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Casey, Fetterman write joint letter pressing U.S. Steel and Nippon Steel on obligations to Pennsylvania workers

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John Cole, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
March 19, 2024

Pennsylvania U.S. Sens. Bob Casey (D) and John Fetterman (D) sent a joint letter to the presidents of U.S. Steel and Nippon Steel on Tuesday, expressing their concern that both companies are falling short of their commitments to Pennsylvania workers. 

“We are concerned that, in seeking to speed this deal along without the proper consultation of its workers, U.S. Steel may have flouted commitments made to workers under the Basic Labor Agreement (BLA) it holds with USW,” the senators wrote. “This agreement, which was negotiated and agreed to by both U.S. Steel and USW, serves to protect workers’ rights, safety, financial security, and wellbeing.”

The senators added that they were concerned that in agreeing to the sale to a foreign firm, U.S. Steel had failed to notify the union in a timely manner. They also expressed “broader reservations about the potential for disinvestment in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Steel assets,” claiming that idling or completely shuttering investments into the company could lead to the loss of 15,000 jobs, directly and indirectly, in Pennsylvania.

U.S. Steel announced the proposed sale to Japanese-based Nippon Steel in December. Casey, Fetterman, and U.S. Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-17th District) called on U.S. Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen to block the acquisition, and pledged to oppose the sale. 

Several days later, the White House released a statement saying the proposed deal warranted “serious scrutiny.” 

On March 14, President Joe Biden issued a statement without mentioning Nippon Steel by name, saying that U.S. Steel “has been an iconic American steel company for more than a century, and it is vital for it to remain an American steel company that is domestically owned and operated.”

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This article is republished from Pennsylvania Capital-Star under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.