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Steel workers union leaders demand pay increase as profits rise after tariffs
Leaders of the United Steelworkers union are demanding higher wages from two of the biggest U.S. steelmakers as President Trump's tariffs propel industry profits.
"We feel we need some recognition and to share in the profits of the company," said Michael Young, president of the union's branch for the Midwest plant of U.S. Steel Corp., one of the companies facing down union leaders according to The Wall Street Journal.
The price of steel jumped by more than 30 percent this year after the U.S. levied tariffs on foreign steel, causing profits to rise for the industry generally.
Union leaders say workers aren't seeing their compensation rise appropriately at U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal SA, which make up 40 percent of the U.S. production capacity for flat-rolled steel.
According to the Journal, union leaders are authorized to initiate a strike at U.S. Steel. They told the Journal that workers at ArcelorMittal may shortly follow if an adequate agreement isn't reached.
Both companies' contracts expired on Sept. 1.
"Our plants continue to operate in a safe and orderly fashion, U.S. Steel said in a statement."While we are aware of the strike authorization vote, talks are ongoing and we continue to work diligently to reach a mutually agreeable conclusion."
ArcelorMittal could not be immediately reached for comment.