An estimated 1,500 people marched through the streets of Downtown Pittsburgh on Tuesday from United Steelworkers headquarters to the offices of Allegheny Technology and U.S. Steel headquarters.
Union workers are demanding contract settlements with U.S. Steel, Allegheny Technologies and ArcelorMittal. Negotiations started in June.
Bobby Mac, director of District 10 of United Steelworkers, said the companies are trying to undercut workers.
“Generations ago, the steelworkers fought for good, family-sustaining jobs in (the) Pittsburgh steel industry, and together we built strong communities and a strong middle class," he said. "It’s the steelworkers who built the middle class; it’s the unions that built the middle class.”
Approximately 17,000 members of the United Steelworkers work at U.S. Steel; another 13,000 work at ArcelorMittal.
ATI locked out more than 2,000 Steelworker members at 12 of their locations Aug. 15. Their contracts expired Tuesday.
Before marching, protesters listened to speakers from unions and Mayor Bill Peduto, who said he stands with the workers.
“We support good jobs for all,” he said. “What has happened and what is happening all across this country right now is that rights that had been fought for, rights that had been negotiated, rights that have had to have sacrifices on both sides are being taken away.”
Union officials said they plan to continue negotiating past the deadline.