USW members ratify new contract at Cascade Steel

A month after members of United Steelworkers Local 8378 authorized a strike, publicly traded Schnitzer Steel improved its contract offer in a three-day last ditch round of negotiations that involved a federal mediator. The resulting three-year agreement— ratified by members Aug. 9—will raise wages 3.25% annually for the 280 workers at Schnitzer’s McMinnville steel mill complex, known as Cascade Steel Rolling Mills.

“That wasn’t quite what we hoped for on wages,” Local 8378 President Jim Blue told the Labor Press. Union negotiators had hoped to get 3.5 percent.

Because the agreement also contained concessions, the union bargaining didn’t recommend either passage or rejection. The agreement was approved with support of 61% of those voting.