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Settlement at Lukens Steel Co.

Settlement at Lukens Steel Co.

Negotiators for Lukens Steel Co. and Local 1165 of the Steelworkers ended a 105-day work stoppage with a 4-year collective bargaining agreement covering about 1,340 production and maintenance workers in the company's Coatesville, PA, plant. The major issues in dispute centered on wages, benefits, and use of nonunion workers.

Lukens Steel, a subsidiary of Lukens, Inc., makes special plate steel used in manufacturing tanks, airplanes, and other heavy-duty equipment.

The contract called for an immediate average wage increase of $1 an hour, followed by 50-cent increases in the second, third, and fourth years of the contract. (At the end of the previous contract, the average wage rate was $12.25 an hour.)

Several changes were made in health and welfare provisions. Enhancements in medical benefits included the establishment of an optional preferred provider plan with annual deductibles of $150 for single coverage and $300 for family coverage; an increase in the maximum for orthodontic treatment from $650 to $1,300; an increase in the lifetime maximum for major medical benefits to $250,000; coverage for mammograms and chiropractic treatment; and elimination of a mandatory second opinion for surgical procedures. Besides including $4.36 an hour in cost-of-living adjustment allowances paid under earlier contracts in qualified earnings, the formula used to calculate normal pensions was improved to provide 1.3 percent of average monthly earnings per year of credited service, an increase from 1.15 percent. The minimum monthly pension benefit of "30-and-out" for employees who have not reached age 62 was increased over the term of the contract from $600 to $1,400. Pension benefits for surviving spouses, also were enhanced.

The pact also restored the right to submit to arbitration disputes involving seniority in job transfers; retained language on subcontracting; increased life insurance benefits from $14,900 to $20,000; established a joint committee to explore family leave and child leave options; increased accidental death and dismemberment benefits from $10,000 to $20,000; established an employee assistance program for drug abuse; increased sickness and accident benefits from $257 to $300 a week; and retained the profit-sharing formula.
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Article Details
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Author:Cimini, Michael H.; Behrmann, Susan L.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Apr 1, 1992
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