Area Mills Pay Up to $14,515 in Fourth Quarter Profit-Sharing Bonuses | Northwest Indiana Commercial Securities
Thousands of steelworkers across the region have once again found themselves with thousands of dollars in bonuses after US Steel and Cleveland-Cliffs posted record profits last year, blowing more cash to circulate in the northern economy -western Indiana.
After making a $1 billion profit in the fourth quarter, US Steel is paying workers profit-sharing bonuses of $30.24 an hour for up to 480 qualifying hours for the quarter, the gatekeeper said. word of US Steel, Amanda Malkowski. US Steel employees walk away with bonus checks of up to $14,515.20 for the last three months of the year.
“2021 was a record,” she said.
Profit-sharing bonuses skyrocketed at steel mills in the region amid record hot-rolled coil prices last year, giving the region’s economy a boost. Steelworkers are likely to spend at least some of the money on local businesses like restaurants and retail stores.
In the fourth quarter, Cleveland-Cliffs, the successor to ArcelorMittal, made earnings before interest and taxes of $553 million, the measure on which its profit share is based. It pays steelworkers $6,946 an hour with a maximum of 48 eligible hours per week, Steelworkers Local 6787 President Pete Trinidad Sr. said in a message to workers.
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Cleveland-Cliffs employees will take home up to $4,334.30 in profit sharing bonuses for the fourth quarter.
The United Steelworkers union negotiated profit-sharing bonuses after the deluge of cheap imports and bankruptcies that decimated much of the domestic steel industry in 2000, in a period of upheaval that led to the disappearance of steelworkers long-time Americans like Inland, Bethlehem and LTV.
“We designed it at a time when the industry was not doing well,” said USW District 7 Director Mike Millsap. “We weren’t good at getting raises, but it was a way to make sure we got paid better when the industry was better. It paid off in 2021.”
US Steel and Cleveland-Cliffs both posted record profits last year amid soaring steel prices that followed tariffs, strong demand and the latest domestic industry consolidation. Steelworkers were able to share in the prosperity enjoyed by the companies and their shareholders, Millsap said.
“It’s been pretty good,” he said. “Both companies are making a profit and that’s a good thing. Steel prices have come down a bit but continue to be high and our members are benefiting.”
Steelworkers are reaping the rewards after many lean years during which bonuses often went unpaid.
“It helps them provide more money to support their families,” Millsap said. “They can be better providers for their families. Everyone has bills to pay.”
The USW plans to fight to ensure that profit sharing remains in future collective agreements.
“We changed it to a quarterly basis, so if they’re doing well one part of the year and badly the other, we get nothing,” he said. “If it’s on a quarterly basis, we’ll have quarters where it pays off at least a bit. Last year was very good overall. It was smart bargaining by the union.”
Steelmakers use profit-sharing as a means of recruiting workers. US Steel has put up several billboards along the Borman Expressway touting $27,000 profit sharing checks that ask, “Are you being rewarded for your work?”