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High court rules against Ind. steelworkers on pay

GARY, Ind. — A group of Indiana steelworkers is disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against an attempt to win pay for the time it takes to put on and take off protective gear.

The lawsuit was filed by workers from U.S. Steel’s Gary Works, arguing their workday was extended by up to two hours because of the time it takes to get dressed with flame-retardant jackets and pants and other items and then travel from the locker room to their work stations at the sprawling mill along Lake Michigan.

The Supreme Court was unanimous Monday in ruling in favor of the company.

U.S. Steel said in a statement that the workers only needed a brief amount of time to put on and remove the protective gear.

“For many decades, U.S. Steel has appropriately and constructively addressed these matters in our collective bargaining process and this decision reaffirms the validity of that approach,” the company said.

One of the plaintiffs, retired steelworker Herbert Harris, of Gary, said he was disappointed with the ruling by the court, which heard arguments in the case last fall after a federal appeals court also sided with U.S. Steel.