Yahoo! News – Steelworkers President Uses New Tactics: “‘He’s reaching accommodation with the realities of the global market and trying to save what can be saved of the American steel industry,’ said Charles McCollester, president of the Pennsylvania Labor History Society.
Gerard, 57, started his career at 18 in a fiery nickel smelter in Sudbury, Ontario.
ISG shrank union job categories from 32 to five, freeing the company from rigid limits on redeploying workers. But the contract approved last February also required ISG to cut layers of management between the chief executive and the shop floor from seven to three.
Increased flexibility allowed ISG to cut the employee hours required to produce a ton of steel from 2 1/2 to one. The union gained more control over day-to-day operation of the mills.
A few years back, such togetherness was unthinkable. The perilous state of the industry changed that. “