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Striking New Bedford Steelworkers Reach Agreement With Allegheny

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New Bedford steelworkers on strike in June.

Striking steelworkers in New Bedford and eight other Allegheny Technologies locations around the country have reached a tentative contract agreement that could end a more than three-month strike.

The July 2 agreement preserves the United Steelworkers’ premium-free health insurance, which union members said is essential to avoid usurping their wage increase.

The grievance chair for the steelworkers in New Bedford, John Camarao, said the union got essentially everything it wanted, but he’s not happy that Allegheny Technologies held out so long while workers went without pay.

“What could have funded our contract for the next five times they ended up blowing through money so they could just, you know, try to break the unions. So I'm still ticked off at that. But I'm happy to see this finally come to a conclusion.”

Allegheny Technologies said the agreement rewards hard-working employees while limiting the company’s exposure to future increases in health care costs.

A ratification vote could take place July 13th, but the date has not been finalized, according to the union.

Nearly 60 workers at the rolled metals plant in New Bedford have been on strike, and some 1,300 nationwide.