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USWA, BETHLEHEM STEEL REACH TENTATIVE PACT

 PITTSBURGH, August 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers of America (USWA) and Bethlehem Steel Corp. reached tentative agreement early today on a new six-year contract covering more than 10,500 USWA members at Bethlehem facilities in Burns Harbor, Ind., Sparrows Point, Md., and Lackawanna, N.Y.
 The accord was achieved by top bargainers for the union and company at 6 a.m. after intensive, all-night bargaining that continued under an hour-by-hour extension past the expiration of the existing contract at midnight Saturday.
 Local Union presidents at Bethlehem facilities who comprise the full union negotiating committee then approved the settlement at 10:30 a.m. Final agreement is subject to approval of the USWA International Executive Board and ratification of the membership.
 Details are being withheld until they are presented to the membership. The benefits provisions of the agreement also apply to about 5,000 USWA members employed by Bethlehem in Bethlehem, Pa., and Steelton, Pa., who previously settled with the company on all other matters.
 The talks took place under weight of strike preparation following an overwhelming strike authorization vote last week. They followed announcement on Saturday that the union and National Steel had settled on a new, six-year contract and that the union and Armco Steel Co. had agreed to extend their contract, which also was to have expired at midnight Saturday.
 John H. Reck, director of USWA District 7 in Philadelphia and chairman of the union's bargaining committee with Bethlehem, said the agreement meets the goals of the USWA's "New Directions" steel industry bargaining program -- aimed at protecting wages, benefits and job security, and giving workers a voice in the decision-making process of their enterprises, while simultaneously enhancing the productivity of the companies.
 Reck and David Wilson, director of USWA District 8 in Baltimore and secretary of the union negotiating committee, said in a statement:
 "The settlement didn't come easily. Both sides bargained hard, but fairly, and everyone involved can take credit for the success of these negotiations -- our committee members and Local Union presidents, our International union staff and leaders -- especially President Lynn Williams -- and the Bethlehem Steel negotiating team. This agreement should guarantee our mutual success through the rest of this decade and into the next century."
 USWA President Williams said union negotiators had performed "spectacular work" in the current round of talks that led to the weekend settlements with Bethlehem and National, and earlier with Inland Steel Corp., which was ratified by USWA members on July 21.
 "These successes resulted from the coordination of our negotiating teams, the solidarity of our members and the union's overall philosophy that the time had come for workers to gain access to power, influence and information," Williams said. "Workers have a right to full participation and, as our members have demonstrated clearly, they can make valuable contributions to the success of their enterprises when given the opportunity."
 -0- 8/1/93
 /CONTACT: Communications department of USWA, 412-562-2442/
 (BS)


CO: United Steelworkers of America; Bethlehem Steel Corp. ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

MP -- NYSU007 -- 8090 08/01/93 14:03 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 1, 1993
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