(Bloomberg) -- The United Steelworkers union dismissed a letter from Nippon Steel Corp. committing to spending and job protection as “a meaningless piece of paper,” in the latest salvo over the Japanese steelmaker’s planned $14.1 billion acquisition of United States Steel Corp.

Nippon Steel made what it called a “binding commitment” to the influential union in a March 27 letter, as it seeks to build support for the politically sensitive deal. 

“It is instead nothing more than another collection of empty promises and open-ended language that would enable it to skirt obligations to workers and retirees,” USW President David McCall and USW Negotiating Committee Chairman Mike Millsap wrote in a statement to members posted on the union’s website.

“In the response that we sent today, we were firm and clear: our union sees through Nippon’s proposal and will not support the transaction in exchange for a pack of empty promises. Nor will we be deceived by so-called commitments that have baked into them ways to release Nippon from following through.”

Bloomberg reported on Monday that Nippon Steel delivered to the USW what it considered a “bilateral agreement” last week that put in writing pledges made previously in a meeting between leadership of Nippon Steel and the union. Nippon Steel’s new president has pledged to press ahead with the takeover, despite opposition led by President Joe Biden, who has said US Steel should be American-owned.

Shares of US Steel dropped as much as 3.9% after the statement before bouncing back to earlier trading levels.

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