P.M. BRIEFING : Union Prepares to Strike USX

From Times Wire Services

The United Steelworkers union and USX Corp. prepared for a strike as tonight’s deadline neared for expiration of a pact covering 18,000 workers in seven states.

Negotiators were “pretty far apart” in their proposals, union spokesman Gary Hubbard said this morning. Steel workers in seven states will go on strike at midnight if no deal is struck, he said, adding that the union would not agree to a contract extension. “No deal, no steel,” said Ross McClellan, grievance committee head for Local 2227 at the company’s Irvin works.

Don Conn, local president, said the company was unwilling to restore pay concessions workers made during the industry’s decline in the early 1980s, even though other large steel makers have done so. USX Chairman Charles A. Corry has said matching the rest of the industry would be too costly.