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Letter to Local 11-418 from the Bargaining Committee - July 14, 2020

USW Blog - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 16:13

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Brothers and Sisters,

Several members have reached out to the Local 11-00418 bargaining committee over the weekend with concerns following an e-mail from 3M regarding their recent contract proposals. We wanted to clear up any confusion this message might have caused.

Over the 75 years that we have been operating as a union with 3M, we have worked well with the company, but recent changes in management, under lead bargainer Patrick J. Somers, have resulted in new – yet unsurprising – tactics at the bargaining table.

One of the many benefits of establishing our 3M Council comprised of rank-and-file members is that we are connected with the eight other USW locals who bargain with the company. Through these conversations, we have been able to spot patterns, and this recent e-mail is definitely part of the 3M’s larger strategy to delay and divide. 

For example, our union siblings at the Tonawanda plant in New York are currently working past their agreement’s expiration date, under an extension through mid-August, as they complete their negotiations.

And in Alabama, fellow USW members began their latest bargaining session in the early fall of 2019, staying the course through more than eight months of management’s attempts to wear them down. Their vigilance and discipline paid off, and they ratified their contract two months ago in May 2020, after working under an extension of their previous agreement.

It’s clear that offering extensive proposals that take significant time for our committee to sift through has become a part of the company’s game plan, and we are prepared to meet it here in Minnesota with a defense of unity and perseverance. We too can achieve a fair contract if we stick together.

The bargaining committee will be working diligently at the table over the next few weeks, and perhaps months, to ensure that our new contract reflects our essential contributions to this company. As the wheels that keep 3M moving, we deserve nothing less.

We know from experience that we can do anything when we keep our eyes on the prize and remember our solidarity is our greatest asset. It wins every time.

Part of this solidarity means making sure we all stay connected, so please make sure you sign up to receive bargaining updates by texting USW418 to the number 77820.

We will keep moving forward, one bargaining session at a time, and we will reach the finish line with the strong contract you deserve.

 

Stay safe, siblings.

Your Local Bargaining Committee

Graduate Committee at Pitt Applauds Reversal of International Student Rule

Steelworker News - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:52

CONTACTR.J. Hufnagel, 412-562-2450

The Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC) at the University of Pittsburgh applauded today’s reversal by the Trump administration of new guidelines that it had issued earlier this month that could have forced thousands of international students to leave the country.

The Trump administration had issued a directive to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on July 6 that international students pursuing degrees at universities in the United States would lose their visas and face deportation if their classes were online-only this fall as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are happy to see the reversal of this unnecessary, arbitrary and potentially devastating policy, a decision that never should have been made in the first place,” said Alnica Visser, a fifth-year doctoral candidate in philosophy. “International students are an absolutely essential part of this campus, this city and this nation. We should never have faced a potential choice between our education and our livelihood, and the health and well-being of ourselves and our loved ones.” 

The reversal of the policy comes after more than a week of intense activism by international students and supporters both at Pitt and across the country calling for the rule to be scrapped. On Monday, Pitt filed a brief supporting a lawsuit by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University seeking a reversal of the administration’s directive to ICE. State attorneys general also filed suit over the policy.

The GSOC is seeking to organize Pitt grad students into the United Steelworkers (USW) union. The workers fell just short in a vote to join the USW in April 2019, an outcome that came as a result of unfair labor practices by the university.

A Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board hearing examiner ordered a new election, but the university contested that ruling. In its effort to fight unionization by grad students, as well as a concurrent campaign by the university faculty to join the USW, Pitt has spent more than $1 million to employ infamous union-busting firm Ballard Spahr of Philadelphia.

“This reversal is a significant victory for this student body, and it shows the true power of collective action to effect change. We are glad that, in this case, Pitt did the right thing, but the administration must do far more to support its international students,” said Visser. “Pitt should immediately halt its union-busting efforts and redirect those resources to support the students, faculty and community during this incredibly difficult time.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, mining, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service, public and health care sectors and higher education. 

USW Welcomes ITC’s Preliminary Determination on PVLT Tires from Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam

Steelworker News - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 13:34

CONTACT: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-456-2444

The United Steelworkers (USW) union today welcomed the ITC’s preliminary determination on passenger vehicle and light truck (PVLT) tires from Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

“Domestic tire workers, including USW members, know better than anyone how much dumping and illegal subsides hurt our industries and jeopardize U.S. jobs,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “They’ve lived in fear for far too long that their good, family-sustaining jobs and their communities would be the next victims of bad actors looking to exploit the American market.

“Today’s ITC determination allows us to move forward with a much-needed investigation into these four countries’ trading practices and ultimately institute remedies that will allow U.S. tire producers to compete on a level playing field.”

The USW filed antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) petitions against the four countries on May 13. The Commerce Department initiated an investigation on June 23.

“U.S. workers need help now,” said Kevin Johnsen, who chairs the USW’s Rubber and Plastics Industry Conference. “They cannot be left to contend with unfair trade on their own.

“Today’s decision is a step in the right direction toward staunching the flow of illegally traded PVLT tires into the United States.”

The USW is the largest North American union in tire manufacturing, representing workers who make PVLT tires at plants in eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, North Carolina, New York and Virginia.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, mining, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service, public and health care sectors and higher education. 

CBTU Holds ‘Black Lives Matter to Labor’ Event

AFL-CIO - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 12:53
CBTU Holds ‘Black Lives Matter to Labor’ Event CBTU

On a hot and drizzly summer morning, dozens of union members and civil rights activists turned out for the Black Lives Matter to Labor event by the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) in Rochester, New York. The rally showcased the unity of the local labor movement as members of the Rochester-Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation and many others gathered as a community to speak out against racial injustice.

Shelly Clements (NYSUT/AFT-NEA), second vice president of the CBTU Rochester chapter, told those in attendance that the removal of Confederate statues and other symbolic changes are not enough. “Protest is vital, but we’ve got to have action,” she said. “It’s time to take the steps to be on the right side of history. It’s time to dismantle the oppression in our workplaces, our health care systems, our housing systems, our environment, our voting laws and our education system.”

Local elected officials and endorsed candidates also spoke at the rally. Among them was Demond Meeks, an organizer for 1199SEIU, who recently won a primary election for the New York State Assembly, with strong support from the labor council.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/14/2020 - 14:53

Tags: CBTU

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Maine AFL-CIO Calls on Senate to Extend $600 Lifeline to Unemployed Workers

AFL-CIO - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 08:50
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Maine AFL-CIO Calls on Senate to Extend $600 Lifeline to Unemployed Workers

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

The Maine AFL-CIO, led by President Cynthia Phinney (IBEW), is publicly pushing its senators to support renewing the federal $600 weekly unemployment payment for those who are out of work as a result of the pandemic. This weekly payment was included in the CARES Act and is set to expire at the end of July. “With double-digit unemployment, it is appalling and morally repugnant that the U.S. Senate would even consider cutting this critical lifeline to Maine families,” Andy O’Brien (UFCW), the state federation’s communications director, told the Beacon. The Maine Department of Labor announced last week that it will extend the maximum length of time workers can remain on unemployment benefits by 13 weeks.

 

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/14/2020 - 10:50

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Health care member Audra Nixon combines compassion and knowledge to serve others

USW Blog - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 13:06

Audra Nixon’s desire to care for the elderly began on her paper route when she was around seven years old. Turning off the flat, rural County Road into Maxville Manor and walking into the long-term care facility to drop off the day’s newspaper, young Audra felt like she was home.

“I walked into that place and just knew that’s where I wanted to be,” Audra said.

She has now been working as a Personal Support Worker (PSW) at the manor for 33 years. To her, the best part of this work is the hands-on care with seniors and the intimate bonds that come with it. 

“You learn so much,” Audra said. “The wisdom that comes from an elderly person is astounding. It’s all really heart-warming.”

Along with her full-time work as a caregiver, Audra also serves at unit chair of Local 9211, and as an executor for the local. When she took over the position as a fairly green leader, she knew her goal was to learn as much as possible about unions and government in order to better support her members.

“I wanted to get more folks involved and make it so they’re not just paying dues,” she said. “It opened everything up a lot more.”

 

Audra also serves as president of the District 6 Health Care Workers Council, and is a member of the USW International Health Care Workers Council. Through these platforms, she and her fellow activists in Ontario have been able to start a vital conversation around the need to support and uplift the PSW industry.

Six years ago, Audra and others started to see a big change in health care changes, particularly with wage cuts and freezes. This is when she became involved with the district council and started working to create a safe space for fellow PSWs to come together and talk about the challenges they faced.

Now, amidst a pandemic that has severely impacted long-term care facilities, that open communication and advocacy is needed more than ever. Less than two months ago, on May 15, members of Local 9211 protested outside the manor against cuts to care hours that leave vulnerable residents at even greater risk.

“There’s a lot of frustration,” Audra said. “We’re lucky to have enough PPE and our facility isn’t one that has had an outbreak, but we’re already short-staffed because a lot of people don’t want to come to work during this pandemic.”

Even before the pandemic hit Canada, PSWs had been sounding the alarm on their many vulnerabilities for several years. Then, as the virus took hold, conditions in facilities got so bad that the military had to be deployed to five hard-hit centers to help provide medical care.

A May 14 report based on the observations of Canadian Armed Forces personnel also detailed insufficient staff training and inadequate protocols to stop the spread of the virus, poor sanitation, resident neglect, worker burnout, and more. Today, nursing homes account for 81 percent of Covid-19 deaths in the country.

“We’ve been saying we’re in crisis for years,” Audra said. “It wasn’t until residents started passing away that anyone paid attention.”

Audra and a USW staff representative also met with members of their parliamentary government just last month to talk about the many issues facing the industry. Among the demands they made at the meeting were better wages, safer resident-to-worker ratios, and improved inspections of facilities.

“We know what’s needed,” she said. “The government just needs to help us implement it.”

Audra said that being in a union is what allows her and others to use their collective voice to advocate for themselves and others.

“It’s about power and fairness. The more people we have backing us, the stronger our voice gets,” Audra said. “The USW has been very good standing up for these issues and fighting back.”

When she isn’t caring for her residents and standing up for her fellow workers, Audra enjoys spending time with her family and her dog. “My peace has always been my husband and my home,” she said.

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Labor Movement in Tucson Demands Freedom for Mexican Labor Attorney

AFL-CIO - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 11:50
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Labor Movement in Tucson Demands Freedom for Mexican Labor Attorney

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

Susana Prieto Terrazas, a Mexican attorney and activist who organizes workers in the maquiladora factories along the southern border, was arrested by Mexican authorities last month on trumped-up charges. On June 10, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) called her arrest “an outrage” and demanded her immediate and unconditional release from prison.

Members of the Pima Area Labor Federation and Jobs With Justice took direct action. They delivered a joint letter to the Mexican Consulate in Tucson, Arizona, along with a letter from the UAW and a copy of Trumka’s statement. The members met with Consul Enrique Alfonso Gómez Montiel, who assured them he would send the letters and statement to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Prior to the meeting, the members had a constructive conversation with the consul's staff explaining the details of the situation and the desire of America’s labor movement to see the release of Prieto Terrazas.

It was announced after the meeting at the consulate on July 1 that a judge had ordered her release from prison just hours after the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade went into effect. However, the criminal charges against Prieto Terrazas still remain. The Pima Area Labor Federation, under the leadership of Chair Trish Muir (IBT), posted an update on Facebook: “We will continue to push for her to be absolved of these erroneous claims, and stand with workers everywhere.”

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/13/2020 - 13:50

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Save the News: The Working People Weekly List

AFL-CIO - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 08:51
Save the News: The Working People Weekly List AFL-CIO

Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s the latest edition of the Working People Weekly List.

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Firefighters in Omaha Donate Bikes to Kids: "Members of the Omaha Professional Fire Fighters Association-IAFF Local 385 in Nebraska donated dozens of bikes and helmets to local children."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UNITE HERE Raises $2.5 Million to Support Members Impacted by COVID-19: "UNITE HERE announced on Monday that it had raised $2.5 million for the union’s Education and Support Fund to provide direct relief to its members and their families who have been impacted by COVID-19."

Safety and Security: Worker Wins: "Our latest roundup of worker wins features important victories for safety and security during the COVID-19 pandemic and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Rally to Save the News Held in Chicago: "The Chicago Federation of Labor helped host a 'Save the News' rally in downtown Chicago. Union members were joined by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, as well as other community leaders."

Protect Working Families: In the States Roundup: "It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states. Click on any of the links to follow the state federations on Twitter."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: School Leaders Issue Guide to Reopen Schools Safely: "School supervisory personnel who were among the first to call for closing schools at the start of the pandemic have released a new, comprehensive guide for reopening schools safely. 'School leaders want to reopen their schools, on time and in person,' said Ernest Logan, president of the School Administrators (AFSA), which represents principals, assistant principals, supervisors, and school directors and managers."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: 'Airline Workers Are Doing Everything That We Can to Make the Flights Safe': "What does the future hold for air travel? Safety must be the first and highest priority for both workers and passengers, according to Transport Workers Union (TWU) President John Samuelsen. 'It is safe to fly, but also, passengers on planes have a level of responsibility,' he said in a recent video from HuffPost."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UAW Shares Stories of Members Facing Down COVID-19: "Whether they are an academic researcher looking for a drug to fight the deadly virus, an autoworker making a quick pivot to manufacture ventilators, masks or shields, a maintenance worker disinfecting the plant, or a health care worker making sure the sick can receive treatment, UAW members are courageously doing what they can to battle COVID-19."

Economy Gains 4.8 Million Jobs in June; Unemployment Declines to 11.1%: "The U.S. economy gained 4.8 million jobs in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 11.1%, according to figures released Thursday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The improvements reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that previously was curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Pass the HEROES Act: What Working People Are Doing This Week: "Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions and other working family organizations are doing across the country and beyond. The labor movement is big and active—here's a look at the broad range of activities we're engaged in this week."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Milwaukee Area Labor Council Hosts Rallies to Thank Front-Line Workers: "The Milwaukee Area Labor Council, under the leadership of President Pam Fendt (LIUNA), has been hosting weekly events on Wednesdays for union members to thank front-line workers."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UFCW Fights to Save Members' Lives, Help Those on the Front Lines: "In a press conference on Thursday, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) announced that 238 UFCW members have died from COVID-19 and nearly 29,000 workers have been infected or exposed to the coronavirus over the past 100 days."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Paramedic Says, ‘The Anger Is Blinding’: "The Washington Post interviewed Anthony Almojera, a paramedic for the New York City Fire Department and vice president of AFSCME Local 3621, DC 37. He illustrated how the words of gratitude for workers like him are not matched by their meager paychecks."

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/13/2020 - 10:51

VP Redmond picked to lead AFL-CIO Task Force on Racial Justice

USW Blog - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 07:05

USW International Vice President Fred Redmond has been picked to lead the new AFL-CIO Task Force on Racial Justice. President Richard Trumka announced the creation of the task force and charged it with implementing a series of recommendations adopted by the AFL-CIO General Board focused on taking concrete action to address America’s long history of racism and police violence against Black people.

“The labor movement is committed to being the tip of the spear in the fight to bring long overdue racial justice to our country,” Trumka said. “These dedicated leaders will take on one of the most complex challenges our movement has ever faced. I am confident each of them have the experience, dedication and tenacity to lead this important initiative.”

Click here to read the entire announcement and learn more about the effort. 

CSB Pushes to Prevent Chemical Incidents Ahead of Extreme Weather

USW Blog - Fri, 07/10/2020 - 09:14

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a video safety message and a safety alert to help guide workers and their employers through extreme weather events.

The message, titled, “2020 Hurricane Season: Guidance for Chemical Plants During Extreme Weather Events” will be of use to labor-management health and safety committees, union safety representatives and USW Triangle of Prevention (TOP).

Atlantic hurricane activity this summer and fall is expected to be above normal, according to the report, with an anticipated 13-19 storms—six to 10 of them being hurricanes and three to six expected to be a category 3, 4 or 5, with winds of 111 mph or higher.

Three years ago, Hurricane Harvey stalled over southeast Texas, causing an unprecedented amount of rain. The Arkema Chemical Plant in Crosby, Texas, flooded, causing plant equipment to fail and stored chemicals inside trailers to decompose and burn, releasing fumes and smoke. Twenty-one people reported exposures to the fumes and sought medical help, while more than 200 residents living near the plant evacuated and could not return home for a week.

The CSB investigated the incident and found no industry guidance on planning for such severe weather events. The agency recommended that the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) produce a guidance document to aid the industry in its preparation for such events as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and other natural weather.

The CCPS obliged with its new guidance document “Assessment of and Planning for Natural Hazards” that involves assessing natural hazards, addressing them and doing emergency planning. CSB’s safety alert said the CCPS document includes identifying natural hazards, their likelihood of happening and severity level; gathering date on them; evaluating facility design in relation to these natural hazards; assessing risks and planning for emergencies.

Startup of a chemical plant, petrochemical facility or oil refinery is always a hazardous activity, but if process safety requirements are not followed, it can turn into a catastrophic event. That is why CSB’s safety alert emphasizes reliance on established safety systems and checking process equipment thoroughly when starting up after an extreme weather event.

The CSB video is only about four minutes long and the safety alert is three pages. Joint labor-management health and safety committees, union safety representatives and TOP representatives would find more detailed information in the 41-page CCPS document.

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Firefighters in Omaha Donate Bikes to Kids

AFL-CIO - Fri, 07/10/2020 - 06:55
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Firefighters in Omaha Donate Bikes to Kids

During the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread protests in response to the killing of George Floyd, working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities. In our new Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

Members of the Omaha Professional Fire Fighters Association-IAFF Local 385 in Nebraska donated dozens of bikes and helmets to local children. The community effort was a partnership among the union, the Black Votes Matter organization and churches in north Omaha, which came together to donate the bikes and helmets for kids to safely enjoy some outdoor time with their friends this summer.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 07/10/2020 - 08:55

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UNITE HERE Raises $2.5 Million to Support Members Impacted by COVID-19

AFL-CIO - Thu, 07/09/2020 - 10:58
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UNITE HERE Raises $2.5 Million to Support Members Impacted by COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread protests in response to the killing of George Floyd, working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities. In our new Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

UNITE HERE announced on Monday that it had raised $2.5 million for the union’s Education and Support Fund to provide direct relief to its members and their families who have been impacted by COVID-19. The union reported that more than 60,000 working families in 40 cities have been supported through these contributions. Throughout the pandemic, workers in the hospitality industry have been hit especially hard. Click here to donate to UNITE HERE’s relief effort.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 07/09/2020 - 12:58

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Local 13-620 BASF Workers at Geismar Plant Help Fight COVID-19

USW Blog - Thu, 07/09/2020 - 09:53

Lanny Cambre Jr., a 28-year Local 13-620 member and steward at the BASF flagship plant in Geismar, La., said he’s proud that his local is doing its part to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Cambre is a control room operator in the surfactants unit. These chemicals are used in many cleaning products such as soaps and detergents, and have a wide range of uses. His unit makes PE20 that goes into making hand sanitizers and soap.

“During COVID-19, we have had a lot more demand for hand soap,” he said.

The site is a big chemical supplier to Clorox and Lysol.

“Clorox made sure we had the supplies we needed at work because we supply the company with chemicals,” he said.

The site also makes a chemical labeled F127NF that goes into the production of Listerine, and makes a chemical product, P188bio, for Roche Pharmaceuticals that uses it to produce a drug to treat people with pneumonia.

Cambre said that knowing the work he does impacts the fight against COVID-19 makes his job a little more rewarding.

“You feel better about going to work since these products are helping people,” he said.

Picnic perfection: Pittsburgh-style Strawberry Jell-O Salad in #USWMade Pyrex

USW Blog - Thu, 07/09/2020 - 09:52

Here are some fun facts for all you foodies out there: Pittsburgh is home to our great union’s headquarters, the birthplace of yummy Strawberry Jell-O Pretzel Salad, and the city is not too far from where some 325 members of Local Union 53G in Charleroi, Pa., make the popular glass Pyrex dishes in which this summertime treat is usually served! We also have 435 members of Local 1024 in Greencastle, Pa., who process and manage online orders and the distribution of Pyrex products. Keep scrolling for the recipe - we promise you won't be disappointed!

We thought this was too cool so we had to share. According to Very Local Pittsburgh, this salty-sweet treat has roots in Pittsburgh, where home chefs concocted the tasty dessert during the height of the Jell-O “salad” craze in the post-World War II era. A 1960 cookbook in the Pittsburgh Heinz History Center includes the recipe, which has been passed down through families for generations. 

Bust out your #USWMade Pyrex measuring cups, mixing bowls and baking dishes and give this Pittsburgh picnic staple a try! 

Pittsburgh-Style Strawberry Jell-O Pretzel Salad (Served in #USWMade Pyrex!)

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 ½ cups crushed pretzels
  • 1 (6 ounce) package strawberry flavored Jell-O
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups sliced strawberries, chilled
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Cream butter or margarine with the brown sugar. Mix in the pretzels and pat mixture into the bottom of one 9x13 inch #USWMade Pyrex baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • In a medium #USWMade Pyrex mixing bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water and stir in the strawberries. Chill until partially thickened.
  • In a small #USWMade Pyrex mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and white sugar together until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Spread mixture over the top of the cooled crust, making sure to seal the edges. Chill then pour the gelatin mixture over the cream cheese layer. Chill until firm.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 520.5 calories; 5.9 g protein; 64.5 g carbohydrates; 61.2 mg cholesterol; 602.7 mg sodium. Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.




Innovation, a real manufacturing plan is exactly what we need right now

USW Blog - Thu, 07/09/2020 - 06:52
For generations, our union has been pushing for real manufacturing strategy that builds real wealth, improves our nation and protects good jobs. You can read more about our core issues that our members told us were priorities here.   Today, Joe Biden released the manufacturing and innovation segment of his Build Back Better economic plan, "Made in All of America." It's exactly what we need during these unprecedented times that are challenging so many of us.   “Recovering from the Covid-19 crisis and ensuring shared prosperity for generations to come will take bold action and a sustained commitment," said our International President Tom Conway. "Joe Biden’s plan for revitalizing American manufacturing demonstrates both.   Late last year, we started the Your Union, Your Voice initiative and involved multiple parts, all of which were designed to provide more transparency about the union’s processes and hear from you about your priorities. Among the top priorities were issues related to our jobs: fair trade agreements and laws that protect U.S. workers, increased worker wages, and strong workplace safety and health protections. You can read the results of the survey here.

Here is the rest of what President Conway had to say about Vice President Biden's plan:

“As the pandemic made clear, our country must be able to supply its own needs. And now, more than ever, we urgently need to create good, family-sustaining jobs, both to stop the economic freefall and reverse decades of rampant economic inequality.

“Biden will jump-start American manufacturing through a long-needed investment in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Coupled with strong ‘Buy American’ provisions that ensure tax money supports domestic industry, this rebuilding campaign will make our country more secure and create millions of jobs. 

“His plan also includes a massive procurement commitment as well as a roadmap for bringing critical supply chains back to the United States. These provisions will put our country on stronger economic footing and bolster our national security.  

“Just as crucially, Biden’s plan acknowledges the necessity of strong labor protections that enable workers to bargain collectively for higher wages and better benefits. By supporting the PRO Act, Biden will ensure that the jobs created through his economic plan are middle-class jobs that enable workers to live the American dream. 

“Our nation needs a leader who understands the necessity of a strong manufacturing base; from medicines to steel to clean energy technology, our country must produce things here and pay workers competitive wages to make them. 

“Joe Biden’s plan demonstrates that he not only grasps the strategic importance of domestic manufacturing but also values American workers.”

 Check out our Your Union, Your Voice website to learn more about the issues that matter most to us, how we decide to back political candidates and information about voting. Learn why we endorsed Joe Biden here.  

 



USW Applauds Biden’s Plan for Manufacturing, Innovation

Steelworker News - Thu, 07/09/2020 - 06:39

Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org                                                                                                                                                        

PITTSBURGH – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement in response to the manufacturing and innovation segment of Joe Biden’s Build Back Better economic plan, released today:

“Recovering from the Covid-19 crisis and ensuring shared prosperity for generations to come will take bold action and a sustained commitment. Joe Biden’s plan for revitalizing American manufacturing demonstrates both.

“As the pandemic made clear, our country must be able to supply its own needs. And now, more than ever, we urgently need to create good, family-sustaining jobs, both to stop the economic freefall and reverse decades of rampant economic inequality.

“Biden will jump-start American manufacturing through a long-needed investment in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Coupled with strong ‘Buy American’ provisions that ensure tax money supports domestic industry, this rebuilding campaign will make our country more secure and create millions of jobs. 

“His plan also includes a massive procurement commitment as well as a roadmap for bringing critical supply chains back to the United States. These provisions will put our country on stronger economic footing and bolster our national security.  

“Just as crucially, Biden’s plan acknowledges the necessity of strong labor protections that enable workers to bargain collectively for higher wages and better benefits. By supporting the PRO Act, Biden will ensure that the jobs created through his economic plan are middle-class jobs that enable workers to live the American dream. 

“Our nation needs a leader who understands the necessity of a strong manufacturing base; from medicines to steel to clean energy technology, our country must produce things here and pay workers competitive wages to make them. 

“Joe Biden’s plan demonstrates that he not only grasps the strategic importance of domestic manufacturing but also values American workers.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

Safety and Security: Worker Wins

AFL-CIO - Wed, 07/08/2020 - 11:54
Safety and Security: Worker Wins

Our latest roundup of worker wins features important victories for safety and security during the COVID-19 pandemic and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life. 

Airline Worker Unions Win Protections During Pandemic: More than a half dozen unions representing workers in the airline industry fought to secure protections during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act, which passed in March, $31 billion in direct grants were approved to airline industry workers and another $25 billion in loans or grants for the industry. Sara Nelson, president of the Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), said: “This is an unprecedented win for front-line aviation workers and a template all workers can build from. The grants we won in this bill will save hundreds of thousands of jobs and will keep working people connected to healthcare.”

Front-Line Stop & Shop Workers Win Protections, Additional Pay: More than 70,000 employees at Stop & Shop and Peapod in New Jersey, New York and New England represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) secured a 10% pay increase and up to two additional weeks of paid sick leave as a response to coronavirus. UFCW International President Marc Perrone said: “As we know, grocery workers like Stop & Shop employees have been on the front lines of this crisis, serving the needs of millions of families in the northeast. Protecting them is absolutely essential to our communities and food supply now more than ever.”

Nuclear Power Plant Workers in Texas Vote to Join IBEW: Phyllis Goines, business manager of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 220, reported that workers at Day & Zimmermann (D&Z) radiological services voted to join the union to improve their working conditions at a nuclear power plant in Glen Rose, Texas. Goines said the bargaining unit consists of some 60 workers in a variety of jobs, including electrical, custodial and outdoor maintenance. Union organizers faced heavy opposition as D&Z used a combination of management scare tactics and threats about the impact of the pandemic. The scare tactics didn't work. In the end, a majority of workers stood their ground. “I'm glad it's over,” Goines said, adding that she looks forward to seeing workers reap the benefits of negotiating their first union contract together in solidarity.

Professors and Graduate Students Score Victories: In the past few months, organizing drives led by graduate students, contract negotiations and other pro-worker actions have resulted in victories, including: University of Illinois at Chicago, Georgetown, Brown, Harvard and Oregon State.

SAG-AFTRA and AFM Score Entertainment Industry Victories: SAG-AFTRA's board has voted to recommend members accept the 2020 TV/Theatrical Agreement, which contains the largest financial compensation the union has negotiated, at $318 million over three years. Separately, SAG-AFTRA and the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) announced a deal that would provide record-breaking royalty payments for session musicians and singers.

Bradenton Herald Newsroom Joins The NewsGuild: As part of a wider wave of union organizing in Florida and at McClatchy-owned newspapers, the newsroom at the Bradenton Herald voted to join The NewsGuild-CWA. Veteran reporter Jessica De Leon said: “Today, the newsroom of the Bradenton Herald stood up, not just to demand better working conditions for ourselves but to preserve quality local journalism in Bradenton, and our voices were heard. I’m beyond grateful for the amazing team we have and all the support we’ve received from our community, colleagues and fellow journalists around the country.”

Workers Unionize at Bank Formerly Owned by Tom Steyer: Workers in Oregon, California and Washington at Beneficial Bank, which was founded by former presidential candidate Steyer, who resigned from the bank's board to run for president. The majority of eligible employees signed union authorization cards to be represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

Hearthside Food Solutions Workers Join UFCW: In the first National Labor Relations Board-led unionization vote since the beginning of the pandemic, the majority of workers at the cereal-packing plant in Byhalia, Mississippi, voted to be represented by the UFCW. Rose Turner, a UFCW organizer, said: "Today, I feel better than I feel in the last 45 days."

NPEU Leads Wave of Unionization in Nonprofit Sector: The Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU), IFPTE Local 70, recently announced a series of organizing victories, including: Friends of the Earth, National Women's Law Center, Pittsburgh United, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, National Immigration Law Center, the Groundwork Collaborative, Scholars Strategy Network and J Street.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/08/2020 - 13:54

Tags: Organizing

Pitt Grad Student Organizers Condemn Changes to ICE Student Exchange and Visitor Program Rules

Steelworker News - Wed, 07/08/2020 - 11:51

Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

Members of the Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC-USW) at the University of Pittsburgh today issued a statement expressing solidarity with international students and denouncing the Trump administration’s recent modifications of existing ICE Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) rules.

Under the rule change, students in the United States on F-1 visas must take at least one in-person class or face deportation. This comes at a time when many universities, including the University of Pittsburgh, are still weighing their options for online instruction in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

“This is yet another targeted attack on immigrants disguised as a premature return to ‘business as usual,’” the statement reads. “The modified policy not only forces international students to choose between our safety and academic careers, but also makes it especially dangerous for us to join the call to cancel in-person teaching.”

The group commended the Pitt administration’s call to reverse the decision, but stated university leaders needed to do more.

“We ask that Pitt immediately halt its expensive legal campaigns designed to deny us our right to form a union, and instead divert those millions of dollars to take legal action, which must include retaining immigration attorneys to serve students and faculty,” the statement reads.

“As a union, we are committed to fighting for the rights of all people to study, teach, and conduct research without having to compromise their health, safety, or visa status. We will not sit idly by while more workers become collateral damage due to the U.S. government’s abdication of its duties. Similarly, we will continue to hold the Pitt administration accountable to make sure it protects the safety and wellbeing of our community when making decisions about the upcoming academic year,” according to the statement.

Graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh filed for an election to join the USW in 2017. Last fall, a Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board hearing examiner found that the university administration committed “coercive acts” that undermined the integrity of that election, held in April 2019, and ordered a new one. The Pitt administration appealed the decision, and this process is still underway.

The full GSOC-USW statement on the SEVP rule changes is available here

The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

Local 9-675-01 at 3M’s Guin, Ala., Plant Continues Union Tradition for 64 Years

USW Blog - Wed, 07/08/2020 - 11:15

Local 9-675-01 signed a new contract that increased wages and benefits, turned past practices into solid contract language and averted management concessions at 3M’s plant in Guin, Ala., after six months of negotiations.

First organized in 1956, the local continues to negotiate family-supporting wages, benefits and contract language that helps Guin and Marion County thrive.

Members overwhelmingly ratified a three-year agreement on April 24, 2020 that included wage increases of three percent the first year, two percent the second year and two percent the third year.

“The last week of negotiations there was a big argument over retroactive pay,” said Local 9-675-01 President Phillip Markham. “We had to really fight them over that, but they went back, went over everybody’s hours, and paid what they owed them.”

The local obtained increases in payments received for sickness and accident, long-term disability, and accidental death and dismemberment benefits. Changes in how retirement benefits are calculated will result in larger monthly retirement checks for workers. Union negotiators added step parents and step children to the bereavement leave.

Those who work in the Advanced Materials Division manufacturing glass bubbles—a lightweight filler material—will get 15 minutes of company time to take a shower after work.

Workers in the Maker department—producing reflective sheeting for the sides of trucks, and road and traffic signs—will get a $1,120 work clothing allowance for shirts and blue jeans when they join the department and $800/year thereafter.

The local maintained its health care and retirement plans.

Turned back concessions

Bargaining began Oct. 2, 2019 and lasted through the spring, an unusual turn, as until this contract, negotiations typically took no more than a week.

The local’s perseverance, however, paid off.

“We thought we did pretty good,” Markham said. “We were trying to keep a lot of what we had. The company was coming after a lot of things like a zipper clause, contracting out of janitorial work, four job cuts in the bubbles department and the introduction of temporary workers.”

In a zipper clause, if a past practice is not in writing after the contract is ratified or it is not in a memorandum of understanding, it is non-existent, said Local 9-675-01 Vice President Keith Bozeman.

He said the union committee went over its bargaining notes, emails and copies of notes from past bargaining years to remember every past practice and write them down. As a result, overtime rules are in the contract now.

“Our staff rep., Kevin Key, got the company to agree that everything we sign or agree to has to have the signatures of the local union president or vice president, the plant manager, human resources and the department manager,” Bozeman said. “When the company saw we were not implementing items that were not agreed to by everybody, they pulled away from the zipper clause, and Key was instrumental in that.”

Markham said the local saved the janitorial jobs from being contracted out and the four jobs in the bubbles department from being cut. The union also refused to allow the introduction of temporary workers.

“Everybody was united in the whole plant,” he said.

He said members wore t-shirts to show solidarity and union stickers during the days of negotiations. Due to COVID-19, bargaining was conducted via email.

Toward the end, he said the membership was getting antsy, but “we kept telling them we were going to get to the finish line.”

Contract improvements over time

Local 9-675-01 built a solid foundation of achievements before negotiations began for the current agreement.

In 2003, the local and 3M agreed to engage in the USW’s Triangle of Prevention (TOP) program, and the company agreed to pay for a full-time hourly worker to be the TOP representative for the site.

“That was a big change,” said Calvin Bozeman, the local’s first TOP representative. “That put a union person in the company’s daily meetings who could hear what was going on and give the union’s input.”

He said that TOP helped build the local and made it stronger by getting more people involved in health and safety.

In 2004, the union committee negotiated plantwide seniority; it replaced departmental seniority. The local also got contract language for reduced workweeks when business got slow. “Now, we go by seniority to ask people if they want to work three days a week and retain their benefits and service credit,” Keith Bozeman said.

Calvin said many changes to the vacation policy were negotiated over the years. When he hired in, it took three years to get one week of vacation. Now, people hired in get two weeks of vacation immediately. When the local negotiated half-day increments of vacation, the members thought no one would use them, Calvin said. “Today, everyone does.”

Last chance agreements used to be in effect indefinitely until the union committee bargained new language in the contract in 2013 that made them limited to 48 months, Keith said.

As the 3M Guin site has grown, so has the union membership. Today, the local represents around 210 production, warehouse and maintenance workers, and has 96 percent membership in a right-to-work-for-less state.

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: School Leaders Issue Guide to Reopen Schools Safely

AFL-CIO - Tue, 07/07/2020 - 11:29
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: School Leaders Issue Guide to Reopen Schools Safely AFSA

During the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread protests in response to the killing of George Floyd, working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities. In our new Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

School supervisory personnel who were among the first to call for closing schools at the start of the pandemic have released a new, comprehensive guide for reopening schools safely. “School leaders want to reopen their schools, on time and in person,” said Ernest Logan, president of the School Administrators (AFSA), which represents principals, assistant principals, supervisors, and school directors and managers. “In a time of social and emotional upheaval, our students have never needed us more. This is not going to be easy and it's going to cost upward to $300 billion.” The AFSA guide, Reopening Schools Safely in the Age of COVID, covers the major challenges schools must address as the pandemic continues. These issues range from sanitizing schools, hand-washing, physical distancing and health screening to managing lunchrooms and transportation, redesigning academic programs and facilities, and training staff.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/07/2020 - 13:29

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

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