ArcelorMittal, USW team up for wellness

WEIRTON – Jesse Lamone is already in top physical shape.

John Balzano plans to join Lamone in a regular physical fitness program he says, “will reshape my body and make me fit.”

Together, Balzano representing the United Steelworkers Local 2911 and Lalone of the ArcelorMittal management team are encouraging all Weirton plant employees and their families to take advantage of the new Wellness program at the steel mill.

The ArcelorMittal Weirton wellness team of Balzano, Lamone, plant general manager Brian James and USW Local 2911 President Mark Glyptis has been organizing and planning free memberships for employees and their families at the Weirton Millsop Community Center and the YMCA Fitness Center at St. John Arena in Steubenville.

“The USW and ArcelorMittal America negotiated the wellness concept in our 2008 labor agreement and agreed to form a corporate wellness program. Each plant was encouraged to form a local wellness team and to explore all options to make wellness programs available to our employees and their families. This summer we finalized plans for the free membership at the Millsop Community Center or the YMCA in Steubenville,” explained Balzano.

“Sign-ups started Tuesday at the Millsop Community Center and will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the YMCA. If the employee and his family can’t make those sign-up times they can come in after that day to register for the free membership,” said Balzano.

“We have several goals including an interest based survey of all employees. We want to initiate a comprehensive health screening for our employees, and this program to offer health center programs for our employees,” added Balzano.

Lamone said the health center program is one of the main initiatives for ArcelorMittal.

“We negotiated a special rate and we hope we can create a movement for wellness and fitness for our employees,” noted Lamone.

“We will maintain a record of usage from now until June to determine the interest in this wellness program. And we will encourage usage by our employees by offering an incentive program,” added Lamone.

“The only excuse for not participating in the wellness program is time. This is an excellent opportunity to get into shape and stay in shape. We are providing the two facilities for staying fit and it is in the hands of our employees to make the time,” said James.

“I personally have been getting up 90 minutes earlier every morning to exercise and I have noticed the difference physically. I am feeling better and have more energy after I work out and then come to work,” said James.

“This will take a commitment by our employees. Last week we held a health week with blood tests, blood pressure monitoring, PSAs, COPD testing, liver and thyroid testing. And we had a healthy lunch served all day. We have also initiated Fresh Fruit Fridays where we make fruit available throughout the plant. We want people to eat healthy on a regular basis as part of the healthy lifestyle we are embracing,” remarked Balzano.

According to Lamone, approximately 25 employees participated in a recent ArcelorMittal Global walk.

“Locally we walked about two miles on the Panhandle Trail. Similar walks were held at ArcelorMittal plant sites worldwide. We have also started the Leave the Cart program where we encourage employees who use a golf cart to move around the plant to park the cart and walk,” said Lamone.

“We are giving those employees a pedometer and will measure how many steps they take in a month. The winners will receive an incentive prize. It is a way to stay active and healthy,” declared Balzano.

“We know a healthy employee is an employee who feels better at work. The employee misses less work and has more energy both at work and at home. This is a great program and and we will all benefit,” stated James.

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