the cause of the incident/accident, and participate in the preparation of the report. The Company will provide the Joint Safety Committee with access to the site and any information relevant to understanding the causes of the incident/accident.

 

2.If the Company requires an Employee to testify or be interviewed at the formal investigation into the causes of an incident/accident or disabling injury, the Employee will be advised that s/he may have a Union representative present. The Union will be furnished with a copy of such record as is made of the Employee's testimony or interview.

 

3.No Employee will be disciplined or discriminated against in any way solely for suffering an injury or illness or for reporting an incident/accident in good faith. The Company will not establish any program, policy, practice or work rule that is likely to discourage Employees from reporting accidents, injuries or illness. The Company will adhere to the principles of progressive discipline when it imposes discipline for a safety violation, meaning it will take into account the gravity of the violation and the Employee’s prior discipline record, unless the violation results from malice, recklessness or knowing defiance of an established and properly communicated safety rule, policy or procedure.

 

4.A joint safety and health audit shall be conducted at each Plant at least annually. The audit team shall not include individuals from that Plant, and shall have an equal number of managers and Employees. Audits will be conducted pursuant to existing protocols and understandings.

 

5.A Union member of the Joint Safety Committee designated by the Union Chair shall be afforded the opportunity to participate in any safety inspection conducted by a government agency.

 

Section L. Carbon Monoxide Control, Toxic Substances and Harmful Physical Agents

 

1.The Company will routinely perform engineering surveys of hazards, periodic in-Plant industrial hygiene sampling and testing for harmful physical agents at each location covered by this Agreement. The survey, to be conducted by qualified personnel, will list locations from which significant amounts of carbon monoxide, toxic substances and harmful physical agents could escape, the conditions which might cause such a release, and the steps necessary to minimize or control the hazard. The survey will be updated annually and whenever significant changes are made to the gas-handling system or procedure.

 

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2.Based on sampling and surveys, the Company will implement a program for the control of such hazards including engineering and equipment changes necessary to eliminate or reduce the hazards identified in the survey; necessary amendments to safe job procedures; the installation and regular testing of fixed automatic monitors equipped with alarms; the use of portable monitors; regular inspection and maintenance of testing equipment; provision of an adequate number of approved breathing apparatus appropriate for emergency operations and in locations readily accessible to Employees; Employee training including regular drills; an emergency rescue program with appropriate rescue and trained personnel; and the investigation by the Joint Safety Committee of all incidents which involve the accidental releases of such hazards, cause an alarm to trigger or result in an elevated level of carboxyhemoglobin in any exposed person. The Joint Safety Committee will review the survey and the program whenever it is updated.

 

Section M. Ergonomics

 

1.The Parties will establish a program to identify ergonomic risks in the Plant and recommend controls.

 

2.If the Company determines a contractor is needed to conduct an ergonomic study, a member of the plant Joint Safety Committee designated by the Union Chair will be consulted regarding the selection of said Contractor.

 

3.The Joint Safety Committee will be provided with copies of any report completed in accordance with paragraph 2 above including photographs and videos.

 

4.A Union member of the Joint Safety Committee designated by the Union Chair shall be afforded the opportunity to participate in any ergonomic study conducted pursuant to paragraph 2 above.

 

Section N. Safety Shoe Allowance

 

Each active Employee will be provided by the Company, in accordance with applicable laws, one (1) pair of Company-approved safety shoes for the Employee’s use at work or the full purchase price of such shoes. A voucher system may be used to provide such shoes. The Company shall also replace such shoes, as necessary.

 

Section O. No Union Liability

 

The Company has the exclusive legal responsibility for safety and health conditions in the Plant and for environmental matters. Neither the Union nor its representatives, officers, employees or agents will in any way be liable for any work-related injuries or illnesses or for any environmental pollution that may occur.

 

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ARTICLE Four—CIVIL RIGHTS

 

Section A. Non-Discrimination

 

1.The provisions of this Agreement shall be applied to all Employees without regard to:

 

a.race, color, religious creed, national origin, disability, veterans disability or status as a veteran; or

 

b.sexual orientation, gender identify, or sex or age, except where sex or age is a bona fide occupational qualification; or

 

c.citizenship or immigration status, except as permitted by law.

 

2.Harassment on the basis of any of the categories listed above may be considered discrimination under this Section.

 

3.The Company shall not retaliate against an Employee who complains of discrimination or who is a witness to discrimination.

 

4.There shall be no interference with the right of Employees to become or continue as members of the Union and there shall be no discrimination, restraint or coercion against any Employee because of membership in the Union.

 

5.The right of the Company to discipline an Employee for a violation of this Agreement shall be limited to the failure of such Employee to discharge his/her responsibilities as an Employee and may not in any way be based upon the failure of such Employee to discharge his/her responsibilities as a representative or officer of the Union. The Union has the exclusive right to discipline its officers and representatives. The Company has the exclusive right to discipline its officers, representatives and employees.

 

6.Nothing herein shall be construed to in any way deprive any Employee of any right or forum under public law.

 

Section B. Civil Rights Committee

 

1.A Joint Committee on Civil Rights (Joint Committee) shall be established at each location covered by this Agreement. The Union shall appoint two (2) members, in addition to the Local Union President/Unit Chair and Grievance Chair. The Company shall appoint an equal number of members, including the Plant Manager, or his designated representative, and the Manager of Employee Relations. The Parties shall each appoint a Chair and shall provide each other with updated lists of the members of the Joint Committee.

 

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2.The Joint Committee shall meet as necessary and shall review and investigate matters involving Civil Rights and attempt to resolve them.

 

3.The Joint Committee shall not displace the normal operation of the grievance procedure or any other right or remedy and shall have no jurisdiction over initiating, filing or processing grievances.

 

4.In the event an Employee or Union representative on the Joint Committee brings a complaint to the Joint Committee, the right to bring a grievance on the matter shall be preserved in accordance with the following:

 

a.The complaint must be brought to the attention of the Joint Committee within the same timeframe that a complaint must be brought to Step 1 of the grievance procedure.

 

b.The Employee must provide the Joint Committee with at least forty-five (45) days to attempt to resolve the matter.

 

c.At any time thereafter, if the Joint Committee has not yet resolved the matter, the Employee may request that the Grievance Chair file it as a grievance in Step 2 of the grievance procedure, and upon such filing the Joint Committee shall have no further jurisdiction over the matter.

 

d.If the Joint Committee proposes a resolution of the matter and the Employee is not satisfied with such resolution, the Grievance Committee Chair may file a grievance in Step 2 of the grievance procedure, provided such filing is made within thirty (30) days of the Employee being made aware of the Joint Committee’s proposed resolution.

 

5.The Union members of the Joint Civil Rights Committee shall be compensated for lost time spent in joint training related to the function of the Joint Civil Rights Committee.

 

Section C. Workplace Harassment, Awareness and Prevention

 

1.All Employees shall be educated in the area of workplace diversity and harassment awareness and prevention on an annual basis.

 

2.A representative of the Union’s Civil Rights Department and a representative designated by the Company’s Employee Relations Department will work together to develop joint harassment and prevention education, with input from the Plants and Local Unions.

 

3.Members of the Joint Civil Rights Committee will be trained in matters relative to this provision.

 

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4.All new Employees (and all Employees who have not received such training) will be scheduled to receive one to two (2) hours of training as to what harassment is, why it is unacceptable, its consequences for the harasser and what steps can be taken to prevent it.

 

5.All Employees shall be compensated in accordance with the standard local Plant understandings for time spent in training referred to in this Section.

 

Section D. Child Care, Elder Care and Dependent Care

 

1.The Parties agree to identify programs that meet the changing needs of working families, particularly in regard to dependent care.

 

2.At each location covered by this Agreement the Parties shall create a Dependent Care Committee, comprised of a Joint Efforts Coordinator and a designee of the Plant Manager and the Local Union President/Unit Chair. The Committee shall meet and be responsible for the identification and, where appropriate, development of dependent care programs. The Committee will utilize local community resources which are able to support the issues of child, elder and dependent care.

 

3.The Committee's efforts shall include fact finding and identifying working model programs during the term of this Agreement, such as:

 

a.twenty-four (24) hour resources and referral systems;

 

b.subsidy and/or reimbursement provisions for dependent care services;

 

c.pre-tax programs;

 

d.near-site or on-site dependent care centers;

 

e.before and after work care for extended workdays;

 

f.holiday, emergency and sick care on workdays; and

 

g.development of community-based groups with other unions and companies in the region to cost effectively provide dependent care services.

 

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ARTICLE FiveWORKPLACE PROCEDURES

 

Section A. Local Working Conditions

 

1.Local Working Conditions

 

The term Local Working Conditions as used in this Section means specific practices or customs which reflect detailed applications of matters within the scope of wages, hours of work or other conditions of employment, including local agreements, written or oral, on such matters. It is recognized that it is impracticable to set forth in this Agreement all of these working conditions, which are of a local nature only, or to state specifically in this Agreement which of these matters should be changed or eliminated. The provisions set forth below provide general principles and procedures which explain the status of these matters and furnish necessary guideposts. Any arbitration arising under this Section shall be handled on a case-by-case basis.

 

2.Deprivation of Benefits

 

In no case shall Local Working Conditions deprive an Employee of rights under this Agreement and the conditions shall be changed or eliminated to provide the benefits established by this Agreement.

 

3.Benefits in Excess

 

Should there be any Local Working Conditions in effect which provide benefits that are in excess of, or in addition to, but not in conflict with benefits established by this Agreement, they shall remain in effect for the term of this Agreement, except as they are changed or eliminated by mutual agreement or in accordance with Paragraphs 4 or 6 below.

 

4.Right to Change

 

The Company shall have the right to change or eliminate any Local Working Condition if the basis for the existence of the Local Working Condition is changed or eliminated, thereby making it unnecessary to continue such Local Working Condition.

 

5.Modification of Agreement

 

No Local Working Condition shall be established or continued which changes or modifies any provision of this Agreement, except as it is approved in writing by the Chairs of the respective Negotiating Committees.

 

6.Additional Requirements

 

a.After May 20, 2003, all Local Working Conditions must be reduced to writing and signed by the Plant Manager and the Local Union President/Unit Chair.

 

b.A Local Working Condition established prior to May 20, 2003, which would interfere with the attainment of the workplace restructuring objective set forth in Appendix C-1: Workplace Restructuring and Productivity of the 2003 BLA will be eliminated or modified as appropriate. Those Local Working Conditions unaffected by the foregoing will be preserved.

 

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Section B. New or Changed Jobs

 

As part of the workplace restructuring agreed to during the course of the 2003 collective bargaining between the Parties, six (6) new jobs were established to replace the existing jobs. The descriptions for these six (6) jobs are very broad in nature and apply to all of the Plants covered by this Agreement. Due to the manner in which these jobs are described, the Parties do not anticipate that it will be necessary to change these descriptions or their corresponding labor grades. The procedure set forth below is provided for in the unlikely event that a change would be required in the future.

 

1.The jobs provided for under this Agreement are set forth in Appendix A-2.

 

2.The job description and labor grade classification for each job in effect as of the date of this Agreement shall continue in effect unless changed in accordance with mutual agreement of the Chair of the Union Negotiating Committee and the Company’s Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, or by a decision by the Board of Arbitration pursuant to Paragraph 9 below.

 

3.The Chairs of the respective Negotiating Committees shall meet at least annually to discuss issues concerning the job descriptions.

 

4.At each location covered by this Agreement, the Union shall designate up to two (2) individuals to serve on a Job Evaluation Committee. The Committee shall be provided with paid time off in accordance with standard local Plant understandings to conduct its business as described in this Section.

 

5.In the event the Company chooses to modify the duties of an existing job or create a new job, it shall follow the procedure outlined below.

 

6.The Company shall meet with the Job Evaluation Committee and present it with a written description of how it intends to modify an existing job or a complete description of a proposed new job. The description shall include:

 

a.the requirements of such new or modified job in the areas of training, skill, responsibility, effort and surroundings (Requirements);

 

b.the Company’s view as to how these Requirements compare to the Requirements for existing jobs at the Plant; and

 

c.based on Paragraphs (a) and (b) above, at what rate the Company believes the job should be paid.

 

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7.The Job Evaluation Committee shall be provided with any additional information requested in connection with its assessment of the new or modified job.

 

8.If the Parties are unable to agree upon the appropriate duties and rate of pay for the new or modified job, they shall submit their dispute to arbitration using a procedure to be developed by the Parties.

 

9.The arbitrator shall base his/her decision on the Requirements of the new or modified job and how those Requirements compare to the Requirements for the existing jobs at the Plant and other Plants of the Company.

 

Section C. Hours of Work

 

1.Normal Workday and Work Week

 

a.The normal workday shall be any regularly scheduled consecutive twenty-four (24) hour period comprising eight (8) consecutive hours of work and sixteen (16) consecutive hours of rest. The normal work week shall be five (5) consecutive workdays beginning on the first day of any seven (7) consecutive day period. The seven (7) consecutive day period is a period of 168 consecutive hours and may begin on any day of the calendar week and extend into the next calendar week. On shift changes, the 168 consecutive hours may become 152 consecutive hours depending upon the change in the shift. This Section shall not be considered as any basis for the calculation or payment of overtime, which is covered solely by Article Five, Section D.

 

b.Schedules showing Employees’ workdays shall be posted or otherwise made known to Employees not later than Thursday of the week preceding the calendar week in which the schedule becomes effective. The Company will establish a procedure affording any Employee whose last scheduled turn ends prior to the posting of his/her schedule for the following week an opportunity to obtain information relating to his/her next scheduled turn. This procedure will also be applicable with respect to Employees returning from vacation.

 

c.Employees shall be paid for all shifts, which are part of their originally posted schedule, unless an Employee fails to work as scheduled for reasons such as disciplinary time off, absenteeism or report-off time for Union business.

 

d.All shifts not included on the originally posted schedule shall be considered overtime shifts, except to the extent that such shifts are worked at the request of, or with the consent, of the Employee.

 

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2.Absenteeism

 

a.It is expected that Employees shall adhere to their schedule. When an Employee has just cause to be late for or absent from work, s/he shall, as promptly as possible, contact the designated person and provide the pertinent facts and when the Employee expects to return to work.

 

b.Reasonable rules for the implementation of these principles shall be developed by the Company and made known to Employees. Such rules will not deprive any Employee of any rights otherwise provided by this Agreement and shall be reasonably applied.

 

3.Overtime

 

a.The Parties recognize that schedules that regularly require a substantial level of overtime are undesirable and should be avoided where possible.

 

b.Where local practices or agreements with respect to the distribution of overtime do not presently exist, the Company and the Local Union Grievance Committee shall promptly conclude an agreement providing for the most equitable overtime distribution consistent with the efficiency of the operation.

 

c.The Company will consider an Employee’s request to be excused from overtime work and shall accommodate those requests which are practicable and reasonable under the circumstances.

 

4.Full Week Guarantee

 

An Employee scheduled to work will receive, during a payroll week, an opportunity to earn at least forty (40) hours of pay (including hours paid for but not worked, work opportunities declined by the Employee, disciplinary time off, absenteeism and report-off time for Union business, but excluding overtime pay and premium pay). An Employee on an approved leave of absence or disability during any payroll week shall be considered as having been provided the opportunity for this guarantee during any such week, it being understood that the pay, if any, that such an Employee is entitled to receive while on approved leave of absence or disability is that provided by applicable law or the Agreement, not the earning opportunity set forth in this Paragraph.

 

5.Full Day Guarantee

 

An Employee who is required to report and reports to work shall be paid for the greater of (a) eight (8) hours or (b) the hours actually worked, except as provided in other Sections of this Agreement or in cases where the Employee works less than eight (8) hours or the actual hours scheduled, as a result of the Employee voluntarily leaving work or as a result of disciplinary action.

 

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6.Alternative Work Schedule

 

The Company may adopt alternative work schedules consisting of ten (10) or twelve (12) hour per day scheduling with the approval of the Local Union President/Unit Chair and the Grievance Chair and sixty percent (60%) of the Employees who are impacted by the alternative schedule.

 

Approval of an alternative work schedule may be revoked at any time more than six (6) months after its implementation by a simple majority vote of the Employees who are impacted by that schedule. Following such revocation, the Company shall reinstate a normal schedule as promptly as possible.

 

Section D. Overtime

 

1.Definitions

 

a.The payroll week shall consist of seven (7) consecutive days beginning at 12:01 a.m. Sunday or at the shift-changing hour nearest to that time.

 

b.The workday for the purposes of this Section is the twenty-four (24) hour period beginning with the time the Employee is scheduled to begin work.

 

c.The Regular Rate of Pay as used in Paragraph 2 below (and in this Agreement) shall mean the Base Rate of Pay plus incentive earnings for the job on which the overtime hours are worked.

 

2.Conditions Under Which Overtime Rates Shall Be Paid

 

Unless worked pursuant to an agreed upon Alternative Work Schedule, overtime at the rate of one-and-one-half times the Regular Rate of Pay shall be paid for:

 

a.hours worked in excess of eight (8) hours in a workday;

 

b.hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours in a payroll week;

 

c.hours worked on a second reporting in the same workday where the Employee has been recalled or required to report to work after working eight (8) hours; and

 

d.hours worked on the sixth or seventh workday of a seven (7)-consecutive-day period during which the first five (5) days were worked, whether or not all such days fall within a single payroll week; and provided that on shift changes the 7-consecutive-day period of 168 consecutive hours may become 152 consecutive hours depending upon the change in the shift.

 

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Prior to the Effective Date, various Plant locations utilized certain schedules and schedule patterns that would have required the payment of sixth and seventh day overtime but were exempted from such overtime requirement by agreement of the local parties. As such, the local parties at a Plant location may continue to agree to waive the required payment of sixth and seventh day overtime for schedules and schedule patterns that would otherwise require such payment.

 

3.Holidays

 

Recognized holidays, whether or not worked, shall be counted as a day worked in determining overtime; however, worked holidays shall only be paid as specified in Article Ten, Section A (Holidays).

 

4.Non-Duplication of Overtime

 

Overtime shall not be duplicated by using the same hours paid at overtime rates more than once for the purpose of calculating overtime payments.

 

5.Overtime Meal Allowance

 

Where meals are not provided and the local practice with respect to overtime meal arrangements is not in excess thereof, the overtime meal allowance, payable under the same circumstances as heretofore, will be $7.00 during the term of the 2022 Basic Labor Agreement.

 

Section E. Seniority

 

1.Seniority Status of Employees

 

a.The Parties recognize that promotional and other in-plant opportunities as provided for in this Section E and job security should increase in proportion to length of Continuous Service and that the fullest practicable consideration shall be given to Continuous Service in such cases.

 

b.Continuous Service, as defined by Paragraph 3(a) below, shall be used for all purposes under the Basic Labor Agreement, unless explicitly provided otherwise; provided, however, that accumulation in excess of two (2) years during a period of layoff shall be counted only for purposes of this Section, including local agreements thereunder.

 

c.In all cases of promotions, decreases in force and recalls after layoffs, the following factors shall be considered:

 

(1)ability to perform the work and physical fitness; and

 

(2)Plant Continuous Service (Plant Service).

 

Where factor (1) is relatively equal between Employees, Plant Service shall be the determining factor.

 

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2.Determination of Seniority Units

 

a.Seniority shall be applied in the seniority units, which may be an entire Plant or any subdivision thereof, as established or agreed upon. A job may be in one seniority unit for one purpose such as promotions and may be in a different seniority unit for another purpose, such as layoffs.

 

b.The seniority units, lines of progression, departments and rules for the application of seniority factors in effect as of the Effective Date shall remain in effect unless modified by a local written agreement signed by the Grievance Chair and the Manager of Employee Relations.

 

c.Local seniority agreements shall provide that the opportunity to receive training necessary for promotions within the job sequence and all promotions (including step-ups), decreases in forces (including demotions and layoffs), recalls after layoff and other practices affected by seniority shall be in accordance with Plant Service; provided that (1) demotions, layoffs and other reductions in force shall be made in descending job sequence order, starting with the highest affected job and with the Employee on such job having the least length of Plant Service and (2) the sequence on a recall shall be made in the reverse order so that the same Employees return to jobs in the same positions relative to one another that existed prior to the layoff.

 

3.Continuous Service

 

a.Continuous Service shall be determined by the Employee’s date of first employment or reemployment following a break in service with the Company.

 

b.Former Employees of National Steel

 

A USW-represented Employee accruing Basic Labor Agreement continuous service with National Steel at the closing of the sale of National Steel’s assets to the Company and hired by the Company upon the effective date of the 2003 Basic Labor Agreement as a direct result of such sale was credited with the amount of his/her Basic Labor Agreement service with National Steel for all Basic Labor Agreement purposes, except as otherwise provided by this Agreement or other agreements between the Parties.

 

c.Plant Service shall be the length of time measured from the Employee’s first date of employment or reemployment following a break in Continuous Service in his/her Plant.

 

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d.Continuous Service (including Company Continuous Service and Plant Service) shall only be broken if an Employee:

 

(1)quits;

 

(2)retires;

 

(3)is discharged for cause;

 

(4)if on layoff, fails to report to the Employment Office within ten (10) days of registered mail notice;

 

(5)is absent in excess of two (2) years, except as such longer period is provided for in paragraphs (6) and (7) below;

 

(6)is absent because of layoff (including a layoff due to a permanent closure) or non-occupational physical disability for a period longer than the lesser of his/her length of Continuous Service at the commencement of such absence or five (5) years;

 

(7)is absent due to a compensable disability incurred during the course of employment and does not return to work within thirty (30) days after final payment of statutory compensation for the disability or after the end of the period used to calculate a lump-sum payment. If the seniority of an Employee does not permit a return to work, the Employee will be placed on layoff and any break will be determined under Paragraph 5 above; or

 

(8)accepts severance allowance.

 

4.Probationary Employees

 

a.New Employees hired after the Effective Date of this Agreement will serve a probationary period for the first 1,040 hours of actual work and will receive no Continuous Service credit during such period. For purposes of this provision “actual work” shall include hours spent in Company required training. Probationary Employees shall have access to the grievance procedure but may be laid off or discharged as exclusively determined by the Company; provided that such layoff or discharge may not violate Article Four, Section A (Non-Discrimination).

 

b.Probationary Employees who continue in the service of the Company beyond the first 1,040 hours of actual work shall receive full Continuous Service credit from their original date of hire.

 

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c.Where a Probationary Employee is laid off and is subsequently rehired within one (1) year from the date of such layoff, the hours of actual work accumulated during the first employment shall be added to the hours of actual work accumulated during the second employment in determining when the Employee has completed 1,040 hours of actual work; provided, however, that his/her Continuous Service date will be the date of hire of the second hiring.

 

5.Interplant and Intraplant Transfers

 

It is recognized that conflicting seniority claims among Employees may arise when Plant or department facilities are created, expanded, added, merged or discontinued. In the event the local parties are unable to resolve such conflicts, the International Union and the Company may reach such agreements as they deem appropriate, irrespective of existing seniority agreements, or submit the matter to arbitration under such conditions, procedures, guides and stipulations as to which they may mutually agree.

 

6.Temporary Vacancies

 

a.When it is necessary to fill temporary vacancies involving promotions within a seniority unit, known to be of three or more weeks duration, the Company shall to the greatest degree, consistent with efficiency of the operation and the safety of Employees, and the progression sequence, offer that temporary vacancy on the basis of seniority to an Employee in the unit who desires the assignment.

 

b.In case of a permanent vacancy on a job, the assignment of a junior Employee to a temporary vacancy on such job shall not be used as a presumption of creating greater ability in favor of such junior Employee if such temporary vacancy should have been made available to the senior Employee.

 

7.Posting of Job Openings

 

a.When a permanent vacancy develops or is expected to develop, the Company shall, to the greatest degree practicable, post notice of such vacancy or expected vacancy, for such period of time and in such manner as may be appropriate at each Plant.

 

b.Employees who wish to apply for the vacancy or expected vacancy may do so in writing in accordance with reasonable rules developed by the Company.

 

c.The notice requirement in Paragraph 7(a) above shall also apply to inform Employees of the Company’s choice to fill the vacancy.

 

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d.The Company shall, if in its judgment there are applicants qualified for the vacancy or expected vacancy, fill same from among such applicants in accordance with the provisions of Paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Section.

 

8.Seniority Status of Grievance Committee Members and Local Union Officers

 

When a decrease of force is effected, the Local Union President/Unit Chair and the members of the Grievance Committee shall, if they would otherwise be laid off, be retained at the lowest rated job in the unit that they represent. The intent of this provision is to retain in active employment individuals who can provide continuity in the administration of the Agreement; provided that an individual shall not be retained in employment unless work which s/he can perform is available.

 

9.Administration of Seniority

 

a.The seniority standings of Employees in a given department shall be kept on file in that department and the Local Union Zone Grievance Committeeman or Grievance Chair shall have access to the file in connection with any grievances.

 

b.The Company shall post in each department, on a bulletin board maintained for that purpose, the Plant Service date of all Employees in that department.

 

10.Permanent Vacancies and Transfer Rights

 

a.An Employee who is assigned to a job for purposes of retention shall not be able to effectuate a permanent transfer to that unit by refusing a recall to his/her home unit. However, nothing contained herein shall preclude such an Employee from effectuating a permanent transfer by bidding for a permanent vacancy in such a unit or any other unit in accordance with established procedures.

 

b.A permanent vacancy shall be filled from within the first step of competition (whether it be unit, line of progression, etc.). Each succeeding vacancy shall be filled in the same manner, and the resulting vacancy in the entry level job shall thereafter be filled on a departmental basis (the second step of competition) by Employees with at least six (6) months of Plant Service on the date the vacancy is posted.

 

c.Resulting entry level departmental vacancies shall be filled on a plant-wide basis (the third step of competition) by Employees with at least twelve (12) months of Plant Service on the date the vacancy is posted. An Employee transferring under Article Eight, Section D (Interplant Job Opportunities) shall be eligible to bid on vacancies notwithstanding the twelve (12) months of Plant Service requirement set forth above.

 

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d.As an exception to the procedures for filling vacancies provided for in Paragraphs 10(b) and (c) above, all permanent vacancies in Maintenance Technician Learner jobs shall be filled on a plant-wide basis from among qualified bidding Employees. Similarly, permanent vacancies in Maintenance Technician jobs which are not filled by the promotion or assignment of Learner graduates, or by the transfer of a Maintenance Technician from one unit to another, shall be filled on a plant-wide basis from among qualified bidding Employees. An Employee shall not be disqualified from bidding on any such vacancy by reason of any minimum length of service requirement.

 

e.Employees wishing to bid to a lower job within their Seniority Unit pursuant to a Step 2 bid may be considered to be eligible bidders, by mutual agreement of the local parties. In addition, the Company will consider an Employee’s request to waive incumbency to his/her current job and fill a vacancy on a lower job in his/her current line of progression.

 

f.Should the Company deem it necessary to retain an Employee on his/her former job in order to continue efficient operation, it may do so, for a maximum of sixty (60) days, on the basis of establishing such Employee on the new job and temporarily assigning him/her to his/her former job until a suitable replacement can be trained for the job or its performance is no longer required. In such event, after two (2) weeks of being delayed the Employee shall be entitled to earnings not less than what s/he would have made had s/he been working on the new job on which s/he has been established and, where applicable, shall be paid as though such hours were credited to any trainee program. Additionally, where an Employee has been awarded a Step 3 bid but has been retained on their former job for greater than sixty (60) days, the Employee may submit a request to the Area Manager of the Department retaining the Employee for review. Upon such request, the Area Manager and a Human Resources representative shall meet with the Union to discuss the reason the Employee is being retained; the plan to address the issue(s) preventing their release, and to agree upon a release date. If the Parties are unable to agree upon a release date, one shall be set by the Plant Manager. If the Employee is held on their former job beyond the release date set by the Plant Manager, the Employee shall be paid the equivalent of the overtime rate for non-premium, straight time hours worked on the former job after the release date and until the time of transfer as a special allowance.

 

g.If an Employee accepts transfer under this Paragraph, his/her rights in the unit from which s/he transfers will be canceled thirty (30) days after such transfer; provided, however, that within thirty (30) days following transfer, the Employee may voluntarily return to the unit from which s/he transferred, or the Company may return him/her to that unit because s/he cannot fulfill the requirements of the job or because the need to fill the position is deemed to be not necessary within thirty (30) days of the date of transfer.

 

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h.In the event an Employee accepts transfer under Paragraph 10 and remains on the new job for more than thirty (30) days, s/he may not again apply for transfer for one (1) year after such transfer.

 

i.In the event an Employee refuses a transfer under Paragraph 10 after applying therefore, or voluntarily returns to the unit from which s/he transferred, s/he may not again apply for transfer to such unit for one (1) year after such event.

 

11.Compensation for Improper Layoff or Recall

 

In the event of improper layoff or failure to recall an Employee in accordance with his/her seniority rights, the Employee shall be made whole for the period during which s/he is entitled to retroactivity.

 

Section F. Testing

 

1.Where tests are used as an aid in making determinations of the qualifications of an Employee, such a test must in all events:

 

a.be job related;

 

b.comply with Article Four, Section A (Non-Discrimination);

 

c.be uniformly applied within each respective Plant; and

 

d.employ a passing grade that is no higher than that required to establish ability to perform the work.

 

2.A job-related test, whether oral, written or in the form of an actual work demonstration, is one which measures whether an Employee can satisfactorily meet the specific requirements of that job including the ability to absorb any training which may necessarily be provided in connection with that job.

 

3.Testing procedures shall in all cases include notification to an Employee of any deficiencies and an offer to counsel how to overcome the deficiencies.

 

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4.Where, in accordance with this Agreement, a test is used by the Company as an aid in making a determination of the Employee’s ability to perform the work and where the use of the test is challenged in the grievance procedure, the following shall pertain:

 

a.The Company will furnish to a designated representative of the International Union either the test itself or examples of test questions, certified by a testing agency as equivalent in any relevant respects to questions used in the disputed test and sufficient in number to evaluate the test, and all such background and related materials as may be relevant and available. In cases where all or part of the test is non-written, a complete description of the test shall be provided along with all such background and related materials as may be relevant and available.

 

b.All such test questions and materials will be held in strictest confidence and will not be copied or disclosed to any other person; provided that such test questions and materials may be disclosed to an expert in the testing field for the purpose of preparing the Union’s position in the grievance procedure and to an arbitrator, if the case proceeds to that step. All test questions and materials will be returned to the Company following resolution of the dispute.

 

c.Copies of transcripts and exhibits presented in the arbitration of cases involving the challenge to a test will also be held in confidence and will not be copied or otherwise published.

 

Section G. Permanent Closures

 

1.Before the Company decides to permanently close or discontinue a Plant, department or substantial portion thereof (a Closure), it shall give the Union advance written notice at least ninety (90) days prior to the proposed Closure date. Along with such notice, the Company shall provide the Union with a detailed statement of the reasons for the proposed action, all information on which the decision is based and how and where the work which was performed at the closed unit will be performed.

 

2.Thereafter, the Company will meet with appropriate Union representatives in order to provide them with an opportunity to discuss the Company’s proposed course of action, provide the Union with any additional requested information related to the decision and bargain in good faith over any suggested alternatives.

 

3.No less than thirty (30) days prior to the Closure date, the Company shall advise the Union of its final decision, which decision shall be the exclusive function of the Company.

 

4.Any Employee affected by a Closure shall, after exercising any rights to which s/he may be entitled, be placed on layoff in accordance with this Agreement.

 

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Section H. Manning of New Facilities

 

1.In the manning of jobs at new facilities in existing Plants, the jobs shall be filled by qualified Employees who apply for such jobs in the order of length of Plant Service from the following categories in the following order but subject to the other provisions of this Section:

 

a.Employees displaced from any facility being replaced in the Plant by the new facilities;

 

b.Employees otherwise displaced as a result of the installation of the new facilities;

 

c.Employees presently employed on like facilities in the Plant;

 

d.Employees presently on layoff from like facilities in the Plant; and

 

e.Employees in the Plant with two (2) or more years of Plant Service; provided, that if sufficient qualified applicants from this source are not available, the Company shall fill the remaining vacancies as it deems appropriate.

 

2.The local parties shall meet to seek agreement on the standards to be used to determine the qualifications entitling Employees otherwise eligible to be assigned to the jobs in question.

 

3.Should the local parties fail to agree on the standards for determining qualifications, an applicant otherwise eligible must have:

 

a.the necessary reasonable qualifications for performing the job or the ability to obtain such qualifications with a reasonable amount of training, such training to be provided by the Company;

 

b.the ability to absorb any additional training for the job as is necessary to enable the Employee to perform the job satisfactorily; and

 

c.the necessary qualifications to progress in the promotional sequence involved to the next higher job to the extent that the Company needs Employees for such progression. In determining the necessary qualifications to advance in the promotional sequence involved, the normal experience that an Employee would acquire in such sequence shall be taken into consideration; provided, however, it is recognized that the Company can require that a sufficient number of occupants of each job in a promotional sequence be available to assure an adequate number of qualified replacements for the next higher job.

 

4.Should the Company deem it necessary to assign an Employee to his/her regular job at the old facility in order to continue its efficient operation, it may do so, for a maximum of sixty (60) days, on the basis of establishing the Employee on the new job and then temporarily assigning him/her back to his/her former job until a suitable replacement can be trained for the job or its performance is no longer required. In such event, the Employee shall be entitled to earnings not less than what s/he would have made had s/he been working on the new job.

 

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Section I. Adjustment of Grievances

 

1.Purpose

 

Should any differences arise between the Company and the Union as to the interpretation or application of, or compliance with, the provisions of this or any other Agreement between the Company and the Union, prompt and earnest efforts shall be made to settle them under the following provisions.

 

2.Definitions

 

a.Grievance shall mean a complaint by an Employee or the Union, as applicable, which involves the interpretation or application of, or compliance with, the provisions of this or any other Agreement between the Company and the Union.

 

b.Day as used in this Section shall mean a calendar day, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

 

3.Grievance Procedure

 

An Employee may informally discuss a complaint with his/her supervisor, with or without his/her Grievance Committeeman or Assistant Grievance Committeeman (Union Representative) being present. However, if the Employee wishes to use this grievance procedure, s/he shall report the matter to his/her Union Representative, who must refer it to Step 1 of the grievance procedure by completing a complaint form furnished by the Company and submitting it to the Employee’s supervisor within thirty (30) days of the date on which the Employee first knew or should have known of the facts which gave rise to the grievance.

 

The complaint form shall be signed by the Union Representative and the Employee. The supervisor shall sign and date the grievance form and return a completed copy to the Grievance Committeeman.

 

a.Step 1 – Oral

 

(1)A complaint received in Step 1 shall be discussed at a meeting with the Grievance Committeeman from the area and/or the Assistant Grievance Committeeman, the grievant and the grievant’s supervisor at a mutually convenient time within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the grievance form. Either Party may call witnesses who are employees of the Company.

 

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(2)The supervisor shall answer the complaint no later than five (5) days after the Step 1 hearing. The supervisor and the Union Representative shall have the authority to settle the complaint without prejudice or precedent. If settled in Step 1, the complaint form shall be so noted and signed and dated by the Union Representative involved and the grievant’s supervisor.

 

(3)If not settled or withdrawn in Step 1, the Union shall, within five (5) days of the Company’s Step 1 response, provide the Company with a written record of the grievance, signed by the Grievance Committeeman, including the grievance number, a statement of the grievance, the Union’s understanding of the facts, its position and the reasons therefore, the remedy requested and the date submitted.

 

(4)Upon receipt, the Company shall, within five (5) days, provide the Grievance Committeeman and the Chair of the Union’s Grievance Committee (the Grievance Chair) with its version of the written record of the grievance, signed by the Company, with the same set of information required of the Union. These two (2) completed forms shall comprise the Step 1 written record.

 

b.Step 2 – Written

 

(1)In order to be considered further, a grievance shall be appealed by the Grievance Chair to the head of the grievant’s department, or his/her representative, within ten (10) days of receipt of the Step 1 written record by proper notation on such record.

 

(2)Such grievance shall be discussed at the next regular monthly meeting, which shall be held more frequently if necessary to maintain timely processing, with the grievant, the involved Grievance Committeeman, the Grievance Chair, the grievant’s supervisor and the involved department head, and/or his/her representative. Either Party may call witnesses who are employed by the Company.

 

(3)In Contracting Out or safety grievances, a representative of the relevant committee shall also be present.

 

(4)The department head, or his/her representative, shall provide the Grievance Chair with a written response (the Step 2 Answer) to the grievance within five (5) days of the Step 2 meeting.

 

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(5)If the Grievance Chair informs the department head in writing within five (5) days after receipt of the Step 2 Answer that the Union rejects the Step 2 Answer, the Company shall, within five (5) days, provide the Grievance Chair with Step 2 Minutes for the grievance which shall include: the date and place of the meeting; names and positions of those present; the number and description of the grievance discussed; background information and facts; a statement of the Union’s position as understood by the Company; and a statement of the Company’s position including its response to all claims, significant points of evidence, testimony and arguments presented by the Union as well as Company testimony and evidence, including past grievances and/or arbitration awards and the decision reached.

 

(6)If the Grievance Chair disagrees with the accuracy of the minutes, s/he shall submit a signed written response to the Company covering points of disagreement within ten (10) days of the receipt of the Step 2 minutes.

 

(7)The Local Union shall send a copy of the Step 2 minutes and any Union response to the designated representative of the International Union (the International Representative).

 

c.Step 3 – Written

 

(1)The International Representative shall send a written appeal of a Step 2 Answer to the Company Step 3 Representative within fifteen (15) days of the local Union’s receipt of the Step 2 Minutes.

 

(2)The International Representative, the Grievance Chair and the Company Step 3 Representative shall meet at a mutually acceptable time within fifteen (15) days of the Company’s receipt of the International Representative’s appeal.

 

(3)Grievances discussed at such meeting shall be answered in writing and sent to the International Representative within five (5) days after such meeting.

 

(4)The International Representative may appeal a grievance to arbitration by sending a written notice to the Board of Arbitration and the Company Step 3 Representative within ten (10) days of the Union’s receipt of the Step 3 written answer.

 

4.General Provisions

 

a.The Company shall provide reasonable forms for filing and appealing grievances and documenting the Step 1 and Step 2 written records.

 

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b.The Company and the Union shall provide each other with updated written lists of their Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3 representatives and their designees who shall have the authority to settle grievances at their respective steps and, for the grieving Party, to withdraw or appeal such grievances.

 

c.At each Step of the grievance procedure the Parties shall provide a full and detailed statement of the facts and provisions of the Agreement relied upon and the grieving Party shall provide the remedy sought. Facts, provisions or remedies not disclosed at or prior to Step 3 of the grievance procedure may not be presented in arbitration.

 

d.The settlement or withdrawal of a grievance prior to Step 3 shall be without precedent or prejudice to either Party’s position.

 

e.Any grievance filed directly in Step 2 or higher shall be initiated within thirty (30) days of the event upon which the grievance is based, or the date on which such event should reasonably have become known.

 

f.Except as otherwise provided in the BLA, all grievances shall be initiated at Step 1 and grievances which are not initiated in the proper step shall be referred there for processing.

 

g.A single grievance may be processed with the facts of alleged additional violations presented as well, in order to avoid the necessity of filing multiple grievances on the same subject or event or concerning the same alleged contract violation which occurred on different occasions. Additional claimants shall sign a special form to be supplied by the Company for this purpose. When the original grievance is resolved, the additional claims shall be reviewed in light of the resolved grievance. If the additional claims are not settled, they shall be considered as grievances and processed accordingly.

 

h.In the case of a grievance that involves a large group of Employees, a reasonable number may participate in any discussion of the grievance.

 

i.In any award or settlement involving cash payments amounts not paid within thirty (30) days of the date when the Parties identify the payees and the amount due to each payee will accrue interest from the date of settlement at the same rate as established at the local Federal Credit Union.

 

j.If, for any reason, the time limits specified in Paragraph 3 above for:

 

(1)meetings between the Parties are not met, the grievance shall be considered denied as of the last day within the time limit for such meeting and the appropriate Union representative shall have the right to move the grievance to the next step;

 

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(2)the Union to act are not met, the grievance shall be considered withdrawn; or

 

(3)the Company to act are not met, then the grievance shall be considered granted with the requested appropriate contractual remedy to the grieving Party.

 

Neither Party shall seek to enforce the above time limits unless the appropriate representative of the defaulting Party is notified in writing and provided not less than six (6) days to take the required action.

 

By mutual agreement and for good cause, reasonable extensions of time will be given either Party in writing; agreement to such extension of time shall not be unreasonably denied.

 

k.An Employee who is summoned to meet with a Company representative for the purpose of discussing possible disciplinary action shall be entitled to be accompanied by his/her Union Representative. If the Union Representative is not available for such meeting, the Employee may elect to defer such meeting for the time necessary to secure his/her attendance.

 

l.No Employee shall be required to submit to a lie detector test. The results of lie detector tests will not be used by the Company or the Union. The Company and the Union shall not use, or make mention of either the results of a lie detector test or the refusal of an Employee to take a lie detector test in the grievance and arbitration procedure.

 

m.Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, the grievance procedure may be utilized by the Union with or without an individual grievant to allege a violation of the obligations of the Company to the Union. Such grievances shall be filed in Step 2.

 

n.In the event an Employee dies, the Union may process his/her grievance on behalf of his/her heirs.

 

o.The Chair of the Union Negotiating Committee, the District Director and the International Representative shall have access to the Plant at reasonable times to investigate issues involving grievances with which they are concerned.

 

p.In the event a grievance is sustained or granted at arbitration, the Company will pay for all lost time for the grievant and the designated Union representative for participation in Steps 1, 2 and 3 of the grievance procedure in accordance with local Plant understandings.

 

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5.Grievance Committee

 

a.The Union shall provide the Company with an updated written list of individuals who comprise its Grievance Committee, including a chair and a secretary. The number of members of the Committee at each Plant shall be agreed upon by the Plant Manager or his/her designee and the Local Union President/Unit Chair, but in no case, shall there be less than three (3) nor more than ten (10) members, in addition to the Grievance Chair and Secretary, and no more than one member of the Committee shall be from any one department (excluding the Grievance Chair and Secretary). Committee members will be afforded time off upon reasonable notice and approval to:

 

(1)attend scheduled committee meetings;

 

(2)attend meetings pertaining to suspension or discharge or other matters which cannot reasonably be delayed; and

 

(3)visit departments at reasonable times for the purpose of transacting the legitimate business of the Grievance Committee after notice to the head of the department to be visited and after reasonably granted permission from his/her own department head if the Grievance Committee member is at work.

 

b.Where the Grievance Committee so decides, the Assistant Griever may be designated to aid the Committee. The Union shall provide the Company with an updated written list of such individuals, not to exceed one (1) for every 150 Employees. Each Assistant Griever shall:

 

(1)be limited to the handling of grievances in Step 1 within the Plant unit represented by him/her; and

 

(2)upon reasonable notice to and reasonable approval by his/her immediate supervisor, be afforded time off to investigate the facts essential to the settlement of any grievances.

 

6.Board of Arbitration

 

a.The Parties shall continue for the term of this Agreement the Board of Arbitration (the Board) consisting of one (1) mutually agreed upon Chairperson. The Parties shall utilize an agreed upon number of Arbitrators to hear grievances who shall serve with the mutual agreement of the Parties. In the event of the resignation, incapacity or death of the Chairperson of the Board, the Parties shall promptly agree upon a successor.

 

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b.The Board shall have the authority to hear and decide any grievance appealed in accordance with this Section I as well as disputes concerning the Insurance Agreement. The Board shall not have jurisdiction or authority to add to, detract from or alter in any way the provisions of this Agreement or the Insurance Agreement.

 

c.The Board, after consultation with the Company and the Union and subject to the procedures described in this Paragraph, shall adopt rules and regulations to govern its procedure and administration.

 

d.A decision of the Board shall be final and binding upon the Company, the Union and all Employees concerned.

 

e.Where the Parties are in disagreement with respect to the meaning and application of a decision, either Party may apply to the Board for a compliance hearing in accordance with rules that the Board shall prescribe. Such application shall be given priority and be resolved by the Board within thirty (30) days.

 

f.Expenses connected with the administration of the Board shall be shared equally by the Company and the Union.

 

g.If this Agreement is violated by the occurrence of a strike, work stoppage, or interruption or impeding of work at any Plant or subdivision thereof, the Board shall refuse to consider or decide any cases concerning Employees at such Plant involved in such violation while such activity is in effect.

 

7.Arbitration Hearings

 

a.Thirty (30) days prior to the start of each calendar quarter the Board shall provide the Parties with a calendar listing hearing dates for that quarter and be responsible for scheduling the hearings.

 

b.The hearings shall be scheduled as required at each location, as close to the Plant site as is reasonable.

 

c.On each hearing date the Parties shall, subject to the time available, attempt to present all cases scheduled for arbitration. The cases, unless agreed otherwise, shall be scheduled in the order in which they were appealed, provided that all pending discharge cases shall be scheduled first, and provided further that either Party may seek agreement from the other to have a case scheduled out of order for good cause, such request not to be unreasonably denied.

 

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d.Failure to present a case at a scheduled hearing shall constitute withdrawal of the grievance and failure to respond to a case when presented shall constitute granting of the grievance and agreement to the remedy sought, provided that a hearing may be postponed once if the Board determines that circumstances clearly require postponement. However, the Parties may agree to postpone a grievance scheduled for arbitration.

 

8.Rules for Hearings

 

a.The Parties agree that the prompt resolution of cases brought to arbitration is of the highest importance. Therefore, arbitration hearings shall be heard in accordance with the following rules:

 

(1)the hearing shall be informal;

 

(2)pre-hearing briefs shall be filed in accordance with current practices, and post hearing briefs may be filed by agreement or by order of the Board following a request by either Party;

 

(3)there shall be no transcripts made unless the Parties agree otherwise;

 

(4)there shall be no formal evidence rules;

 

(5)the arbitrator shall have the obligation of assuring that the hearing is, in all respects, fair;

 

(6)the Board shall issue a decision no later than thirty (30) days after conclusion of the hearing. The decision shall include a brief written explanation of the basis for the conclusion; and

 

(7)the Board shall adopt such other rules as it deems necessary.

 

b.The Company agrees that it shall not, in an arbitration proceeding, subpoena or call as a witness any bargaining unit Employee or retiree. The Union agrees not to subpoena or call as a witness in such proceedings any non-bargaining unit employee or retiree.

 

c.The proposals made by each Party with respect to changes in the Basic Labor Agreements and the discussions had with respect thereto shall not be used, or referred to, in any way during or in connection with the arbitration of any grievance arising under the provisions of the Basic Labor Agreement.

 

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9.Suspension and Discharge Cases

 

a.Suspensions of Four Days or Less

 

(1)The affected Employee may grieve suspensions of four (4) calendar days or less directly to Step 2 of the Grievance Procedure within five (5) days of receiving notice of the suspension. Thereafter, the grievance will be processed in accordance with the regular Grievance Procedure described in Article Five, Section I(3).

 

(2)An initial suspension for not more than four (4) calendar days to be extended or converted into a discharge must be extended or converted within the four (4)-day period, in which case the five (5)-calendar day period for requesting a preliminary hearing described below shall begin when the Employee receives notice of such extension or discharge.

 

b.Suspension and Discharge Procedure

 

(1)An Employee shall not be peremptorily discharged. In all cases in which the Company may conclude that an Employee’s conduct may justify suspension or discharge, he shall be suspended initially for not more than five (5) calendar days.

 

(2)Before imposing a suspension or discharge, the Company shall give written notice of the suspension or suspension subject to discharge to the affected Employee. A copy of the discharge or suspension notice shall be promptly furnished to such Employee’s Grievance Committeeman.

 

(3)If such initial suspension is for 5 calendar days and if the Employee affected believes he has been unjustly dealt with, he may request and shall be granted, during this period, a preliminary hearing and a statement of the offense. The Employee may choose to have the Grievance Committeeman present at the hearing,

 

(4)The pertinent facts concerning the suspension, including copies of written statements relied upon by either party which are available at the time of the hearing, shall be made available and discussed by each party at the preliminary hearing.

 

(5)After the preliminary hearing, or if no such hearing is requested, the Company may affirm, revoke, extend or modify the suspension or convert the suspension to a discharge. The Company shall provide notice of its decision to the affected Employee and the Grievance Chair within five (5) days of the preliminary hearing, or, if no hearing is requested, within five (5) days of the expiration of the time to request such hearing.

 

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(6)The affected Employee may file a grievance directly to Step 2 within five (5) days of receiving notice of the Company’s decision. Thereafter, the grievance will be processed in accordance with the regular Grievance Procedure described in Article Five, Section I(3).

 

c.Justice and Dignity

 

(1)In the event the Company imposes a suspension or discharge and the Union files a grievance within five (5) days after notice of the suspension, or in the case of a suspension subject to discharge requests a preliminary hearing pursuant to Paragraph 9(b)(3), the affected Employee shall remain on the job to which his/her seniority entitles him/her until there is a final determination on the merits of the case.

 

(2)This Section 9(c) will not apply to cases involving offenses which endanger the safety of employees or the Plant and its equipment, including, but not limited to, use, possession and/or distribution on Company property of drugs, narcotics and/or alcoholic beverages; possession of firearms or weapons on Company property; destruction of Company property; insubordination as endangers the safety of other employees or members of supervision or the Plant and its equipment; threatening bodily harm to, and/or striking another employee; theft; violation of a last chance agreement; or activities prohibited by Article Five, Section K (Prohibition on Strikes and Lockouts).

 

(3)When an Employee is retained pursuant to this Section 9(c) and the Employee’s discharge or suspension is finally held to be for proper cause, the removal of the Employee from the active rolls shall be effective for all purposes as of the final resolution of the grievance.

 

(4)Notwithstanding anything in Article Ten, Section B-1-a-(3) to the contrary, when an Employee is retained pursuant to this Section 9(c), such Employee shall be eligible to schedule and take vacation to which he/she is otherwise entitled up to the date of the arbitration award.

 

(5)When a discharged Employee is retained at work pursuant to this Section 9(c) and is discharged again for a second offense, the Employee will no longer be eligible to be retained at work under these provisions.

 

d.The Company will not make use of any personnel records of previous disciplinary action against the Employee involved where the disciplinary action occurred three (3) or more years prior to the date of the event which is the subject of suspension or discharge.

 

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e.Should the Board determine that an Employee has been suspended or discharged without proper cause, the Board shall have the authority to modify the discipline and fashion a remedy warranted by the facts.

 

f.Nothing in these provisions shall restrict or expand the Company’s right to relieve an Employee for the balance of such Employee’s shift under the terms of the Agreement.

 

10.Mini-Arbitration

 

a.Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, the following mini-arbitration procedure is designed to provide prompt and efficient handling of grievances concerning written reprimands or suspensions of five (5) days or less, excluding discipline for concerted activity. Disputes involving Article Two, Section A-4, preferences pursuant to Appendix T, overtime distribution, or vacation scheduling, which do not present issues of the type described in paragraph e. below, will also be subject to this procedure. In addition, grievances concerning suspensions of more than five days may be referred to mini-arbitration by mutual agreement of the parties 3rd Step Representatives.

 

b.The mini-arbitration procedure shall be implemented in light of the circumstances existing in each Plant, with due regard to the following:

 

(1)Grievances appealed pursuant to this procedure will be so appealed by the Chairman of the Grievance Committee by written notice served simultaneously on the Administrative Secretary of the area panel and the Company’s Step 3 Representative within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the Company Step 2 Minutes.

 

(2)Hearings shall be held one (1) or more days per calendar month, provided at least one (1) grievance has been appealed to mini-arbitration. The Administrative Secretary of the area panel shall schedule the hearing at a date, time and place, mutually agreed to by the Parties. Thereafter the rules of procedure for mini-arbitration shall apply.

 

(3)Where the local parties have an agreed upon panel of arbitrators, the Parties shall meet on an annual basis to review such panel

 

c.The hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the following:

 

(1)The hearing shall be informal.

 

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(2)No briefs shall be filed or transcripts made.

 

(3)There shall be no formal evidence rules.

 

(4)Each Party’s case shall be presented by a previously designated local representative.

 

(5)The arbitrator shall have the obligation of assuring that all necessary facts and considerations are brought before him by the representatives of the Parties. In all respects, he shall assure that the hearing is a fair one.

 

(6)If the arbitrator or the Parties conclude at the hearing that the issues involved are of such complexity or significance as to require further consideration by the Parties, the case shall be referred back to the Step 3 and it shall be processed as though appealed on such date.

 

d.The arbitrator shall issue a decision no later than forty-eight (48) hours after conclusion of the hearing (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays). decision shall be based on the records developed by the Parties before and at the hearing and shall include a brief written explanation of the basis for his conclusion. These decisions shall not be cited as a precedent in any discussion or at any step of the grievance or arbitration procedure. Should it be determined by the arbitrator that an Employee has been suspended without proper cause, the arbitrator shall have jurisdiction to modify the degree of discipline imposed by the Company.

 

e.Any grievance appealed to this mini-arbitration procedure must be confined to issues which do not involve novel problems and which have limited contractual significance or complexity. Where the Parties disagree with respect to whether a preference grievance is properly within the scope of mini-arbitration, the dispute shall be submitted to a designated Company Headquarters representative and a designated representative of the International Union for resolution of the jurisdictional issue. If the Union appeals a grievance to the Board of Arbitration under circumstances where it is clear from the issue embodied in the grievance that jurisdiction to resolve the grievance lies solely within the mini-arbitration procedure and should the Board conclude that it lacks jurisdiction over the grievance, the Union, after such award, may not thereafter appeal such grievance to mini-arbitration; provided, however, that if it is unclear from the issue embodied in such grievance whether jurisdiction to resolve the grievance lies solely within the mini-arbitration procedure, but the Board concludes that it lacks jurisdiction, the Union may appeal such grievance to mini-arbitration within ten (10) days of the date of such award.

 

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Section J. Management Rights

 

The Company retains the exclusive rights to manage the business and Plants and to direct the working forces. The Company, in the exercise of its rights, shall observe the provisions of this Agreement.

 

The rights to manage the business and Plants and to direct the working forces include the right to hire, suspend or discharge for proper cause, or transfer, and the right to relieve Employees from duty because of lack of work or for other legitimate reasons.

 

Section K. Prohibition on Strikes and Lockouts

 

1.There shall be no strikes or work stoppages or the interruption or impeding of work. No officer or representative of the Union shall authorize, instigate, aid or condone any such activities. No Employee shall participate in any such activities.

 

2.The applicable procedures of this Agreement will be followed for the settlement of all complaints or grievances.

 

3.There shall be no lockouts.

 

4.There shall be no intimidation or coercion of employees into joining the Union or continuing their membership therein.

 

5.There shall be no Union activity on Company time. Discussion of Union matters by Employees during authorized work breaks, which is not disruptive to Company business, shall not be deemed to be prohibited activity.

 

Section L. No Discipline for Wage Garnishments

 

No Employee shall be disciplined for having their wages garnished.

 

ARTICLE Six: JOINT EFFORTS

 

Section A. Partnership

 

1.Purpose and Intent

 

The purpose of this Section is to create a framework for ongoing discussion between the Company and the Union about issues that arise during the term of the BLA, including changes in the market or business conditions, adjustments to business strategy and Workplace Changes.

 

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In order to advance and maintain the objectives of this Section the Company and the Union agree to the use of off-site specialized joint training at each plant covered by the BLA as mutually agreed upon by the Union Chair of the Negotiating Committee and the Company’s Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer as follows;

 

a.Conflict Resolution Training specifically designed to meet the challenges of labor-management relations, organizational change and the development of problem-solving skills.

 

b.Cooperative Relationships and Communication Training to improve and develop relevant interpersonal skills, develop balance in the workplace, sort out systemic differences and to enhance understanding of the goals of the Employees, the Company and the Union.

 

c.Such other training as mutually agreed to by the Parties that may benefit the Plant and work life of the Employees.

 

d.Union participants will be compensated for lost time in accordance with local plant understandings while attending these training activities. All other costs associated with this training shall be borne by the Company.

 

2.Access to Information

 

The Company shall provide the Union and its advisors with:

 

a.full and continuing access to its short and long-term operating and financial results and forecasts including inputs relevant to the development of them;

 

b.the earliest practicable notification and continuing updates of any contemplated material corporate transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and new facilities to be constructed or established; and

 

c.information and continuing updates on any proposed Workplace Change.

 

Access to and the use of this information will be covered by a reasonable confidentiality agreement.

 

3.Comprehensive Training and Education Program

 

a.Company and Union representatives shall receive ongoing training developed and conducted by their respective organizations in the application of this Section.

 

b.The Company shall fund all costs associated with joint training programs developed in accordance with this Section.

 

c.Any training that is attended by both Employees and managers shall be jointly developed and implemented.

 

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4.Mechanisms

 

The Parties agree to the following to carry out this Section.

 

a.Strategic Labor Management Committee

 

(1)Appointment and Composition

 

A Joint Strategic Labor Management Committee (Strategic Committee) shall be established consisting of for the Company: the Chief Executive Officer, Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer and the highest ranking official at each of the Company’s facilities, and for the Union: the Chair of the Union’s Negotiating Committee, the Secretary of the Union’s Negotiating Committee, the District Director where each facility is located and the Local Union President(s) and Unit Chair(s) at each of the Company’s facilities. Each side shall designate a Chair and provide the other with an updated list of its members of the Committee.

 

(2)Meetings

 

The Strategic Committee shall hold at least quarterly meetings in Pittsburgh (or at another location as agreed) of at least one (1) full day. These meetings will be for the purpose of reviewing and discussing the information described in Section A, Paragraph 2 above (it being understood that the Union Chair will be updated more frequently regarding time-sensitive information) as well as other information and updates reasonably requested by the Union.

 

(3)Access to Board of Directors

 

The Union members of the Strategic Committee shall have the right to appear before and be heard by the Board of Directors on matters of concern to the Union.

 

b.Plant Labor Management Committees

 

(1)Appointment and Composition

 

The Parties shall establish a Plant Labor Management Committee (Plant Committee) at each of the Company’s facilities. The Plant Committee shall be composed of an agreed upon equal number of (between two (2) and five (5)) Union and Company representatives. The Company members of a Plant Committee shall include the Plant Manager and others as the Plant Manager designates. The Union members shall include the Local Union President/Unit Chair and such other members as the Local Union President shall appoint. The Plant Manager and Local Union Presidents/Unit Chairs will be the Chairs.

 

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(2)Meetings

 

The Plant Committee shall meet at least monthly. These meetings will be for the purpose of reviewing and discussing information concerning the operations, results and outlook for the Company, with emphasis on the particular facility, as well as information concerning Workplace Changes.

 

c.Area Labor Management Committees

 

(1)The Plant Committee may establish Area Labor Management Committees (Area Committees) in specific departments, operational units or divisions. The Area Committee Chair for the Union shall be the Grievance Committeeman/Committeemen for the area(s). The Chair for the Company shall be the Division Manager for the area (or his/her designee). Additional members of the Area Committee shall be drawn equally from the Company and Union. The Local Union President/Unit Chair (or designee) and the Plant Manager (or designee) may attend meetings of the Area Committees.

 

(2)The Area Committees shall provide a forum for exchange of information and discussion of issues related to operations and Workplace Changes.

 

d.The Parties may establish working groups at the shop floor level to meaningfully participate in decision making to support the Company’s ability to be the lowest cost producer of quality steel products and to improve the quality of work life for Employees. The working groups will meet regularly to discuss such matters described in Section A, Paragraph 2 above. The guidelines for problem solving at the working group level will be developed by the Plant Labor Management Committee at each division to facilitate what problems and issues are appropriately addressed.

 

e.Problem Solving Teams

 

The Plant Committee or an Area Committee may create one or more Problem Solving Teams to study and report back on a specific problem or project.

 

f.Company-Wide Meetings

 

(1)In each calendar year the Parties will hold a two (2) day meeting (the first day for separate meetings for preparation) in proximity to a Company facility to review and discuss the information described in Paragraph 2 above with the Union’s leadership at the Plants, Districts and International.

 

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(2)The Strategic Committee shall agree on a level of disclosure appropriate for the group.

 

(3)Union participants shall include the Chair of the Union Negotiating Committee, Secretary of the Union Negotiating Committee, the District Director where each facility is located, Local Union Presidents/Unit Chairs and Grievance Committee Chairs (or their designees) at each of the Company’s facilities. Company participants shall include the Company’s officers, Plant Managers and such others as the Company may designate.

 

(4)The Company will provide lost time pay and expenses for the Local Union President/unit chair and Grievance Chair from each Plant covered by this Agreement for their attendance at the joint meeting day(s) of the Company-wide meeting set forth in Article Six, Section A-4(f) in the manner as agreed to by the Joint Chairs of the Negotiating Committee regardless of their full-time Union status.

 

5.Workplace Change

 

a.The Plant Committee and relevant Area Committee shall be provided with the earliest practicable notification of any plan to significantly modify or change machinery, equipment, controls, materials, software, work organization or any other work process that would impact Employees (a Workplace Change). Such notification shall include:

 

(1)a description of the purpose, function and established timetable of the Workplace Change, and how it would fit into existing operations and processes;

 

(2)the estimated cost of the proposed Workplace Change;

 

(3)disclosure of any service or maintenance warranties or contracts provided or required by the vendor (if any);

 

(4)the number and type of Bargaining Unit jobs which would be impacted;

 

(5)the anticipated impact on the skill requirements of the workforce;

 

(6)details of any training programs connected with the Workplace Change (including duration, content and who will perform the training); and

 

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(7)the expected impact on job content, method of work, safety and health, training needs and the utilization of Outside Entities.

 

b.Union representatives on the Plant Committee and the relevant Area Committee may request and shall receive reasonable access to Company personnel knowledgeable about any proposed Workplace Change in order to review, discuss and receive follow-up information.

 

6.Safeguards and Resources

 

a.No entity created under this Section may amend or modify the Basic Labor Agreement, recommend or effect the hiring or discipline of any Employee or take any action with respect to contractual grievances.

 

b.Service on any entity created under this Section shall be voluntary, and no Employee may be disciplined for lack of involvement or commitment to the matters covered under this Section.

 

c.Employee participation or training contemplated in this Section shall normally occur during normal work hours.

 

d.At the mutual invitation of the Chairs of any committee created under this Section, appropriate Union representatives and Company representatives may attend a committee meeting.

 

e.All meeting time and necessary and reasonable expenses associated with any committee created under this Section shall be paid for by the Company and Employees attending such meetings in accordance with standard local Plant understandings.

 

f.Joint committees may mutually agree to employ at the Company’s expense experts from within or outside the Company as consultants, advisors or instructors and such experts shall be jointly selected and assigned.

 

g.All Union participants involved in any and all joint activities under this Section, or in any other joint committee involving members of a Union bargaining unit, shall be chosen and removed from the process exclusively by the Chair of the Union Negotiating Committee and the District Director where the facility is located.

 

h.All current improvement, involvement and joint programs may not conflict and, if necessary will be restructured to be consistent with this Section. Following the Effective Date, new improvement programs involving Employee participation may not be implemented without approval of the Union and, where implemented, shall operate in a manner consistent with this Section.

 

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i.This Section shall in no way diminish the Union’s collective bargaining rights regarding changes in technology and work organization that impact Employees.

 

Section B. Public Policy Activities

 

1.The Company and Union hereby agree to establish a jointly administered public policy fund (Public Policy Fund) meeting the following guidelines.

 

a.The purpose of the Fund shall be to:

 

(1)support public policies promoting the mutual interests of the Company and the Union on such subjects as health care, legacy costs, international trade, currency valuation, and other public policy issues of importance to the Parties;

 

(2)contribute to and promote greater cooperation between labor and management; and

 

(3)assist the Company and Union in solving problems of mutual concern that are not susceptible to resolution through collective bargaining.

 

b.The Public Policy Fund will pursue its mission through labor-management cooperative endeavors such as public and political education, issue advocacy, research and the coordination of such activities with other like-minded groups.

 

c.The Fund will have a six-person Governing Committee. The Company representatives shall include the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company or his designee, and two other senior officers of the Company (or one other senior officer of the Company if the Chairman is not the CEO of the Company.) The Union representatives shall include the International President of the USW or his designee, the Secretary of the Union’s Basic Steel Industry Conference and the USW District Director serving as the Chair of the Union Negotiating Committee.

 

d.The Public Policy Fund will be financed by an accrual of $0.12 for each ton of steel shipped to third parties by the Company facilities covered by this Agreement, and for each ton of steel shipped to third parties from the Lone Star and Star Tubular Plants.

 

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e.All activities of the Public Policy Fund shall be subject to approval by the Governing Committee, provided that:

 

(1)In the event that the Union members of the Governing Committee propose that the Union or its designee take responsibility for any or all aspects of the content, administration, delivery or implementation of any program or activities conducted under the auspices of the Fund, the Company members of the Governing Committee shall give recognition to the special advantages that such Union responsibility would contribute to such programs or activities including but not limited to the knowledge and experience of the Union, the familiarity of the Union with target audiences, and the added credibility that Union responsibility would add to such programs or activities.

 

(2)The document creating the Governing Committee will contain a procedure for the quick and binding resolution of any dispute over the administration, delivery or implementation of programs or activities conducted under the auspices of the Fund.

 

2.Stand Up for Steel

 

a.The Company agrees to continue as a member of the Stand Up For Steel Labor/Management Committee (Stand Up For Steel).

 

b.The Parties agree that Stand Up For Steel will serve as a focal point for industry-wide joint activities in combating unfair trade in steel, coke, iron ore and related products and other subjects as agreed to by the Parties. The Parties will continue to pursue other activities separately as appropriate and the funding and structure contemplated herein shall not be applicable to litigation to enforce the nation’s trade laws.

 

c.Stand Up For Steel will have a Governing Board consisting of an equal number of Union and Company representatives. The Board will be co-chaired by the President of the USW and a CEO selected by the participating companies.

 

d.All activities conducted under the banner of Stand Up For Steel shall be approved by the Governing Board.

 

e.The Parties will jointly recruit all American steel (carbon and stainless) and iron ore companies and others to join the organization under the terms described in this Section. The Company agrees to work with the other participating companies so that the company representatives on the Governing Board will represent the interests of all participating companies.

 

3.The Parties agree to create an Energy Efficiency and Carbon Emissions Task force at each identified Works location in accordance with the following:

 

a.The purpose of the Task Force shall be to work jointly to identify, analyze, and make recommendations regarding ways to conserve energy, improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the operating facilities of the Company.

 

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b.The Task Force shall work in conjunction with the joint efforts of the Parties on legislative initiatives related to these issues, as directed by the Public Policy Governing Committee.

 

c.Two Employees from each Works location shall be jointly selected by the Chairs of the Negotiating Committee to work in conjunction with representatives from the Company’s Environmental and Energy Management programs at each Works location for the purpose of pursuing the activities set forth herein.

 

d.For purposes of application of this provision, the Works locations are as follows: Gary, Great Lakes, Granite City, Minnesota Ore Operations, Mon Valley, and Fairfield.

 

Section C. Coordinators

 

1.The Chairman of the Union Negotiating Committee shall select and direct up to 25 Employees to serve as full time coordinating resources (herein Coordinators) who shall be responsible for the coordination and oversight of joint undertakings of mutual interest to the Company and the Union. Employees selected as Coordinators shall be designated and assigned in the areas of Safety & Health, Joint Efforts (including assisting Employees and retirees with pension and benefit matters as well as Public Policy initiatives set forth in this Article Six) and Training (including functioning as a liaison with local ICD committees, the Joint Union/Management Maintenance Planning/Contracting Out Committee as well as Partnership training efforts contained within this Article Six) at each of the Plant Groupings established below.

 

2.There shall be a total of nine (9) Safety & Health Coordinators with a minimum of one (1) established for each of the Plant Groupings. There shall be a total of nine (9) Training Coordinators with a minimum of one (1) established for each of the Plant Groupings. There shall be a total of seven (7) Joint Efforts Coordinators assigned in accordance with the Plant groupings unless otherwise mutually agreed by the Joint Chairs of the USS/USW Bargaining Committee.

 

3.Each Employee selected as a Safety, Training or Joint Efforts Coordinator shall perform the duties of their designated assignment as set forth in the other relevant provisions of the Basic Labor Agreement or otherwise mutually agreed upon by the Parties. Coordinators shall meet with the Co-Chairs of their respective committees and/or their designees on a quarterly basis for purposes of review, planning, training and update. An Employee selected as a Coordinator shall be expected to primarily perform their duties within their assigned Plants and shall work closely and interact with the local USW Staff representatives, the Local Union Presidents and the Plant Manager and Manager of Employee Relations (or their designee) responsible for their Plant Grouping. Furthermore, Employees selected as Coordinators will be responsible for sharing best practices with respect to their designated area of assignment including regular monitoring, reporting and progress updates as required by the Parties.

 

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4.Unless otherwise agreed upon by the Parties, the Manager of Employee Relations shall be the primary administrative liaison for each Coordinator including the approval and reimbursement of reasonable expenses associated with their Coordinator assignment (subject to Company policy). An Employee selected as a Coordinator will be paid at a weekly rate equivalent to the Labor Grade 5 Base Rate of Pay and 13 overtime hours.

 

5.Employees selected as Coordinators may not serve as Union President, Vice-President, Unit Chair, Grievance Chair or as a member of any committee involved directly in the administration of any provisions of the Basic Labor Agreement.

 

6.Plant Groupings:

 

Fairfield Flat Roll, STO Fairfield Tubular Operations

Gary Sheet & Tin, Gary Steel, Midwest, ECT

Granite City

Great Lakes

STO Lorain Tubular Operations

Irvin, Edgar Thomson, Clairton, Fairless

 

Section D. New Employee Orientation

 

1.The Parties agree to continue the orientation of new Employees hired by the Company within the bargaining units covered by the Basic Labor Agreement. The New Employee Orientation Program shall continue to include the following:

 

a.an introduction of Plant Company officials, International Union officials and Local Union representatives as may be appropriate;

 

b.distribution and discussion of the BLA, including any relevant local agreements;

 

c.discussion of safety and health programs and safe working procedures;

 

d.presentation and discussion on labor-management participation, problem solving, communications and the role of the Union and the workforce in quality and customer satisfaction;

 

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e.discussion of the history and achievements of the United Steelworkers and the particular Local Union;

 

f.discussion of the structure of the United Steelworkers and the particular Local Union and the services that are provided by the various offices and committees;

 

g.presentation on the history of the Company and Plant;

 

h.review of the markets in which the Company participates, the products produced and the customers serviced; and

 

i.discussion of the structure of the Company, the Plant organization and the functions and services that are provided by the various departments.

 

2.This program shall be jointly presented, on Company time, to each new Employee of the Company during their probationary period. The Union will be allotted a portion of the program to address the new Employees as outlined below.

 

3.All costs associated with developing this Program shall be borne by the Company.

 

4.In addition, the Company shall compensate each new Employee at their Regular Rate of Pay, within the same timeframe as the joint orientation described above, to attend a four (4) hour orientation session conducted by the Joint Efforts Coordinator at a location designated by the Union.

 

ARTICLE Seven: TRAINING

 

Section A. Workforce Training Program

 

1.Commitments

 

The Parties are committed to:

 

a.the Company’s workforce being sufficiently skilled and trained so that all Bargaining Unit Work can be performed in accordance with this Agreement by Employees; and

 

b.Employees receiving sufficient training to allow for all reasonable opportunities to progress within the workforce and maximize their skills to the greatest extent possible.

 

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2.Plant Training Committees

 

a.Appointment and Composition

 

The Parties shall establish a Plant Training Committee at each of the Company’s facilities. The Plant Training Committee shall be composed of three (3) Union representatives who are Employees of the Company and an equal number of Company representatives. The Company members of each Plant Training Committee shall include the Plant Manager, or his/her designee (who shall serve as the Company Chair). The Company Members of the Committee shall be selected and serve at the pleasure of the Plant Manager. The Union members of each Plant Training Committee shall include the Local Union President/Unit Chair (who shall serve as the Union Chair), or his/her designee during temporary periods when the Local Union President is unavailable. The Union members of the Committee shall be selected and serve at the pleasure of the Local Union President/Unit Chair at the Plant.

 

b.Training Coordinator

 

Consistent with Article Six, Section C (Coordinators) there shall be nine (9) Full Time Training Coordinators appointed by the Union Co-Chair of the Negotiating Committee at least one of which will be established for each grouping of Plant locations set forth in Article Six Section C and will be responsible for coordination and oversight of the Plant Training Programs.

 

3.Study of Workforce Training Needs

 

Each Plant Training Committee shall complete a report (Report) of the expected training needs of the workforce over the term of the Agreement, given the Commitments outlined in Paragraph 1 above. Such Report shall include Findings and Recommendations as described below. All relevant and available information to complete the Findings set forth below will be provided to the Plant Training Committee.

 

a.Findings

 

(1)an age and service profile and the anticipated attrition rates of the workforce over the life of the Agreement;

 

(2)an assessment of the current skill requirements (both competencies and anticipated demand) of the Plant, the availability of such skills within the existing workforce and any training practices or programs necessary to assure that the workforce can meet the Plant’s anticipated requirements;

 

(3)an evaluation of the appropriateness of existing training programs and the necessity of developing additional training programs, giving due consideration to changing technology and future skill needs;

 

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(4)an examination of current overtime levels and an assessment of whether Employees in certain positions are working excessive overtime;

 

(5)an examination of methods by which productivity can be improved through additional training of Employees;

 

(6)an examination of the Plant's business plan, including projected capital spending, planned or potential new technology or technological change and other relevant factors over the term of the Agreement; and

 

(7)an assessment of the work practices and the training practices at the Plant, as compared to those of other steel producers represented by the Union.

 

b.Recommendations

 

Based on its Findings, the Plant Training Committee shall develop a comprehensive training program, including a detailed implementation plan and all necessary resources for administration, implementation, delivery and evaluation (Training Program) designed to, on a practical and timely basis, meet the commitments outlined in Paragraph 1 above.

 

c.Update

 

Each year the Plant Training Committee shall prepare an Update that reviews the Findings and modifies them based on changed circumstances, measures the success of the Training Program against its objectives and modifies the Training Program accordingly.

 

In preparation of the Update, the Company will provide to the Union members of the Committee an updated age and service profile of the workforce.

 

d.Separate Statements

 

The Report and each Update will include separate statements by the Parties with respect to any Finding or Recommendation as to which they disagree.

 

4.Administration and Union Role

 

a.In accordance with Section A(1) and to facilitate the provisions of Section A(3)(b), each Plant Training Committee shall jointly oversee the administration and delivery of its Training Program, the expenditure of Company funds necessary for its operation and an annual audit of such activity.

 

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b.In the event that the Union members of the Plant Training Committee propose that the Union take responsibility for any or all aspects of the administration, delivery or implementation of the Training Program, the Company members of the Committee shall give recognition to the special advantages that such Union responsibility would contribute to the Training Program, including but not limited to the knowledge of the Union concerning the Program and its development, the familiarity of the Union with the capabilities and learning styles of Employees and the added credibility that Union responsibility would add to the program. Any dispute over aspects of the administration, delivery or implementation of the Program shall be a matter for resolution under Paragraph 6 below.

 

5.Safeguards and Resources

 

a.The Plant Training Committee shall meet no less than monthly unless otherwise agreed upon by the Parties. The Company shall provide the members of the Plant Training Committee and the Training Coordinator with such training as is necessary to enable them to perform their responsibilities under this Section with a high degree of competence. Employee participation in the Plant Training Committee shall normally occur during normal work hours. All meeting time and necessary expenses of the Plant Training Committee shall be paid for by the Company. The Company will pay necessary expenses and lost time in accordance with local Plant understandings.

 

b.Union members of the Plant Training Committee shall be entitled to adequate opportunity on Company time to caucus for purposes of study, preparation, consultation and review, and shall be compensated in the same manner as set forth in Paragraph (a) above. Requests for caucus time shall be made to the appropriate Company representative in a timely manner, and such requests shall not be unreasonably denied.

 

c.To the extent that Company facilities are available and appropriate for Training Program activities, they will be made available.

 

d.The Parties will sponsor an annual meeting, attended by the members of the Plant Training Committees covered by this Agreement and appropriate Company counterparts. The Company will pay reasonable travel expenses and lost time for Employees attendance at such meeting in accordance with the mutual understandings of the Chairs of the USS/USW Negotiating Committee. The meeting shall be one day in duration unless otherwise agreed. The purpose of this meeting shall be to share best practices through joint presentations by each Plant Training Committee; to discuss opportunities to improve training processes; and to review programs and processes that support continuous improvement in training Employees.

 

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6.Dispute Resolution

 

a.In the event that the Plant Training Committee is unable to reach agreement on any matter involving the Training Program or Update, the Plant Training Committee shall submit those matters on which they do not agree to the Chairs of the USS/USW Negotiating Committee (or their designees) for resolution. In the event that agreement cannot be reached, the Chair of the USW Negotiating Committee may submit those matters to the Board of Arbitration pursuant to procedures to be agreed upon by the Parties. If the Parties are unable to reach such agreement, they shall be determined by the Board.

 

b.The dispute will be resolved on the basis of a final offer submission by the Parties at a hearing. The Board will determine which of the submissions best meets the Commitments outlined in Paragraph 1 above, in light of the Findings referred to in Paragraph 3(a) above. The Board shall have the power to determine the procedures pursuant to which the hearing is conducted.

 

Section B. Institute for Career Development

 

1.Establishment

 

The Union and the Company hereby establish the USW/USS Institute for Career Development (the Institute) which, in conjunction with similar programs negotiated by the Union with various other employers, will be administered under the rules and procedures of the Institute for Career Development (ICD).

 

2.Purpose

 

The purpose of the Institute is to provide resources and support services for the education, training and personal development of the Employees of the Company, including upgrading their basic skills and educational levels.

 

3.Guiding Principles

 

The Institute and ICD shall be administered in a manner consistent with the following principles:

 

a.workers must play a significant role in the design and development of their jobs, their training and education and their working environment;

 

b.workers should be capable of reacting to change, challenge and opportunity and this requires ongoing training, education and growth; and

 

c.worker growth and development can only succeed in an atmosphere of voluntary participation in self-designed and self-directed training and education.

 

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4.Financing

 

The Institute will be financed by $0.15 for each hour worked by all Employees. The Parties will also seek and use funds from federal, state and local governmental agencies.

 

5.Administration

 

a.The Institute will be administered jointly by the Company and the Union in accordance with procedures, rules, regulations and policies agreed to by the Parties.

 

b.Training is separately provided for in the Agreement. The Company may, however, contract with the Institute to provide services and resources in support of such training.

 

c.The Company agrees to participate fully as a member of ICD in accordance with policies, rules and regulations established by the ICD. The Company’s financial contributions to the Institute will continue to be separately tracked. ICD will continue to be under the joint supervision of the Union and participating employers with a Governing Board consisting of an equal number of Union and employer appointees.

 

6.Reporting, Auditing, Accountability and Oversight

 

The following minimum requirements shall govern reporting, auditing, accountability and oversight of the funds provided for in Paragraph 4.

 

a.Reporting

 

(1)For each calendar year quarter, and within thirty (30) days of the close of such quarter, the Company shall account to the ICD, the International Union President and the Chair of the Union Negotiating Committee for all changes in the financial condition of the Institute. Such reports shall be on form(s) developed by the Institute broken down by Plant and shall include at least the following information:

 

(a)The Company's contribution, an explanation thereof and the cumulative balance; and

 

(b)a detailed breakdown of actual expenditures related to approved program activities during said quarter.

 

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(2)The Company and Union Chairs of each of the Local Joint Committees shall receive a report with the same information for their Plant or Local Union, as the case may be.

 

b.Auditing

 

The Company or the Union may, for good reason, request an audit of the Company reports described in Paragraph 6(a) above and of the underlying Institute activities made in accordance with the following: (1) the Company and the Union shall jointly select an independent outside auditor; (2) the reasonable fees and expenses of the auditor shall be paid from ICD funds and (3) the scope of audits may be Company-wide, Plant-specific, or on any other reasonable basis.

 

c.Approval and Oversight

 

Each year, the Local Joint Committees shall submit a proposed training/education plan to the Chairs of the Union and Company Negotiating Committees or their designees. Upon their approval, said plans shall be submitted to the Institute. The Institute must approve the plan before any expenditure in connection with any activities may be charged against the funds provided for in this Agreement. An expenditure shall not be charged against such funds until such expenditure is actually made.

 

7.Dispute Resolution Mechanism

 

a.Any dispute regarding the administration of the Institute at the Company or Plant level shall be subject to expedited resolution by the Chairs of the Union and Company Negotiating Committees and the Executive Director of ICD who shall apply the policies, rules and regulations of the Governing Board and the provisions of this Section in ruling on any such dispute. Rulings of the Executive Director may be appealed to the Governing Board, but shall become and remain effective unless stayed or reversed by the Governing Board.

 

b.Within sixty (60) days of the Effective Date, the Parties will develop an expedited dispute resolution mechanism that resolves disputes within two (2) weeks.

 

ARTICLE Eight: EARNINGS SECURITY

 

Section A. Employment Security

 

1.Objective

 

The Parties agree that it is in their mutual interest to provide all Employees, who have at least three (3) years of Continuous Service, with the opportunity to earn at least forty (40) hours of pay each week. The protections afforded by this Section shall not apply to any Employee affected by the permanent shutdown of a Plant or department, or a substantial portion thereof.

 

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2.Layoff Minimization Plan

 

The Company agrees that, prior to implementing any layoffs of Employees with more than three (3) years of Continuous Service, it shall review and discuss with the Union:

 

a.documentation of a clear and compelling business need for the layoffs (Need);

 

b.the impact of the layoffs on the bargaining unit, including the number of Employees to be laid off and the duration of the layoffs (Impact); and

 

c.a Layoff Minimization Plan which shall address at least the following elements:

 

(1)a reduction in the use of Outside Entities;

 

(2)the elimination of the purchase or use of semi-finished and hot-rolled steel from outside vendors that can be reasonably produced by the Company;

 

(3)the minimization of the use of overtime;

 

(4)a program of voluntary layoffs;

 

(5)the use of productive alternate work assignments to reduce the number of layoffs;

 

(6)a meaningful program of shared sacrifice by management, including senior management; and

 

(7)any plan suggested by the Local Union to create the opportunity for Employees to exercise seniority to bump junior Employees on jobs within a pool of sufficient Labor Grade 1 positions to provide meaningful protection from long term layoff for senior Employees.

 

(8)a modification of the Full Week Guarantee defined in Article Five Section C-4 to allow for the scheduling of a 32-hour week schedule. Such modification shall be for a period of no longer than twelve (12) weeks. Such reduced schedules may only be extended upon the written mutual agreement of both Parties, or where part of a Layoff Minimization Plan upheld in final offer arbitration.

 

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3.Employee Protections

 

Reference to the elements of a Layoff Minimization Plan in Paragraph 2 above shall not be construed to impair in any way any protection afforded to Employees under other provisions of this Agreement.

 

4.Union Response

 

The Union shall be provided with sufficient information to reach its own judgment on whether there is a Need, the appropriate Impact and to develop its own proposed Layoff Minimization Plan.

 

5.Dispute Resolution

 

a.In the event the Parties cannot reach agreement on whether there is a Need, the appropriate Impact and the terms of a Layoff Minimization Plan, the Company may implement its plan and the Union may submit their dispute to an expedited final offer arbitration under procedures to be developed by the Parties. If the Company lays off Employees in violation of this Section, such Employees shall be made whole.

 

b.The arbitrator’s ruling shall address whether the Company demonstrated a Need and if it did, whose proposed Impact and Layoff Minimization Plan was more reasonable, given all the circumstances and the objectives of the Parties.

 

Section B. Supplemental Unemployment Benefits

 

1.Eligibility

 

An Employee shall be eligible for a weekly Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (Weekly Benefit) for any week beginning on or after the Effective Date, if s/he:

 

a.has completed three (3) years of Continuous Service at the time of layoff;

 

b.is and remains an Employee within the meaning of this Agreement;

 

c.does not receive sickness and accident benefits or salary continuance under an agreement between the Company and the Union;

 

d.does not receive vacation pay from the Company;

 

e.has not refused suitable employment pursuant to other sections of this Agreement;

 

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f.is not on FMLA leave;

 

g.applies for state unemployment benefits for the week and takes all reasonable steps to receive such benefits; provided, however, that this requirement will not apply if s/he has exhausted state unemployment benefits, receives other compensation in an amount that disqualifies him/her for state unemployment benefits, has insufficient employment to be covered by the state system, fails to qualify for state unemployment benefits because of a waiting week, is unable to work by reason of disability, or is participating in a federal training program; and

 

h.either

 

(1)is on layoff for any week in which, because of lack of work (not including layoff due to any strike, slowdown, work stoppage, picketing or concerted activity), s/he does not work at all for the Company;

 

(2)is on layoff during a Plant shutdown period and s/he is not entitled to vacation during the shutdown; or

 

(3)became disabled while on layoff and is not physically able to return to work.

 

2.Amount of Weekly Benefits

 

a.Weekly Benefits are equal to:

 

(1)forty (40) multiplied by the Employee’s Base Rate of Pay; and

 

(2)the applicable percentage shown in the following table:

 

Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Percentage

 

   Weeks 

Continuous Service

(at the time of layoff)

  1 to 26   27 to 52   53 to 104 
3 but less than 10   60%   40%   0%
10 but less than 20   70%   50%   25%
20 and over   80%   60%   40%

 

b.Notwithstanding the above table, the Weekly Benefits applicable to an Employee who becomes disabled while on layoff and is not physically able to return to work shall be limited to fifty-two (52) Weeks beginning with the week the Employee is recalled to work.

 

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c.The amount of a Weekly Benefit may be offset only by the amount of state unemployment benefits including dependency allowance, Trade Adjustment Allowance and any other compensation, but in no event, will the total Weekly Benefit be less than $250.00 per week.

 

d.An Employee shall have 1 Week of Weekly Benefits reinstated for every 2 weeks worked, not to exceed a balance of 104 Weeks. Weekly Benefits Weeks shall be reinstated in the reverse order that they were applied. Any period during which Weekly Benefits Weeks are applicable shall commence with the last Week reinstated. For purposes of this paragraph, a week worked shall include any week during which a minimum of 32 hours is worked (including hours paid but not worked).

 

Example:

 

An Employee with 25 years Continuous Service is on layoff status for 27 consecutive weeks and 27 Weeks of Weekly Benefits are applied. His/her Benefit Percentage for the first 26 Weeks of Weekly Benefits is 80% and for the 27th Week is 60%. S/he returns to work. After 2 weeks worked, the 27th Week of Weekly Benefits is reinstated. After 4 more weeks worked, the 26th and 25th Weeks of Weekly Benefits are reinstated. If s/he is then again laid off and eligible for a Weekly Benefit, the first Week of Weekly Benefits to be applied is Week 25 (at 80%) followed by Week 26 (at 80%) and so forth.

 

3.Company Payment

 

The Company shall make reasonable calculations of Weekly Benefits and pay such benefits provided an Employee provides ongoing documentation establishing his/her eligibility for such benefits.

 

4.Disputes

 

In the event an Employee believes that his/her Weekly Benefit or eligibility determination has been made in error, the Employee may file a grievance, as outlined in the grievance procedure of this Agreement.

 

5.Administration of the Plan

 

Subject to and in accordance with the terms and conditions outlined in this Section, the Company shall administer the Supplemental Unemployment Benefits Plan (Plan) and may prescribe reasonable rules and regulations. The costs of administering the Plan shall be borne by the Company.

 

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6.Finality of Determination

 

The Company shall have the right to recover overpayments and correct underpayments to Employees. However, any benefit determination shall become final six (6) months after the date on which it is made if (a) no dispute is then pending and (b) the Company has not given notice in writing of an error. The foregoing shall not prevent the Company from making a new benefit determination based on facts not previously known or information fraudulently furnished or withheld by an Employee.

 

7.Termination

 

Notwithstanding the provisions of Article One, Section B (Term of the Agreement), this Section and the Plan on which it is based shall expire five (5) months after the Termination Date.

 

8.Documentation

 

The Parties shall adopt a mutually agreed upon Plan Brochure to provide an explanation of the benefits described in this Section.

 

Section C. Severance Allowance

 

1.Right to Severance Allowance

 

Employees meeting the conditions outlined below shall, upon request, receive a Severance Allowance as described herein.