Georgetown, SC - GEORGETOWN, SC (WMBF) - The steel mill in Georgetown may be one step closer to reopening. The local steelworkers union has voted to accept a contract proposal to resume work under the condition that all workers will receive an across the board $3.65 pay cut.
James Sanderson, the president of United Steelworkers Union Local 7898, says with the steel industry as a whole slowly recovering, it's important to get people back to work.
"We realize and understand that the market has been soft and there really has not been a huge demand on the membership to make a decision until now," said Sanderson. "We need to be able to get on a level playing field with these foreign countries and one thing we have to do is to be able to stay in business."
Sanderson says close to 200 union members came out to vote on the new agreement, and the majority voted in favor of the new deal. Under the terms of the new contract ArcelorMittal would have to reopen the plant in the next 60 days. ArcelorMittal would also be contractually bound to keep the plant open through 2012.
The opportunity to have a well paying steady job again has some steel workers like John Poston anxious.
"We've been looking forward to some progress for quite some time now and we're glad to see a little bit of progress made," said Poston. "When it all comes down to it the bottom line is work, so I mean to see the mill running again is what's most important to us."