Steelworkers reach agreement with ArcelorMittal U.S.

Sat Sep 8, 2012 2:29pm EDT

(Reuters) - The union representing 14,000 steelworkers at 15 ArcelorMittal (ISPA.AS) facilities in the United States reached a tentative three-year contract agreement with the world's largest steelmaker, averting a potential strike.

The agreement was announced in separate statements by the United Steelworkers union and the company, which has its U.S. headquarters in Chicago, a week after the previous contract was set to expire. The workers continued on the job as negotiations progressed.

The union and the company did not disclose specifics of the contract terms. But the union said it preserved wages, benefits, seniority protections and limits on work that could be done by outside contractors.

The union had said that the main sticking points in the contract talks with the Luxembourg-based company were over funding for retiree healthcare premiums and for pension benefits.

(Reporting by Brad Dorfman; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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