The United Steelworkers union and ArcelorMittal have extended their current contracts to continue bargaining.

USW said in its newsletter that the extension is for “a short period of time” and is subject to a 48-hour notice if either party intends to terminate.

Negotiations began on July 9 and the contract was originally set to expire on September 1.

USW also said in the newsletter that its members should continue to report to work for all scheduled shifts and focus on working safely.

Union representatives said last week at a rally in Weirton that they were hoping to agree to a new fair and equitable contract and avoid a strike.

USW is also negotiating a separate contract with U.S. Steel, which has been extended.

In another newsletter the union told members who work for the company that local leadership will also be scheduling informational meetings and strike authorization votes.