United Steelworkers Respond to ATI’s Third Quarter Earnings Call

Contact: Jess Kamm, 412-562-2446,       jkamm@usw.org

(Pittsburgh) – Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (ATI) conducted its third quarter earnings conference call with its investors and analysts on Oct. 20. ATI unlawfully locked out 2,200 skilled and dedicated employees represented by the USW on August 15. Even though it concedes that it lost $145 million in the third quarter, ATI claimed that during the illegal lockout, while its mills are being operated by salaried and temporary workers, “these facilities are meeting and in many cases exceeding output, quality, and safety expectations.” These comments seem inconsistent with production levels we are witnessing at the facilities.

“ATI is trying to paint a rosy picture,” said USW Vice President Tom Conway, “but all indications suggest a company that is limping along without its skilled work force. The earnings report is again bleak, and reports from the picket line suggest that the ‘expectations’ the facilities are meeting must have been low for the company to be exceeding them. If the company wants to again return to profitability, it must abandon this ill-advised lockout, so its dedicated workers can return to their jobs and provide the needed expertise.”

Picketers see reduced output

Significantly, ATI has not disclosed detailed production data since the beginning of the illegal lockout.  Picketers at each location who are monitoring the facilities 24-hours a day are reporting shipments of finished products leaving the facilities at a fraction of normal levels. These observations suggest that the company may be filling customer orders with metal stockpiled before the August 15 start of the lockout. It is unclear how long those reserves will last.

As for its quality management system, ATI locked out its skilled workers who are familiar with the facilities, replacing them with temporary replacement workers. Ambulances have been sighted numerous times at the locked out facilities including those in Brackenridge and Midland Pa., Louisville, Ohio, and New Bedford, Mass.

A chemical spill at the company’s facility in Vandergrift, Pa., also prompted an investigation by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

ATI rebuffs money-saving offer

ATI reported a net loss of $145 million for the third quarter and $16.4 million for the second quarter. The USW understands that the market is challenging. The union put forward proposals that would save ATI significant sums over the term of the contract and offered to stay on the job while negotiations continued. Instead of continuing to negotiate, ATI’s management team has consistently rebuffed the offer.

ATI has reportedly dedicated tens of millions of dollars to contingency plans related to the illegal lockout and is offering inexperienced replacement workers as much as $150,000 per year—well beyond what ATI pays USW members.

Furthermore, if the union’s unfair labor practice charges are upheld, and the lockout is found to be unlawful, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) could order ATI to compensate 2,200 workers for the time they were locked out of their jobs. 

It is time for the company to stop compounding losses, end the lockout and bargain a fair contract.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors, including 2,200 members at 12 ATI locations. For more information: www.usw.org and www.usw.org/act/campaigns/ati-bargaining.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222