You are here

Feed aggregator

“All Gave Some, Some Gave All,” Local 593’s Wall of Honor

USW Blog - Sun, 11/10/2019 - 02:32

Local 593, Aurubis Buffalo Inc., has made honoring our veterans a part of their everyday existence when entering their plant.  Working as a team with the company, they have created what they refer to as the “Wall off Honor.”  

“One of my proudest moments besides my life besides my late wife and kids, was serving this great country of ours. I feel and our members feel it’s our duty to honor all past and present veterans, the sacrifices made to make this country free. All of the members of our military deserve to be honored, what they’ve sacrificed, their lives and time, for us to be in the best country in the world, they deserve it, and that is what the “Wall of Honor” is all about,” Dean Washburn, President of Local 593.

Cary Eldridge, Veterans of Steel Coordinator for District 4, has dedicated a lot of his time to help grow the program in his district. “USW Veterans of Steel program does more than sing the song praise, we have committed countless resources that our veteran brothers, sisters, and their families can turn to for assistance. We cannot forget the sacrifices that they have endured. We honor our veterans not one day but every day. I’m so proud to be a part of this program and locals like 593 and all the work they do.”

“We owe a great debt to those who sacrifice to defend our freedom. The Veterans of Steel program seeks to honor and support our veterans and their families every day. Local 593 and Arubis Buffalo’s Wall of Honor exemplifies that spirit,” Director Vitale.

Wall of Honor – History
Mary Ann Stets
Wall of Honor Team Leader

In late July 2012, Brian Young, then Vice President of Operations, Aurubis Buffalo, Inc. proposed the idea of a permanent tribute to the service and sacrifices of our own employee veterans.  His simple idea grew into a monumental project second to none!

Over the next few months a small internal team of three dedicated employees --  Brian Young, Douglas Haak and Mary Ann Stets -- worked hard to develop the initial ideas working closely with the talented team of craftsmen at E B Ironart, a local company specializing in military artwork.  Once designed, additional employees Ron Lorich and Bob Goodrow participated in the actual wall construction. All of these individuals spent many hours putting everything together, but they didn't do it alone.  Many of the materials used in the fabrication of the Wall of Honor are made from Aurubis Buffalo’s own copper and brass, so in essence every one participated. What better way to showcase the kind of work done every day than to use our own products to pay tribute to some very brave individuals?

The message is clear: There is no way to fully reward the service and sacrifice of our nation's veterans.  By virtue of this wall, we acknowledge that EVERY DAY is Veterans Day.  Without our veterans, we would not have the freedom we take for granted. 

On March 12, 2013, we held the Dedication and unveiling of our Wall of Honor.  Retired Brigadier General Anthony Caruana was our emcee.  The Color Guard from the 914th Airlift Wing participated along with 15 other uniformed military personnel from the Military Entrance Processing Center and various other units in the area.  During our ceremony we were honored to present a personalized Honor and Remember flag to one of our employees, Peter Tycz, whose son, SSG Peter Tycz II was the first Western New Yorker killed in Post 9/11 service.

In the years since the dedication, we’ve updated our wall annually at Veterans Day.  A ceremony is held every year to honor all veterans and to honor recent retirees with their tags mounted on plaques with the words: “Thank you for your years of service to our country and to The Brass. Their original tags are replaced with the small brass tags that remain on the Wall of Honor.  In 2017, we presented another personalized Honor and Remember flag to one of our employees, Mark Warden whose son, Nick was killed in Syria that same year.

There are four panels in the design of our wall.  Each panel contains symbolic dog tags with the Veteran’s name, service and enlistment.  For employees we also include any military honors they earned.

The first panel contains the names of those who currently serve. 

Panels two and three contain the names of those with past service.  Of particular note is the span of service – at the time of dedication there was a tag on display for the Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather of an employee whose service dates back to the Revolutionary War!

The final panel is dedicated to those who gave their lives in service to our country.  This panel displays the symbol of KIA, the soldier kneeling at the boots, helmet and weapon of the fallen clutching the dog the dog tags.  Our fallen family member’s name and KIA date and place is engraved into the star with two tags attached, one indicating service and a “shadow tag” listing the military accomplishments of the fallen soldier.

The overall theme of our wall is “All Gave Some, Some Gave All”.

Each branch of Service is represented by both medallion and flag.  With the exception of the POW/MIA and the Honor and Remember flags they are displayed in order of their incorporation, with our US Colors, of course, prominently displayed in the center.  We are especially honored to display the Honor and Remember medallion as it is one of a kind designed by IronArt with permission from the H&R organization to design and display it on our Wall.  The flags were all posted during our Dedication Ceremony March 23, 2013, by members of each corresponding service.  As they were posted a brief history of each flag was read.

Symbolism is everywhere on our wall. There is meaning behind the different types of tags and stars.  Tags of brass indicate employees and tags of stainless indicate family members.  Large brass tags indicate current employees. The small brass tags are retired employees.  The blue stars represent those in current service, and the gold stars those that gave their lives in service, countless names we may never know, but to whom we are sincerely grateful.  The poppies prominently displayed in the 4th panel represent the blood shed on all battlefields throughout history. Also, in the talons of the Eagle are three poppies representing our three family members sacrifice as he continues to carry their memory.  Of note, the poppies used were all hand made locally by disabled veterans.

The design of our Wall of Honor is such that it will always “look” full but is easily rearranged to make room for more Veterans.  It is updated annually for Veterans Day at which time we hold a ceremony in honor of our Veterans.  All employees are invited to attend.  Retirees are invited back to receive an engraved plaque in their honor with their tag from the Wall mounted on it with the words “Thank you for your service to Our Country and to The Brass.”  In place of their original tag on the wall a small brass tag is mounted and will remain in perpetuity.  It is only the fourth panel that we hope never to have to “make room” for more.

 

 

Honoring One of Our Own this Veteran's Day

USW Blog - Sun, 11/10/2019 - 01:57

This Veterans Day, we would like to honor one of our own that has done outstanding work for our veterans in Canada: Scott Casey, from Local 7619, at Tech Resources, in Logan Lake, British Columbia, has used his own struggle to help others. Working with our Veterans of Steel program and Military Minds, Brother Casey has experienced first-hand the connection between being Steelworker and a veteran. He describes this connection in his own words:

“When we got back, we were shunned, a lot of our guys just crashed. Thirty days from the day I left the army, I was on the streets. You didn’t understand how to fit back into society so you create your own environment to fit into, one filled with good guys and bad guys. Living on the streets, the people there were my sheep, I tried to protect them because I was connected to that whole feeling of hopelessness because I understood it.  I was soul searching, I was drinking, I was trying to find my place. 

For 18 years I drove truck, so I didn’t have to deal with people, I didn’t want to be anybody at that time and on the road I could escape that or so I thought. In hindsight, it wasn’t good, in fact, I took myself away from society. Then I found Military Minds. They showed me there was good out there still. I got involved pretty early on, just as a way to give veterans job opportunities.  Then it morphed into a PTSD peer support organization.  Since then, we now provide support to about 135,000 veterans around the world.  There is online peer support for a multitude of issues from losing your job, to helping with veterans affairs paperwork, to I’m just not doing well right now.  We are on call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, someone is there in every time zone for you. 

When it comes to activism and being a part of the Steelworkers, I started in 2010 and it was there that I found a brotherhood/sisterhood within the steelworkers that gave me the connection again, with people who look out for each other, people who want to do good and make a difference and I fell in love with it right away.  Two things stood out for me, the strength already here in the union and then being a soldier, we are forced multiples and are good at strengthening from within.

Soldiers have a different set of issues that come with them after service and when we enter the work force, we find that it’s difficult to transition, but if we have a network of our own within, like the union, then we have somebody to fall back on who gets us and understands us.  Working with our Veterans of Steel program, I want to see veterans looked after as the government isn’t doing its job.  I want our veterans to know they have the full support of the USW in creating this network in the United States and Canada to support each other from war to work, as soldiers to brothers and sisters.”

If you’re interested in learning more about Veterans of Steel, click here: usw.org/vetsofsteel.

Solidarity and spirits high among workers at Bishop Noa Home

USW Blog - Fri, 11/08/2019 - 10:46

As new members of amalgamated Local 2-21 at Bishop Noa Home (BNH) entered another tough round of negotiations with their employer, a group of the nursing home and rehab center workers showcased their solidarity and strong spirits by dressing as Rosie the Riveters during Halloween.

The costumed workers in Escanaba, Mich., wanted to reflect the local’s own battle at the bargaining table.

“The real Rosie the Riveter passed away last year and we wanted to represent how the fight all started,” said Marcia Hardy, a dietary aide at BNH.

And the workers weren’t the only ones to enjoy the festive wear.

“We had a lot of fun with it, and quite a few of the residents commented on the costumes,” said Hardy. “That’s really the point of all we do—keeping their spirits high.”

Local trade unionists and Upper Peninsula Steelworkers have been rallying around the members during their negotiations. Last week, a group of BNH workers leafletted at a nearby paper mill where 700 USW members work as part of the amalgamated Local 2-21.

‘SOAR’-ING IN RETIREMENT

USW Blog - Fri, 11/08/2019 - 10:36

The first Wednesday of every month, a group of local silver-haired activists known as the Steelworker Organization of Active Retirees — known simply as SOAR — gets together for donuts, coffee and to dish on politics.

“We have roughly 300-plus members, and they come from U.S. Steel, [former] EVTAC, Hibbing Taconite, and around the area,” SOAR President Sam Ricker recently told the Hibbing Daily Tribune. “It’s just about getting people together and to find out about political campaigns.”

The local SOAR chapter is part of a larger organization that was first established in 1985 to help strengthen the Steelworkers union by bringing together retirees to act as advocates, activists and volunteers in the communities where they lived. The members are comprised of former miners, their spouses and, according to Ricker, they’ve also opened up membership to non-Steelworkers who embody the same principals and values their group upholds.

According to usw.org, SOAR leaders encouraged chapter formations in 2011 to foster more direct communication between chapter leaders and their local unions. The idea was to help gain insight on negotiation issues regarding retirees. As the website states, “With the establishment of SOAR, our union solidified its focus on the unique issues impacting USW retirees and their spouses. Further, SOAR has been engaged in countless efforts to assure security for current and future generations of retirees, regardless of whether they belong to a union or not.” ACTIVE RETIREES

Before Ricker became president of his local SOAR chapter, he was employed for 36 years at the former Eveleth Taconite Co. — aka “EVTAC.” The 1961 Nashwauk graduate was working in Minneapolis for Honeywell before he returned to the area and began working at EVTAC in the late ‘60s as a maintenance mechanic. Two years later, he became a machinist and would stick at that job for the next 34 years.

“It seemed to change over the years, as new management came in,” Ricker said, reflecting how the atmosphere shifted from “more personal” to “more business” during his time there.

Ricker then retired in January 2003, mere months before the plant shut down which resulted in 450 employees getting laid off. Eventually the closed plant would be purchased by Cliffs and would reopen as United Taconite, which celebrated 50 years of iron ore production at the Eveleth site in 2014.

“I got involved with SOAR two years after I retired,” Ricker told the HDT. “A friend of mine mentioned they were having these meetings, and I was the president of Local 6860 for approximately 12 years. For the 36 years I worked, at least 30 I was in some kind of office or leadership-type role.”

And in less than two years, he would be president of his SOAR chapter.

Ricker noted that there are two other groups nearby — in Aurora and in Marble — but the Eveleth chapter meets at 10 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month in the Local 6860 office. Twenty “regulars” attend most meetings, though that number tends to increase the closer it gets to an election. A little, anyway. For the most part, the group engages in casual debates with discussions focusing in on which candidates to get behind the closer they get to ballot casting time.

“We do have our own endorsing system,” Ricker said. “When you meet with the active [Steelworkers], you may have a majority vote and it may happen to be the candidate we support. Ninety-nine percent of the time it’s the same, but there are sometimes that it could be a different selection.” When that happens, he said, SOAR members will default to the active union members’ majority vote so they can remain unified.

As for their activism on the local level, Ricker said that mainly comes down to making phone calls. “There aren’t too many who do that, but I guess I would be one of them,” he chuckled. “Otherwise it’s just getting the word out and talking to people when attending different functions. Especially when the Steelworkers have a contract conflict — we’ll attend those meetings and hold a banner. We try to provide any assistance we can when they ask for it.”

SOCIAL CLUB Each July, the members from all three local SOAR chapters get together for a picnic. They take turns deciding who will host and extend invitations to local politicians. Their last event took place in Pengilly, where state Senator David Tomassoni and other politicians made appearances for the roughly 50 or so people in attendance, Ricker said.

The group also walks in parades and shows up for their active Steelworkers when called upon. Mostly, however, Ricker insists their get togethers are of a casual nature — his favorite part being the conversations, which “never get too heated.”

“It’s more of a social club,” Ricker said, describing it as a place to chew about local news, politics and whatever is happening in their lives. “When there's nothing going on politically, we bring up things that have happened in the past, joking around in a nice format.”

They also use the hour long meetings to acknowledge and honor any members who have passed away.

“Overall, it’s been pretty peaceful. Everyone pretty much as their own beliefs, and they’re all welcome,” Ricker added.

As for membership fees, Ricker explained that the first year is usually paid by the Local the retiree is from, after that it’s $12 for the member, and $3 for the spouse annually. Anyone interested in joining the Eveleth chapter of SOAR can contact Ricker at 218-744-4668. “They’re entirely welcome to come and voice their opinion and join in the conversation and enjoy some coffee and donuts.”

Atomic Council Members Query Department of Energy Officials

USW Blog - Fri, 11/08/2019 - 10:29

A parade of current and former Department of Energy (DOE) officials addressed USW’s Atomic Energy Workers Council (AEWC), and answered and listened to members’ questions, concerns and suggestions on the first day of the group’s biannual meeting in Washington, D.C.

The two-day meeting, held Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, at USW’s Legislative and Policy office, attracted nearly 30 council members representing U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sites and two nuclear facilities.

The USW Atomic Energy Workers Council met Oct. 31—Nov. 1 at the USW Legislative and Policy Office in Washington, DC, for the group’s biannual meeting. Photo credit: Mike Hancock, USW Local 9-562 retiree

“This is the first time we have had multiple representatives from DOE over the last three years, so this is progress,” said USW International Vice President Roxanne Brown.

She began the meeting addressing recent leadership changes within the USW and DOE, and described her role as slightly different from retired Vice President Carol Landry’s because she oversees the nuclear sector in addition to heading the union’s legislative, policy and political work.

Brown’s years of experience navigating DOE, lobbying for cleanup funding and meeting with contractors like Fluor, taught her that the atomic sector has support from all sides of the political spectrum. 

She encouraged council members to educate DOE officials by telling them what is happening at their sites and offer suggestions for improvement. “This gives you a voice you may not have at your site,” Brown said.

Suggestions for DOE

William (Ike) White, senior advisor for environmental management to the undersecretary for science, fielded questions and suggestions regarding DOE’s environmental management (EM) program. This past September marked 30 years of nuclear waste cleanup. He said that although 90 percent of the cleanup is done for contaminated land at DOE sites, “we’re still not half done. The amount of time, work and resources needed will take more than 30 years.”

William (Ike) White, Senior Advisor for Environmental Management to the Under Secretary for Science, Department of Energy, (center) emphasizes a point to the USW Atomic Energy Workers Council.  Local Union 12-652 President Matt Chavez sits at the table listening. Photo credit: Mike Hancock, USW Local 9-562 retiree

He said the DOE is transitioning from easy cleanup work to harder projects, especially at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Pete Gomez, a Local 12-369 member at Hanford, asked White about the three outstanding contracts DOE extended with its existing contractors and when the agency would select contractors for the new agreements.

White said DOE is in its final analysis for selecting the contractors. He also discussed how DOE historically handled its agreements with contractors. Now, the agency wants indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts for fixed periods of time with contractors that have high-quality management teams, he said.

AEWC President Jim Key suggested to White that when DOE achieves a cleanup milestone, EM should acknowledge the contributions of the work force in the accomplishment.

John Knauff, president of Local 1-689 at the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, suggested that White work closely with local unions to ensure contractors are doing their jobs properly. He said contractors at the Portsmouth site are performing open-air demolition of buildings containing contaminated, radioactive equipment without decontaminating them first.

Knauff and Key told White about contractors denying employees’ requests to wear respirators and employees getting injured as a result.

Bill Collins, a Local 12-369 member at Hanford, said the contractor taking down the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) hired people off the street instead of workers with decades of experience. He said the contractor would not listen to experienced workers on how to take the plant down.

After hearing council members’ suggestions and stories, White said he would “commit personally” to meeting with union workers at the DOE sites.

Local 12-652 President Matt Chavez also urged White to have the DOE retain Fluor, the cleanup contractor at Idaho National Laboratory. “Changing Fluor would be a big mistake,” Chavez said. “The communication is perfect and Fluor gets with the local on issues.”

White said he understood, and pointed out that performance is a factor when DOE selects contractors.

Brown requested that White restart quarterly meetings between Fluor, DOE and the USW because it “cut through the issues, particularly at Portsmouth.”

 “Your management team will tell you what you want to hear,” Key said. “I will tell you the truth.”

Building connections

Appearances by other DOE officials proved fruitful for the AEWC.

Mark Planning, director of intergovernmental and external affairs for DOE, said he wanted to build a partnership with the council. “I’m a resource for you,” he said. “We’re anxious to work with you.”

USW International Vice President Roxanne Brown (standing) describes the council’s work to Mark Planning (left at head of table) and Dr. John Carmack (right at head of table). Planning is Director of Intergovernmental and External Affairs for the Department of Energy. Carmack is the Senior Technical Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Nuclear Energy. Photo credit: Mike Hancock, USW Local 9-562 retiree

John Carmack, assistant secretary of nuclear energy, said the DOE wants smaller modular reactors (SMR’s) to be factory-built in the United States. Brown said the USW supports nuclear power, and would like to see USW members play a role in making the components necessary for SMR’s and advanced nuclear technology, pointing out the infrastructure already available at the former Paducah and Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant sites.

Prioritizing safety

Kevin Dressman, director of DOE’s office of enforcement, spoke about the agency’s efforts to improve the safety culture at the cleanup sites. DOE is a self-regulating agency, so OSHA does not inspect the sites. He said DOE provides incentives in its agreements with the contractors so they discover problems before they turn into health and safety incidents.

While the Office of Enforcement does not inspect sites, it will post notice of investigation letters and outcomes on its website. While the office’s focus is on major health and safety issues, it also pays attention to lower-level issues that show a trend.

Dressman said his office emphasizes higher controls for health and safety than personal protective equipment (PPE). Elimination of hazards is evaluated first, then engineering and administrative controls, with PPE used last. Not blaming the workers for health and safety incidents is also integral to a good safety culture, as well as robust sharing of lessons learned, he said.

Former DOE official Glenn Podonsky, who ran the department’s Environment, Health, Safety and Security organization, came to the AEWC meeting at the request of Matt Chavez, Henry Littleford and Ryan Christensen from Local 12-652 at Idaho National Laboratory. In his prior role, Podonsky always visited AEWC meetings and helped resolve health and safety issues raised by AEWC members.

(At the head of the table) Glenn Podonsky, an old friend of the USW Atomic Energy Workers Council, talks about what makes a good manager. Sitting at the table are left to right: Henry Littleford (LU 12-652), Kevin Dressman (Director, Office of Enforcement, Department of Energy) and LU 12-652 President Matt Chavez. LU 12-652 member Ryan Christensen sits by the window.  Podonsky spoke to the council at the request of Littleford, Chavez and Christensen. Photo credit: Mike Hancock, USW Local 9-562 retiree

Now a Department of Homeland Security manager with 47 years of government experience, Podonsky encouraged the council to persist in resolving issues with the DOE and the contractors. “Persistence prevails,” Podonsky said. “What you’re doing is too important to give up.”

Building the Battleground Bench: Union Members Elected to Office Across the Great Lakes Region

AFL-CIO - Fri, 11/08/2019 - 09:16
Building the Battleground Bench: Union Members Elected to Office Across the Great Lakes Region AFL-CIO

While the labor movement was busy helping to elect pro-worker candidates in important elections in Kentucky and Virginia this week, union members themselves were on the ballot, and they were elected to local offices across the country at an impressive rate. This result was especially pronounced in the battleground states in the Great Lakes region, where an energized union candidates program helped carry union members to victory.

In Pennsylvania, organized labor helped elect its endorsed candidate to the Superior Court in the Commonwealth and elected hundreds of union members to local offices. Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder, himself a victorious union member candidate for auditor in Carroll Township in York County, recognized the significance of the program. “There is no better way to ensure that working people are represented than through the election of card-carrying union members,” Snyder said. “It's not enough to elect supporters of workers' rights, we must elect champions of workers' rights. Today, we did just that."

More than a dozen union members were elected or re-elected to local office in the Cleveland area on Tuesday night, bringing the number of members within the North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor holding public office to over 40. Harriet Applegate, executive secretary of the North Shore AFL-CIO pointed out how supporting union member candidates can immediately have an impact on public policy. “No one understands the needs and interests of working people better than our members themselves,” she said. “When our members are empowered and have the resources to win local elections, it brings a whole new perspective to the halls of government.”

The Greater Northwest Ohio AFL-CIO helped to elect members to City Council seats in Toledo and Maumee, among other local offices. Across the state, the Ohio AFL-CIO supported 51 union member candidates in the election and 32 won their races. “The whole purpose is to support candidates who believe in collective bargaining, who believe the economy is not some mystical thing but rules put in place by those we elect,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga. “Those rules can create living wage jobs, project labor agreements, collective bargaining laws and a fight for fair trade.”

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 11/08/2019 - 11:16

USW Nuclear Cleanup Sites Projected to Get Funding for 2020 Fiscal Year

USW Blog - Thu, 11/07/2019 - 06:47

House Energy and Water Appropriations Committee staffers told the USW’s Atomic Energy Workers Council (AEWC) at the group’s biannual meeting in Washington, D.C., that they are confident the Department of Energy (DOE) cleanup sites will continue to receive the same or more funding for 2020 than what they obtained for fiscal 2019.

The EM funding for fiscal year 2019 was the highest level the office had received in more than a decade. Congress appropriated $7.2 billion to clean up 16 Cold War and Manhattan Projects sites that fiscal year.

The appropriations for the DOE sites are essential to keeping USW members working on environmental remediation, without fear of contractors laying them off for lack of government money.

Funding for DOE’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) will likely remain the same in fiscal year 2020 at the 2019 level, the staffers said at the Oct. 31 meeting. This includes the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the Hanford Nuclear Reservation (Hanford) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL), which will all likely receive funding at the fiscal 2019 levels.

Final funding is dependent on the Senate passing its appropriations bill, as well as the House and Senate reconciling their respective versions of the funding packages.

Compromise needed?

While the Senate Appropriations Committee reported out the Energy & Water bill, it still is waiting for a floor vote, as of this writing. On Thur., Oct. 31, a motion was made to begin debate on a minibus bill that included DOE funding, but several significant roadblocks remained.

Human Service Workers at Persad Center File for USW Representation

Steelworker News - Thu, 11/07/2019 - 06:33

Contact: Chelsey Engel, cengel@usw.org, 412-562-2446

Workers at Persad Center, a human service organization that serves the LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS communities of the Pittsburgh area, have launched their organizing effort with the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

The unit of 23 workers, ranging from therapists and program coordinators to case managers and administrative staff, announced their union campaign as the Persad Staff Union last night at Spirit Hall and Lodge in Lawrenceville. Earlier in the day, they filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The workers have been organizing for several weeks with the goal of gaining a stronger voice to advocate for themselves, their community, and their clients. They also hope for increased stability and transparency, as well as a commitment to hiring a more diverse staff.

“We care deeply about our work and the organization, which we believe will only benefit from greater input from staff,” said Diane Dahm, a clinical therapist at Persad. “We look forward to working with the board and management to make our agency stronger and better equipped to serve the vulnerable communities we work to uplift.”

The Persad Staff Union, which hopes for an election within the next few weeks, would join the growing number of white-collar professionals organizing with the USW in the Pittsburgh region. Their campaign is also in line with the recent work the Steelworkers have been doing to engage their LGBTQ+ members and improving contract language regarding issues that affect their lives.

“It’s important to organize in the communities that need it the most,” said USW Vice President Fred Redmond, who helps lead the union’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee. “These workers at Persad perform vital services, and they and their clients deserve to be empowered and heard.”

The USW represents 850,000 men and women 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 public sector and service occupations.

Local 5613 Rallies for Fair Contract with ASARCO

USW Blog - Wed, 11/06/2019 - 12:42

Members of USW Local 5613 and their allies rallied today in Amarillo, Texas, in support of ongoing contract negotiations with ASARCO, which will resume Nov. 14. 

Nearly 2,000 workers at locations in Arizona and Texas, including members of Local 5613 in Amarillo, began an unfair labor practice strike in mid-October. They also voted to reject the Grupo Mexico subsidiary’s so-called “last, best and final” contract offer, which called for deep concessions on wages, health care and retirement benefits.

The Oilworker: November 2019

USW Blog - Wed, 11/06/2019 - 06:17
FROM THE UNION November Update from the NOBP Chair

Brothers and Sisters,

As many of you know, Kim Nibarger has retired, and I have been named the Chair of the National Oil Bargaining Program. I would like to thank Kim for all that he has done for our members over the decades of his service to our union.

For those that do not know me, I was a hydro processing operator at the Chevron Richmond Refinery. I spent time there as the USW Health & Safety Rep as well as several terms on the workers’ committee. In 2012, I went to work as a staff rep for Local 5, working on political and regulatory issues as well as servicing the Chevron unit. In 2018, I was brought to Pittsburgh to work on the upcoming round of National Oil Bargaining.

Over the past year I have been able to visit locals with Kim before and after this round of bargaining, as well as attending many of our Council meetings and District conferences. For those of you that I haven’t met or worked with, I am looking forward to doing so. My goal is to continue the success that we have had in this industry over the decades of the National Oil Bargaining Program, as well as working through the new challenges that the industry has presented us.

Please save these dates! The 2020 National Oil Bargaining Program Conference is set for March 4 - 6, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pa. The 2020 – 2023 NOBP Policy Committee and Alternates will be elected at the conference for each oil region. The official call letter with details will be mailed to your local union officers in the very near future.

You can also check out the links below for important news about our sector from the past month.

In solidarity,

Mike Smith
NOBP Chair 
mjsmith@usw.org

USW Members Featured in "Fight for Workers' Lives" Video

Members of Local 675 in Carson, Calif., were featured in an important, new video produced by UCLA’s Labor and Occupational Safety and Health (LOSH) program focusing on process safety management. Click here to see the full video.

IN THE NEWS

Marathon Plans Change in Leadership, Speedway Spinoff

Marathon announced late last month that it would be undergoing several serious changes, including the departure of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Heminger and Executive Vice Chairman Gregory Goff. It has also been reported that it will spin off its retail fuel, which largely operates under the Speedway brand, and review its pipeline business. This comes amid pressure from investors, notably Elliott Management Corp. To read more, click here.

Limetree Announces Restart of Refinery on St. Croix

Limetree Bay Ventures, a large scale energy complex located in the U.S. Virgin Islands, announced last month that they will restart oil refining on St. Croix by the end of the year. The facility, which was previously owned by the Mapp administration, was shuttered in 2012. Limetree acquired it in 2015. To read more, click here.

EPA Seeks Additional Comments on Renewable Fuel Volumes

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last month that they would be seeking comments on the way renewable fuel percentages are calculated, as well as projecting the amount of fuel that will be exempt in 2020 under small refinery exemptions. The EPA held a public hearing Oct. 30, which will be followed by a 30-day window for the public to give its input. To read more, click here.

Trump’s SEC Chairman Proposes to Disenfranchise Investors and Reduce Shareholder Democracy

AFL-CIO - Tue, 11/05/2019 - 09:36
Trump’s SEC Chairman Proposes to Disenfranchise Investors and Reduce Shareholder Democracy

In a partisan 3-2 vote, the Trump administration’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed to curtail the rights of investors to file proposals for a vote at company annual meetings. If adopted, these changes will hinder shareholder proposals by union members and their pension plans to hold corporate management accountable.

"We strongly oppose the SEC's shareholder proposal rule changes that will limit the ability of working people and their pension plans to have a voice in the companies that we invest in," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA). The proposed changes include dramatic increases in stock ownership requirements and vote resubmission requirements.

Corporate CEOs of the Business Roundtable and the Chamber of Commerce have long wished for these changes to the shareholder proposal rule. In a 2017 letter to the SEC, the AFL-CIO showed how these proposed rule changes will undermine efforts to increase corporate responsibility for environmental, social and governance issues.

"The right to petition corporate management by filing shareholder proposals is an integral part of shareholder democracy in the United States,” Trumka explained. “The SEC should protect the rights of working people as the real main street investors, not the interests of overpaid and unaccountable corporate CEOs."

For more information about the efforts of SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, nominated by President Trump, to disenfranchise investors and reduce shareholder democracy by curtailing the shareholder proposal rule, please visit the Investor Rights Forum.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 11/05/2019 - 11:36

Standing Up Against Corporate Greed: The Working People Weekly List

AFL-CIO - Mon, 11/04/2019 - 10:30
Standing Up Against Corporate Greed: 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.

UAW Members at GM Ratify New Agreement: "The longest and largest automotive strike in decades came to an end this week as UAW members employed by General Motors Co. ratified the tentative agreement between the union and the automaker. Nearly 50,000 UAW members went on strike Sept. 16 seeking fair wages, affordable quality health care, profit sharing, job security and a defined path to permanent seniority for temps. With the victory of the UAW members, working people across the country lauded the strikers and thanked them for standing up against corporate greed."

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Flexing Labor’s Muscle: "On the latest episode of 'State of the Unions,' podcast co-host Tim Schlittner talks to union member and Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (Wis.) about strikes, trade, health care, LGBTQ equality and the freedom to form a union."

LGBT History Month Pathway to Progress: The Founding of Pride At Work: "History has long been portrayed as a series of 'great men' taking great action to shape the world we live in. In recent decades, however, social historians have focused more on looking at history "from the bottom up," studying the vital role that working people played in our heritage. Working people built, and continue to build, the United States. In our series, Pathway to Progress, we'll take a look at various people, places and events where working people played a key role in the progress our country has made, including those who are making history right now. In honor of LGBT History Month, we will take a look at the founding of Pride At Work."

Egregious Worker Rights Violations Cause Thailand to Lose Trade Benefits: "On Friday, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced it will withdraw preferential tariffs for many imports from Thailand due to egregious, ongoing worker rights violations in the country. As highlighted in submissions by the AFL-CIO going back to 2013, the government of Thailand actively retaliates against workers and allows the worst forms of exploitation and abuse, including forced labor, to proliferate throughout its economy."

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Air Traffic Controllers Association: "Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Air Traffic Controllers Association."

Union Apprenticeship Works: 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."

Building Pathways: 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."

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association: "Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association."

 

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 11/04/2019 - 12:30

A Boss Is a Boss: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

AFL-CIO - Mon, 11/04/2019 - 10:20
A Boss Is a Boss: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

In addition to the AFL-CIO's own "State of the Unions," there are a lot of other podcasts out there that have their own approach to discussing labor issues and the rights of working people. Here are the latest podcasts from across the labor movement in the United States.

Belabored Podcast #186: 'A Boss Is a Boss': Two organizers discuss recent efforts to unionize nonprofit workers. Plus: an interview with Chicago teacher Kenzo Shibata about the first day on the picket line. With Sarah Jaffe and Michelle Chen.

Building Bridges: 'Analyzing Bernie Sanders’ Workplace Democracy Plan': "Shaun Richman is an In These Times contributing writer and the program director of the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies at SUNY Empire State College. Senator Bernie Sanders has announced his Workplace Democracy Plan to build worker power on the job by protecting unionizing and strikes by workers. In many ways it goes back to the intent of New Deal Legislation, which has been seriously weakened over the years by right wing legislation and court decisions. But it also builds on them calling for new private and public sector workers rights and forms of union representation that transcend the National Labor Relations Board framework of enterprise based contract bargaining."

CTU Speaks! 'Five Days Later!': Five days into the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike, Jim sits down with Cook County Commissioner, CTU member and former middle school teacher Brandon Johnson. Brandon puts the strike in historical context and helps us understand it as a potential pivot point for the city, while also underscoring the ways that CTU has been impactful for labor and education across the country.

Heartland Labor Forum: 'Disappearing the Poor and the New Servant Economy of Wealth Jobs': "The Trump administration wants to redefine who is poor. Experts say they want to disappear the poor. Then, Mark Muro of Brookings Institute will talk to us about wealth work. That’s the growing number of jobs in what’s called the 'new servant economy.' Thursday at 6 p.m., rebroadcast Friday at 5 a.m. on KKFI 90.1 FM or streaming."

Labor History Today: 'Immigrant Girl, Radical Woman': "On this week’s show: Robbin Légère Henderson talks about her grandmother, Matilda Rabinowitz Robbins, on the Tales from the Reuther Library podcast. Henderson shares stories from Robbins’ autobiography, Immigrant Girl, Radical Woman: A Memoir from the Early Twentieth Century, explaining how the optimism of a 13-year-old immigrant from the Ukraine was soon undone by the realities of working in garment sweatshops on the East Coast, leading to Matilda Robbins’ brief but influential role as a labor organizer for the International Workers of the World from 1912 to 1917. She was one of only two women organizers for the IWW during its early years, along with Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. Plus a clip from 'Mother Jones in Heaven,' a one-woman musical by Si Kahn, starring Vivian Nesbitt as 'Mother' Jones, with musical accompaniment by John Dillon, recently performed at The Robin Theatre in Lansing, Michigan."

Union City Radio: Airs weekdays at 7:15 a.m. on WPFW 89.3 FM. Bus drivers strike in Lorton, Virginia; hotel workers settle in Baltimore; STRIKE! The game of worker rebellion; Washington, D.C., residents urged to testify at City Council health committee hearing; D.C. janitors approve contract.

Union Strong: "TWU Local 100 is in a contract fight with the MTA. We cover everything from the Trash Train competition to the trash email that went public, all on the day of a massive rally taking place tonight in NYC."

Willamette Wake Up: Features an interview with Graham Trainor, the new president of the Oregon AFL-CIO. We cover racism and sexism, some features of labor's program in Oregon, the recent Oregon AFL-CIO convention, and some of labor's challenges and opportunities. KMUZ is at 100.7 or 88.5 in the Keizer-Salem-Turner area, or at https://kmuz.org regardless of where you are. Our labor segment will run at around 8:10 a.m. on Friday morning.

Working History: Making the Woman Worker: "On SLSA's latest Working History podcast, 'Making the Woman Worker,' Eileen Boris discusses her new book, Making the Woman Worker: Precarious Labor and the Fight for Global Standards, 1919-2019, the history of the International Labor Organization's labor protections for women, domestic and home workers in the global north and global south, and ongoing fights to recognize precarious labor from the care economy to the gig economy."

Your Rights At Work: Health care in southeast D.C. with Ward 8 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Chris Hawthorne, District of Columbia Nurses Association nurse Roberta Lenoir and organizer Djawa Hall with SEIU 1199. Plus latest labor news updates. Thursdays 1-2 p.m. on WPFW 89.3 FM.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 11/04/2019 - 12:20

Tags: Podcast

Economy Gains 128,000 Jobs in October; Unemployment Up Slightly to 3.6%

AFL-CIO - Mon, 11/04/2019 - 08:21
Economy Gains 128,000 Jobs in October; Unemployment Up Slightly to 3.6%

The U.S. economy gained 128,000 jobs in October, and the unemployment rate increased slightly to 3.6%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

In response to the October job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:

Unemployment rates for whites and Blacks continue to converge, last year, Black over white unemployment was 6.2:3.3 and now is at 5.4:3.2.  A reminder of what some @federalreserve argued couldn't happen without extreme inflation. Full employment is good for everyone @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

After last year's revisions downward, and a continuation of the trend to start the year, the good news is @BLS_gov has revised August and September numbers up a combined 95,000.  This brings average payroll gains to 176,000 over the last 3 months; a good sign. @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

Jobs in food services continue to grow--despite the industry whining about increased minimum wages.  Last month @BLS_gov reported gains of 48,000 with a 3 month average gain of 38,000.  The House has passed @BobbyScott bill to #Fightfor15, but Mitch McConnell--crickets.  @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

September and October, Local government employment has finally recovered to its July 2008 level, over 11 years ago.  That means we still have fewer @AFSCME  @IAFFNewsDesk, @AFTunion   per person than back then. Lower public investment is not good. @AFLCIO @RepRoKhanna pic.twitter.com/z9eiDemkDk

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

Part of the average wage problem is that lower than average wage industries (the bottom half of the graph) are showing much greater job gains (the farther right on the graph) than higher wage industries: Why state minimum wage increases are pushing up wages. #Fightfor15 @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/igabWzyQyP

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

It is troubling that despite many improvements in unemployment rates, long term unemployment remains a bigger problem than before 2008.  It helps explain the frustration many people experience, despite low unemployment rates.  @AFLCIO #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/jOr7WwzpQe

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

Despite a slightly accelerated rate of job growth the last 3 months, the broadest measure of labor market slack (including those who are part-time but want full-time work and discouraged workers) has been essentially flat. @AFLCIO  #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/Se0UyzMiiS

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

#OneJobShouldbeEnough @IWPResearch @HeidiatIWPR 5.7% of women are working two jobs, and the number working two full-time jobs is up over last October.  #Fightfor15 America needs a raise.  @BobbyScott got the House to pass a raise, Mitch McConnell is doing nothing! @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/NjWZlsnUdN

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

The problem for the long-term unemployed is not easily explained by some skill bias, since unemployment rates for all education levels have fallen back to 2008 levels--though the college educated are a slight bit higher. @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/AseiIaI9D4

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

Last month's biggest job gains were in food services and drinking places (48,000), professional and business services (22,000), social assistance (20,000), financial activities (16,000), and health care (15,000). Manufacturing employment decreased by 36,000 and federal government employment was down 17,000 as a large group of temporary census workers completed their work. Employment in other major industries, including mining, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and information, showed little change over the month.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for teenagers (12.3%), blacks (5.4%), Hispanics (4.1%), adult men (3.2%), whites (3.2%), adult women (3.2%) and Asians (2.9%) showed little or no change in October.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined in October and accounted for 21.5% of the unemployed.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 11/04/2019 - 10:21

Light Shed on Workplace Violence in Health Care at Rapid Response Conference

USW Blog - Mon, 11/04/2019 - 06:03

Health care members spoke on a panel discussion devoted to workplace violence at last week’s USW Rapid Response and Legislative Conference.

The panel, entitled “Protecting Our Workers from Violence on the Job,” noted how the health care industry is one of the most dangerous industries in which to work. Between 2011 and 2016, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least 58 hospital workers alone died as a result of violence in their workplaces.

Pictured: DeJonae Shaw of Local 7600.

And that doesn’t include the everyday kicks, slaps, and other physical and verbal abuse from patients and sometimes even their family members.

“Workers are often made to feel at fault for these incidents,” said DeJonae Shaw, a nurse and member of Local 7600 in District 12.

Shaw said that “blame-the-worker” atmosphere leads some health care practitioners to avoid reporting violent acts.

“Sometimes it feels like management doesn’t care about violence in our workplace but, thankfully, we have a union that does care,” said nursing assistant Stephanie Adams, a member of Local 9230 in District 11.

Attendees of the conference also participated in an advocacy day while in Washington, D.C., to lobby their representatives for several pro-worker bills, including the Workplace Violence Prevention for Healthcare and Social Service Workers Act (S.851/H.R. 1309). This legislation would mandate that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) create a national enforceable standard requiring health care and social service employers to develop and implement a comprehensive workplace violence prevention plan.

Hundreds of Steelworkers marched to the Department of Labor (DOL) for a rally before lobbying and were joined by several legislative leaders, including Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.), and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)

A group of USW leaders and members also attended a meeting with DOL officials following the rally to speak about the workplace violence bill and drop off the 80,000 “Safe Jobs Now” postcards the union collected throughout the year in support of the legislation.

USW Local 63B Begins Strike over Carley Foundry’s Unfair Labor Practices

Steelworker News - Fri, 11/01/2019 - 14:06

Contact: Tony Montana – (412) 562-2592; tmontana@usw.org

Blaine, Minn. – The United Steelworkers (USW) said that about 220 hourly production and maintenance workers this morning began a strike against unfair labor practices at Carley Foundry, which supplies parts for customers in the aerospace industry and others.

USW District 11 Director Emil Ramirez said that Carley management’s scheme to divide the members of Local 63B by proposing a lower wage tier for new employees and other economic and contract language changes has instead united them in solidarity.

“Carley has broken federal labor laws in its drive to force workers to accept its unfair and unnecessarily concessionary proposals, and we are standing up to demand the fair contract USW members have earned,” Ramirez said. “As one, we will deliver the message to management that our work has dignity and we deserve the company’s respect.”

Ramirez said that USW members are proud of their work and rank among the most productive and efficient manufacturing workforces in the world.

“Such loyalty and dedication should be rewarded with more secure jobs, earnings and benefits, but Carley has proposed the opposite and insists that its employees accept it,” Ramirez said. “We urge management to return to negotiations at once and bargain in good faith for a fair contract to end the labor dispute and return our brothers and sisters to work as soon as possible.”

The USW represents 850,000 men and women 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 public sector and service occupations.

 

Dan Brouillette to Replace Rick Perry as Energy Secretary

USW Blog - Fri, 11/01/2019 - 13:22

Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced on Oct. 17 he would resign and leave the department by year’s end, after months of speculation that he would leave the Department of Energy (DOE). The next day, President Trump announced that he will nominate Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette to replace Perry.

Brouillette is well-versed with DOE operations and getting Congress to implement energy policy, having served as the agency’s assistant secretary for congressional and intergovernmental affairs, from 2001 through 2003, during the George W. Bush administration. He played a key role in laying the groundwork for what would become the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

As vice president of Ford Motor Company’s federal affairs office, he participated in negotiations over the Energy Policy Act of 2007. This legislation expanded fuel economy programs and the Renewable Fuel Standard, the biofuel program.

Brouillette also led public policy for the United Services Automobile Association (USAA), a financial institution for the military, and served on the Louisiana State Mineral and Energy Board. He also was chief of staff for then-Energy and Commerce Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.). 

A military veteran, Brouillette said he became interested in nuclear weapons and national security when he was deployed to Germany in the Cold War era.

Disrtict 13 Donations for Striking ASARCO members

USW Blog - Thu, 10/31/2019 - 12:32

Our District 13 USW brothers and sisters at ASARCO are on the line striking for better pay and working conditions. Please make a donation that will go straight to the picket line. 

 

Hanford Cleanup Workers Vote on One-Year Contract Extension

USW Blog - Thu, 10/31/2019 - 06:24

Members of Local 12-369 will vote Nov. 6 on a one-year contract extension that increases wages and maintains the rest of the existing labor agreement.

The collective bargaining agreement covers approximately 520 USW members—they support the environmental cleanup mission at the Hanford nuclear reservation in central Washington state—as well as more than 2,000 members of other unions at the site.

Photo courtesy the Department of Energy.

The Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council (HAMTC)—an umbrella group consisting of the USW and 13 metal trade unions—negotiated the extension to help provide a measure of security as the Department of Energy (DOE) makes changes in 2020.

The goal was to have the site’s cleanup workers covered by an agreement when the DOE either brings in new contractors or renegotiates its agreements with the existing vendors next year, said Local 12-369 unit President Pete Gomez. The existing labor agreement would have expired in November 2019.

After the DOE awards the cleanup contracts for the former nuclear weapons production site, the Hanford locals will enter full contract negotiations in September 2020.

Gomez said the unions had three main goals for the one-year extension: a general wage increase, successorship language and no structural change in benefits. Successorship is important because it ensures that any new contractor that may take over the cleanup project has to accept the labor contract’s provisions and recognize the union.

HAMTC reached a tentative agreement on Oct. 10 with cleanup contractors Mission Support Alliance (MSA), Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), Veolia and CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company (CH2M).

The one-year extension includes a 2.5 percent general wage increase and no changes to benefits or the existing successorship clause in the contract.

Battelle, another clean-up contractor, which employs seven USW members, is not included in the one-year extension. This contract is bargained through HAMTC as well and will also need to be renegotiated in 2020.

Members will vote on the tentative agreement on Wed., Nov. 6 from 5 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Richland Labor Temple, 1305 Knight St., in downtown Richland, Wash.

Negotiations Set to Resume November 14 as ASARCO ULP Strike Continues

Steelworker News - Wed, 10/30/2019 - 12:02

Contact: Tony Montana – (412) 562-2592; tmontana@usw.org

Tucson, Ariz. – The United Steelworkers (USW) today confirmed that negotiations for a new contract covering about 2,000 hourly workers at five ASARCO, LLC, locations in Arizona and Texas will resume on Nov. 14, 2019.

Members of eight international unions have been on an unfair labor practice (ULP) strike since Oct. 13, when workers rejected the Grupo México subsidiary’s so-called “last, best and final” offer, and struck in protest against ASARCO’s serious unfair labor practices and its rejected contract offer. 

USW District 12 Director Robert LaVenture urged ASARCO management to bargain in good faith for a fair contract to resolve the labor dispute so that union members can return to their jobs and resume production.

“We do not expect that ASARCO will propose anything radically different from the offer its employees overwhelmingly rejected two weeks ago,” LaVenture said. “We do expect the employer to honor its obligation under federal law to negotiate in good faith with us, and we are willing to stay at the table as long as it takes.”

LaVenture praised the union membership for delivering to management the unmistakable, unified and clear message that they will stand together and demand the respect they have earned and deserve.

“When we eventually resolve these issues and win the fair contract that ASARCO desperately wants to deny its workers, it will be thanks to the bravery and dedication of the men and women on the picket lines,” he said. “The history of organized labor teaches the same lesson in many different times and places, and we truly know that workers who are united in solidarity can accomplish great things against long odds.”

The USW represents 850,000 men and women 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 public sector and service occupations.

Pages

Copyright © 1999 - 2014 | United Steelworkers Local 351L | Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401 | P: 205.758.4476 F: 205.758.4479