The United Steelworkers say they are striking over unfair labor practices.By Chris Hoffman

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Approximately 1,300 workers at Allegheny Technologies have gone on strike as of Tuesday morning. They hit the picket lines demanding a better contract and better conditions.

The United Steelworkers say they are striking over unfair labor practices.

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“They woke up a sleeping bear,” Local 1196 President Todd Barbiaux said.

Steelworkers said ATI is not bargaining in good faith and operating under unfair labor practices.

“I’ve personally worked seven days a week for dang near 18 months straight, only using vacation to get days off in order to help keep the company running. Only for a situation like this to occur,” Derrick Miller said.

He has worked at the Brackenridge facility for 14 years and fears losing his job.

“A lot of us guys aren’t even sure we’re going to have jobs. The biggest thing is to make sure we’re even in the contract in the first place,” Miller said while on the picket line.

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Negotiations between the two sides on a 4-year contract started in early January and went until about 11 Monday night. Workers want to keep their jobs, healthcare and a raise. They say they haven’t seen increases in pay in 7 years.

“I don’t know very many people that haven’t had a raise in 7 years,” Miller said.

“All I want to do is make a wage, take care of my family, buy a house, buy a car, send my daughter to college. Just the American dream,” Barbiaux said.

ATI said it hoped to avoid the strike and improved its proposal given Monday night to include a 9% raise. It feels this strike is not about unfair labor practices but instead economics. ATI facilities will remain open with non-represented workers or temps.

“I have felt for a long time there is a big disconnect between upper management and the workers,” Mark Gibson, who has worked there for 29 years, said.

Gibson is one of the workers who went through the strike in 1994 and a lockout in 2015 to 2016.

“Now here we are again. I didn’t think we would face that again,” Gibson said.

ATI said it will continue to negotiate to reach a competitive agreement. Workers said they will go as long as it takes.

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ATI also has facilities in Natrona Heights, Latrobe, Vandergrift and Washington.