Big steel wants a break on its unions contracts

Seven major steel companies, including US Steel and Bethlemen, have asked the United Steelworkers to renegotiate one-year early basic steel contracts, covering 250,000 workers, which would normally run to Aug. 1, 1983, Monitor correspondent Ed Townsend reports.

In asking for talks to begin this month, the companies cited the depressed condition of the industry and its bleak prospects. The talks are presumably to negotiate cost-cutting concessions similar to those agree to this year by the big automakers and the United Automobile Workers.

The steel union has scheduled a conference of 600 local union presidents in June to test the rank-and-file reaction to early bargaining.

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