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Union retirees invited to sound off on contract talks

The USW protested pay cuts and layoffs outside U.S. Steel Gary Works in Gary in 2016.

United Steelworkers retirees are invited to sound off on upcoming contract talks at a meeting in Hammond.

United Steelworkers Local 1010 will host Local 1010 Sound-off for a New Contract at 9 a.m. June 20 at USW Local 1010 Hall, 7047 Grand Ave., next to Morton High School.

Retirees, spouses and surviving spouses are invited to hear about and weigh in on the upcoming contract negotiations between USW and ArcelorMittal. They'll discuss issues like trying to ensure surviving spouses receive pensions of no less than $500 a month.

"It's a new contract and we're hoping to get better things," Local 1010 SOAR Secretary Don Lutes said. "Some surviving spouses are getting pension checks of just $77.50 a month, and many are getting less than $150. We're trying to get that up, and better life insurance."

The local USW chapter also is planning a retirement party for longtime USW Local 1010 President Tom Hargrove, who led the union at the former Inland Steel mill, now ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor East, for 20 years. The party will take place from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday, June 29 at the American Legion Post 369, 1401 W. Chicago Ave. in East Chicago.

A dinner honoring Hargrove will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. Tickets cost $50.  To purchase tickets or for more information, call Lutes at 219-924-2294.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.