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Ohio congressman crosses district lines to support Farrell steelworkers

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Congressman Tim Ryan said they have to protect those jobs

FARRELL, Pa. (WYTV) – Over the last month, we’ve been following the strike led by United Steelworkers against NLMK. Workers at the plant in Farrell say they just want a fair deal.

On Monday, they received some support from an Ohio lawmaker.

Workers at the plant have been on the picket lines since late August.

The 400 union members and the company have been negotiating a labor agreement. So far, the two sides have not come together.

“We’re still here, nothing’s really changed as much. We’re going to meet with them Wednesday and give another proposal to hopefully change things around and get them to start moving our way on it,” said union president Jim Wells, Local 1016-03.

According to the union, the sticking point during negotiations has been the proposed health care plan, which the union rejected.

James Modaffair, who has worked for the plant for 52 years, says he’s never seen anything like what’s going on today.

“I’ve been here through three different owners and these guys are something else. They don’t treat people fair about this health insurance. People need that and if you have a family, you better have it,” he said.

Although the plant doesn’t reside in his district, Congressman Tim Ryan says 30% of the workers at the plant live in Ohio.

“A lot of times they feel like they’re on an island out here. They’re not in Youngstown, they’re not in Pittsburgh, so they’re somewhere in between. Again, these are the good-paying jobs we look for. Twenty to 25 bucks an hour, haven’t had a raise. They’re going to whack their health care. We have to protect these jobs,” Ryan said.

“To have someone like that come out here and stand and say, ‘Yeah, you’re right. This is what you should be doing.’ That means a lot to everybody out here especially somebody like that,” Wells said.

We reached out to NLMK for a response, but have not heard back. In a previous comment, the company said it remains available to continue to bargain in good faith in order to reach a collective bargaining agreement.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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