2.05.2011

Pittsburgh steelworkers warned not to skip work for Super Bowl



Some Pittsburgh-area steelworkers are being warned that taking off to watch the Steelers in the Super Bowl could cause "severe disciplinary action."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that U.S. Steel's Mon Valley Works has issued a notice to employees (below right) which states that missing work on Sunday or Monday without just cause will result in a Super Bowl-sized penalty.

Union officials responded to the news in a good-natured way. United Steel Workers International vice-president Tom Conway wrote an email that claimed the decision was only made because the employee relations manager hails from Philadelphia and, as such, has some sour grapes with Pittsburgh's presence in the game.

He suggests enlisting non-football fans to volunteer for the Super Bowl shift and to hold a postgame party for employees to watch the game on tape.

I'm sympathetic to both sides here. The owners have a business to run and can't shut down the largest manufacturing plant of its kind in the country for two days because of a football game and its aftereffects.

On the other hand, these employees are steelworkers who want to watch the Steelers game. These aren't folks working at a restaurant or a coal mine or in the emergency room potentially skipping out of work. They're Pittsburgh steelers who are trying to see the Pittsburgh Steelers game! Give the guys a break.

Planning ahead has its virtues.

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