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Updated: 39 min 51 sec ago

District 4 Director Names New Assistant

1 hour 14 min ago

CONTACT:  R.J. Hufnagel, (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) District 4 Director Del Vitale, who took office on July 15, today named staff representative David M. Wasiura as the new assistant to the director.

Before becoming director on July 15, Vitale served as assistant to his predecessor, John Shinn, who this week left that post to become the union’s new International Secretary-Treasurer.

District 4 includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Puerto Rico.

Wasiura launched his USW career in 1996 when he followed in his father’s footsteps and began working at the American Brass facility in Buffalo, N.Y. Over the next 15 years, he served in various positions with Local 593, including as vice president and a member of the bargaining committee.

“As a fourth-generation Steelworker, I became involved to give back to my union for all it has provided to myself and my family,” Wasiura said. “As the district organizing coordinator, I have been able to give other workers the same opportunities that I had because of the union. I look forward to working with Director Vitale to grow and strengthen District 4 and fight for all working people.”

In 2004, Wasiura volunteered for the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign, working primarily in Northwestern Pennsylvania, knocking on doors and talking to union members about issues critical to working families.

In June 2010, Wasiura began working in USW’s political department in Pittsburgh, where he helped to coordinate the USW’s national field program to support pro-worker campaigns across the country.

In January 2013, he returned to District 4 to work with local unions in New Jersey and New England before returning to Buffalo as the district’s organizing coordinator.

“Dave is a hard working devoted unionist who will be an asset to District 4 and our members,” Vitale said.

Since returning to Buffalo, Wasiura has served as coordinator of the district’s Next Gen program and as a member of the Western New York Area Labor Federation Executive Board.

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

USW Names New Chair of Union’s Rubber/Plastic Industry Council

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 14:45

CONTACT: R.J. Hufnagel: (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Thomas M. Conway today named longtime USW representative Kevin Johnsen to lead the union’s Rubber/Plastic Industry Council (R/PIC).

Johnsen replaces former R/PIC chair Stan Johnson, who retired on July 15 as the union’s secretary-treasurer.

Johnsen joined the union as a member of Local 915L in 1990 when he went to work as a maintenance electrician at Dunlop Tires in Huntsville, Ala. Within a year, he was elected as a shop steward and a member of the safety committee.

He was elected maintenance division chair in 1995 shortly after the merger between the USW and the United Rubber Workers. In addition to maintenance division chair, he served as Rapid Response coordinator and as a delegate to his area labor council.

In 2003, Johnsen was named a union staff representative in District 9, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina and the Virgin Islands. Since then, he has worked with members and locals throughout the district and has served as the coordinator of the USW’s collective bargaining agreement with Goodyear since 2006.

“USW rubber and plastics workers are the hardest-working and most productive in the industry,” Johnsen said. “They make products that are second-to-none. I look forward to continuing to work alongside them in my new role as we fight for better wages and benefits, safer working conditions, a stronger domestic industry, and for just and fair treatment for workers and families everywhere.”

The USW’s R/PIC includes tens of thousands of union members who make vehicle tires and inner tubes, hoses and belts, gaskets, packing and sealing devices, containers and other consumer and commercial products. They work for companies including Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Bridgestone, Cooper, ContiTech, Titan, Poly-Seal, Sumitomo Rubber and Uniroyal.

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

USW Installs Thomas M. Conway as International President

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 13:19

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

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers union (USW) today installed Thomas M. Conway as its eighth international president to replace retiring International President Leo W. Gerard. 

“I’ve known Tom for 25 years. He’s earned my admiration, demonstrating a special toughness and a willingness to take on the most difficult jobs and negotiations,” Gerard said. “He has a strong vision and unique perspective about the future, and I know the union will flourish under his leadership.”

Conway began his career as a millwright at Bethlehem Steel in 1978. He has served many positions in the USW, most recently as the union’s international vice president (administration). 

Conway has also chaired many of the union’s major sector bargaining in steel, mining, aluminum, tire and rubber, oil, and other metals and manufacturing operations. 

For nearly a quarter century, Conway has been on the front lines in the union’s fight against unfair trade, demanding that the U.S. government enforce its trade laws to prevent unfairly traded, subsidized and dumped products from damaging domestic industries and destroying good jobs.

The union today also installed John Shinn as its new international secretary-treasurer, David McCall as its new international vice president (administration), Roxanne Brown as its new international vice president at large and Leeann Foster as a new international vice president.

“Our union’s leadership underwent historic change today, but our core values remain the same,” said Conway. “We will always fight on behalf of working people for social and economic justice.”

To see the full installation ceremony, click here

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

USW Membership Ratifies Three-year Arconic Master Agreement

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 18:41

More information, contact: Tony Montana – 412-562-2592; tmontana@usw.org

 

PITTSBURGH– The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that members of local unions representing Arconic (NYSE: ARNC) employees voted to ratify a three-year master contract covering more than 3,000 hourly workers at the company’s facilities in Davenport, Iowa; Alcoa, Tenn.; Lafayette, Ind.; and Massena, N.Y.

The newly approved contract provides annual general wage increases, applicable to all union members, of 3.5% percent each year, resulting in a 10.5% improvement during its term. It maintains or improves existing benefits, such as supplemental unemployment and health care and retirement provisions for currently active employees. There is also a $1,750 ratification bonus.

USW International Vice President Tom Conway, who chairs the union committee, said that negotiations between the USW and Arconic ended in a completely different tone than they began – with the company demanding major economic and non-economic concessions that the union considered excessive and unnecessary.

“The strength of our union depends on the solidarity of the members,” Conway said. “When called upon, they stood together and demanded from management nothing less than the fair contracts that USW members have earned and deserve.”

Conway called the strike authorization granted by members of local unions participating in the negotiations a turning point for bargaining and credited local union leaders, volunteer activists and the USW negotiating committee’s hard work for resolving issues with management without a labor dispute and without unfairly burdening new hires or retirees.

“This is a great outcome not only for our members at Arconic, but also for workers throughout the aluminum industry and as well for the employer and its customers,” Conway said.

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.

Community Members Deliver Petition to Carnegie Library, Demand They Respect Workers’ Union Campaign

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 11:27

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

(Pittsburgh)—A group of Pittsburgh community members delivered a petition to the Carnegie Library todayin support of the workers’ efforts to unionize with the United Steelworkers. 

The petition, delivered to the main Oakland branch and the East Liberty location, includes over 1,000 signatures calling upon the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to release a statement of neutrality towards the United Library Workers’ unionization efforts and act in good faith. 

"The staff at the library in my community are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful, and they should be able to collectively bargain for better working conditions without resistance or pressure from anti-union law firms," said Jessica Benham of Pittsburgh’s South Side Slopes, who participated in today’s action. "Because at the end of the day, these workers share the same goal as their employer—to serve the community and help improve people’s lives and access to resources.”

The Teamsters and SEIU currently represent the Carnegie Library’s drivers and environmental service workers. This new organizing effort includes all 350 remaining eligible unrepresented staff across 19 public branches and the library support center. The workers hope to gain a seat at the table when it comes to making decisions that affect their patrons as well as their own jobs.

“We need to be able to help make responsible decisions about the services and collections we provide,” said Rachel Masilamani, a part-time librarian at the Downtown and Business branch. “I believe a union will strengthen our voices and our position in serving our communities.”

The petition, launched after the official campaign announcement last month, calls for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to “not spend public resources on anti-union consultants or anything that could be construed as anti-union activity.” It also demands they maintain a neutral environment, free of harassment and intimidation, to refrain from holding mandatory captive audience meetings, and to respect the library workers’ right to form a union.

The USW represents workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.

USW Oilworkers, Elected Officials to Discuss PES Refinery’s Future

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 09:15

More information, contact: Tony Montana - 412-562-2592 or tmontana@usw.org


PHILADELPHIA– The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that members and leaders of its Local 10-1 will meet with Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, dozens of state lawmakers and other elected officials at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, to discuss the future of the refinery, which was badly damaged during an early morning fire on Friday, June 21, 2019.

The union remains focused on preserving the jobs ofalmost 2,000 workers directly employed by PES and thousands more throughout the region whose employment depends on the refinery to some degree.

USW Local 10-1 President Ryan O’Callaghan, Rep. Scanlon, Deputy Mayor of Labor for the City of Philadelphia Richard Lazer and other speakers will address the immediate future of the facility and its workers, as well as options to resume production and the potential long-term consequences for the regional and national economy if the refinery is permanently shut down.

Attention Assignment/Editors: Speakers, Interviews & Photo Opportunities

WHO:  USW Local 10-1 President Ryan O’Callaghan, union workers, leaders and government officials, including Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, Deputy Mayor of Labor for the City of Philadelphia Richard Lazer and more than 20 state lawmakers

WHAT:  Meeting and news briefing about the future of the PES Refinery

WHEN: Tuesday, July 2, 2019, from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.

WHERE:  USW Local 10-1 – 26 W. Winona Ave., Norwood, Pa., 19074

USW Condemns Cruel Treatment of Migrants

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:52

 Contact:Fred Redmond, (412) 562-2307

PITTSBURGH—The United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo Gerard released the following statement in response to the reporting from the Mexican border on the shocking conditions of our country’s migrant detention centers:

“The USW prides itself on the morality of our core values and its mission of being a collective voice for the voiceless. Therefore it is our duty, as a union that stands with workers and families everywhere, to condemn the cruel and inhumane treatment of migrant children in our nation’s overcrowded and unsanitary detention centers.

“Our global alliances with organizations and unions like Los Mineros in Mexico serve as a reminder of the common ties that bind nations together.  It is also important to remember that the plight of the people fleeing Mexico and Central America is partly a result of our own country’s failed trade policies that have wrecked their economies and their livelihoods.

“At the end of the day, this is not a partisan issue. This is about human decency. This is about recognizing that many of the people coming to our borders seeking asylum are workers. They are our members’ families. They are Americans in waiting. They deserve humane treatment and a real shot at becoming contributing citizens of our great country.

“The labor movement likes to say, ‘An injustice to one is an injustice to all,’ and we must stand firmly in that belief today.”

The USW represents workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. 

USW, Arconic Announce Tentative Agreement

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 11:46

More information, contact: Tony Montana – (412) 562-2592 or tmontana@usw.org

PITTSBURGH– The United Steelworkers (USW) today announced that the union and its locals have reached a tentative agreement with Arconic (NYSE: ARNC) and said that members of its negotiating committee will be returning home in the coming days to set up informational meetings for the membership and making arrangements for ratification.

“This is a good outcome for our bargaining,” said USW International Vice President Tom Conway, who chaired negotiations with Arconic for the union. “We are proud of what we have accomplished thanks to the unity, strength and solidarity that the local union leaders, members and Contract Action Teams have built and demonstrated over the past months in bringing Arconic to the right place.”

The committee will be recommending to the membership that this agreement be ratified. The USW will not be discussing the details of the proposed new contract with the public until after members have had the opportunity to review it with their elected union representatives in the coming days and weeks.

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.

USW, Labor Organizations Call on Pa. Senate to Reject E-Verify

Wed, 06/26/2019 - 07:26

CONTACT: R.J. Hufnagel: (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

PITTSBURGH (June 25) – District 10 of the United Steelworkers (USW) union, which represents more than 40,000 USW members in Pennsylvania, along with other labor organizations, is calling on the Pennsylvania State Senate to reject legislation that would mandate construction industry employers use the federal E-Verify system to determine if their workers are eligible for employment.

The legislation, House Bill 1170, which passed the Pennsylvania House last week, would penalize companies that fail to subject employees to the E-Verify system, which both workers and employees have condemned as costly and riddled with errors.

“Passing this legislation would be a mistake that would hurt workers, companies and all Pennsylvanians,” said USW International Vice President Fred Redmond. “It could result in hundreds, perhaps thousands, of workers unfairly losing their jobs, and it would be another unnecessary expense, which would disproportionately harm small businesses.”

Requiring construction companies to use the system could also open them to legal risk if system blunders prompted them to wrongly fire workers. In addition, E-Verify creates privacy and security risks as the federal government compiles and maintains sensitive information on all workers.

“The system is not fool-proof – it is flawed. There is significant potential for error, which means that even folks with legal authorization to work could be erroneously denied employment and spend months trying to correct the problem,” said Bobby “Mac” McAuliffe, director of USW District 10. “The bill would also result in widespread misclassification of workers as independent contractors rather than employees, which would reduce wages and benefits and hurt our economy all across Pennsylvania.”

Joining the USW in opposing the bill were the Pittsburgh chapters of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), both of which are affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

“If passed into law, this bill would make working conditions even more exploitive and dangerous for immigrant workers in construction and will actually worsen the problem of misclassification of workers,” said Guillermo Perez, president of the Pittsburgh chapter of LCLAA. “This measure will be bad for the state economy, bad for small business, and bad for all workers in the construction sector.”

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

 

USW Affirms Commitment to Operation of PES Refinery after Fire

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 06:53

CONTACT: Tony Montana, (412) 562-2592, tmontana@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the union has committed to work with investigators, government agencies and Philadelphia Energy Solutions, Inc. (PES) management to safely resume production after a fire late last week caused extensive damage to the oil refinery.

USW International Vice President Tom Conway said that although the fire created a spectacle that could be seen from miles away in the early morning hours of Friday, June 21, 2019, permanently closing the east coast’s largest oil refinery would have lasting, disastrous consequences for the entire country.

“Starting with almost 2,000 workers directly employed by PES and tens of thousands more whose employment depends on the refinery to some degree, closing the facility would have an immediate and deep impact on Philadelphia and the surrounding community,” Conway said. “Along the east coast and across the country, the cost of home heating oil, diesel, gasoline and other products will increase dramatically.”

USW Local 10-1 President Ryan O’Callaghan said that the union will assist in the ongoing investigation to ensure that production can resume without jeopardizing the safety of refinery workers, the surrounding community or the environment.

“Our highly skilled, expertly trained and experienced workforce prevented catastrophic injuries or fatalities last week,” O’Callaghan said. “We must look forward to repairing and operating this refinery safely and without negative environmental effects.”

“Without our production, the east coast of the U.S. would depend on Europe for its supply of refined products, which would compromise our economic and national security,” he said.

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.

Mining Unions Call For a New MSHA Silica Standard

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 14:14

CONTACT: Phil Smith, UMWA (703) 291-2400; Mike Wright, USW (412) 562-2580

Cecil Roberts, President of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), and Leo W. Gerard, President of the United Steelworkers (USW) union, today called for a new standard to protect miners from silica dust. The request came in a letter to David Zatezalo, the head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

Silica is believed responsible for a large rise in cases of black lung disease among coal miners in central Appalachia. In the past, the primary cause of black lung was thought to be coal dust, but as coal seams become deeper and thinner, miners are cutting through more waste rock, much of which is high in silica.

Silica is many times more dangerous to miners’ lungs than coal dust, and ordinary diagnostic techniques cannot distinguish between the two causes of respiratory disease. The epidemic of black lung has been widely reported in the scientific literature and the press, including major stories on National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting’s Frontline

In addition, silica causes both lung cancer and silicosis, another deadly dust disease, which has not been eliminated in metal and mineral mines. OSHA set a new silica standard in 2016, cutting the permissible exposure limit in half, but MSHA has yet to follow suit. 

“Black lung afflicts thousands of coal miners,” Roberts said. “We know what causes it, we know how to prevent it, yet miners are still getting it. MSHA took action in 2016 to reduce respirable coal dust. Now it must act to reduce silica exposure, and quickly.”

“All miners need this standard, surface and underground, no matter what they’re mining,” said Gerard. “This Administration says they love miners. Let’s see if they mean it.”  

The UMWA represents 105,000 active and retired miners, clean coal technicians, manufacturing workers, health care workers, public service workers and corrections officers in the United States and Canada.

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

USW Applauds PLRB Decision on Pitt Faculty

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 10:00

CONTACT: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers (USW) applauded today’s decision by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB), agreeing with the union that the administration-provided list of University of Pittsburgh faculty in a potential bargaining unit warrants further review. 
 
Faculty organizers in April appealed a PLRB decision to reject their petition to form a union, citing potential irregularities with the list the university administration gave the labor board.
 
Today’s decision supports this claim, directing a hearing to examine the list and ordering the administration to provide the USW with the names of potential bargaining unit members they gave the PLRB.
 
“This decision is not surprising,” said Tyler McAndrew, a visiting lecturer in the English department. “Deliberately inflating the number of people in a potential bargaining unit is a common union avoidance tactic. It’s important that this list sees the light of day, so that Pitt faculty are able to exercise their right to vote on unionization without outside interference.”
 
Pitt faculty began exploring unionization in 2012 with the hope that a union would be a democratizing force on campus. They also have concerns about pay, job security and the faculty’s shrinking role in university governance. 
 
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. 

USW Praises House Action on Beryllium Protections

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 14:45

CONTACT: Mike Wright, (412) 370-0105, mwright@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard today praised the U. S. House of Representatives and its Democratic leadership for passing an appropriations rider protecting workers in shipyards and construction from the ravages of beryllium.

In 2017, OSHA released a new standard for beryllium, a highly toxic metal found in some abrasive blasting compounds and in certain high-tech materials, setting a lower exposure limit and including ancillary provisions for workplace monitoring, medical surveillance, and other protective measures. 

The incoming administration let the standard remain for most workers but attempted to cancel the ancillary provisions for workers in shipyards and construction.

This process can only be done through new rulemaking, and the rider, authored by U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, a Virginia Democrat and chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, forbids OSHA to complete that rulemaking, a first step in restoring the provisions.

To become effective, the measure must also pass the Senate.

“OSHA’s action never made sense,” said Gerard. “How can the agency justify protecting one group of workers, and stripping those protections from another? Our thanks to Chairman Scott and the House of Representatives for recognizing this injustice and moving to correct it. We call upon the Senate to do likewise.” 

 

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

Union Membership Authorizes Strike against Arconic

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 16:56

For more information: Tony Montana – 412-562-2592; tmontana@usw.org

PITTSBURGH– The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that members of local unions representing Arconic (NYSE: ARNC) workers at the company’s facilities in Davenport, Iowa; Lafayette, Ind.; and Massena, N.Y., have granted their negotiating committee the authority to implement a strike if necessary at those three facilities covered by a master agreement.

The strike authorization votes were conducted during meetings at each location over the course of the past several weeks. USW members have continued to work under the terms and conditions of a contract that was set to expire on May 15, 2019, when the USW and Arconic agreed to a temporary extension, subject to termination by either party with 24-hours’ notice.

USW International Vice President Tom Conway, who chairs the union committee, said that negotiations between the USW and Arconic broke off with the company demanding major economic and non-economic concessions that the union considers excessive and unnecessary.

“Although we hope to resolve the outstanding issues without a work stoppage, our members have delivered a strong message through their overwhelming support for strike authorization,” Conway said. “We are prepared to fight for the fair contracts we have earned and deserve.”

“Through decades of hard work and personal sacrifice, USW members have made these facilities among the most productive in the world,” he said. “When bargaining started, we hoped that management would come prepared with proposals that respect these workers’ contributions to the company’s past, current and future success.”

“Instead, Arconic is scheming to extract deep concessions from hourly workers while at the same time orchestrating a $1.5 billion stock buyback designed to reward a few senior executives and short-term investor, Elliott Management, at the expense of practically everyone else associated with the company,” Conway said.

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. 

USW Members to Return to Work at Dow Chemical Plant in Deer Park

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 11:23

CONTACT:  Ben Lilienfeld, 832-373-9754, blilienfeld@usw.org

Members of the United Steelworkers union will return to work at the Dow Chemical plant in Deer Park on Monday, June 10, seven weeks after the company made the decision to lock them out of their jobs.

After a series of calls from the union to end the lockout, and displays of support for the work force from the community and public officials, the company agreed to end the lockout and put the 235 skilled union workers back on the job at Rohm and Hass Texas, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical. The workers will cease picketing and be back on the job by 6 a.m. Monday, June 10.

“It’s good to see that the company has finally come to its senses and ended this unnecessary and destructive lockout,” said USW District 13 Director Ruben Garza, who represents Steelworkers in Texas and three neighboring states. “This victory is a credit to the strength and solidarity of the USW membership, and to the support that the workers received from the community and from allies across Texas and around the country.”

“This decision is good news not just for these workers and their families, but for the safety and economic well-being of the entire region,” Garza said.

The union members voted overwhelmingly three times to reject unacceptable “last, best and final” proposals from Dow Chemical.

“The union disagrees with the company’s claim that the two sides are at impasse,” Garza said. “From the beginning, the workers have been committed to bargaining in good faith for a fair and equitable contract. We look forward to continuing to work with the company to achieve that goal.”

The workers began bargaining with the company in February. The USW offered to continue working while negotiations continued, but the company responded by locking the workers out of their jobs on April 22.

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

USW Celebrates Pride Month and Recommits to Fighting for LGBTQ+ Community

Mon, 06/03/2019 - 11:21

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

(Pittsburgh)—United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard, along with the union’s recently formed LGBTQ+ Advisory Council, released the following statement today, in honor of Pride Month:

“Our union was founded on the guiding principle that all workers should be treated with dignity and respect. In 1942, our founders declared that we would unite in one organization, regardless of creed, color or nationality, all working men and women eligible for membership. This month, as the world observes the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots with annual Pride celebrations all across the globe, we recommit to that principle and honor all of our proud members of the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) community.  

“For the past two and a half years, our country’s administration has launched relentless attacks on LGBTQ+ Americans, from banning transgender soldiers from serving in the military, to aiming to give doctors the right to deny health care to patients because of who they love. These actions do not represent the American spirit or the principles that lie at the core of the labor movement, including our union.

“Labor leaders and activists must continue fighting both in Washington and at the bargaining table to empower LGBTQ+ workers by pushing legislation such as the Equality Act and improving union contracts by adding non-discrimination language that includes sexual orientation and gender identity protections. 

“The USW calls on its activists to celebrate Pride across the United States and Canada this month by recommitting to this fight, and to continue ensuring LGBTQ+ voices and concerns are addressed in the halls of Congress and within our collective bargaining agreements.”

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in manufacturing, 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.



USW Members Authorize Strike against Alcoa

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 13:50

Contact: Tony Montana, (412) 562-2592;

PITTSBURGH– The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that members of local unions representing more than 1,500 Alcoa (NYSE: AA) workers have granted their negotiating committee the authority to implement a strike if necessary at the company’s facilities in Warrick, Ind.; Massena, N.Y.; Gum Springs, Ark.; Point Comfort, Texas; and Wenatchee, Wash.

The strike authorization votes were conducted during meetings at each location over the course of the past two weeks. USW members have continued to work under the terms and conditions of a contract that was set to expire on May 15, 2019, when the USW and Alcoa agreed to a temporary extension, subject to termination by either party with notice.

Formal negotiations between the USW and Alcoa broke off with the company demanding major economic and non-economic concessions that the union considers excessive and unnecessary.

USW International Vice President Tom Conway, who chairs the union committee, said that when bargaining resumes, management should come prepared with proposals that reflect an understanding of workers’ contributions to the company’s past, current and future success.

“USW members have dedicated years of hard work and personal sacrifice to keep these facilities operating efficiently and profitably,” Conway said. “Corporate executives and shareholders are reaping the benefits while Alcoa continues to demand concessions too broad and too deep for our members and their families to absorb.”

“Although we hope to resolve the outstanding issues without a work stoppage, our members have delivered a strong message through their overwhelming support for strike authorization,” he said. “We are prepared to fight for the fair contracts we have earned and deserve.”

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.

USW Announces Changes in Leadership

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 14:21

CONTACT: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers (USW) union today announced changes in its leadership as a result of a series of retirements, including USW International President Leo W. Gerard, Secretary-Treasurer Stan Johnson and Vice Presidents Carol Landry and Jon Geenen. 

The union’s International Executive Board (IEB) passed a resolution approving the plan and the transition, which will take place between now and mid-July when the changes become effective.   

“The decision to announce these changes together will ensure that a capable and experienced group of trade union leaders will hit the ground running as a team,” said Gerard. “It will also pave the way so that the union continues to be on solid footing and that the transition is seamless and serves the best interest of our membership.”

Gerard will be replaced by USW International Vice President Tom Conway.

Gerard served the USW for more than 50 years. He began his career at age 18 in the mining industry in northern Ontario, and has since held a series of positions in the union, guiding it to what it is today. He spent his whole life fighting for working families and labor rights across the globe, and his impact as a labor leader in North America is immeasurable.

Gerard worked as union staff and ultimately became a District Director, the National Director of Canada, Secretary-Treasurer and finally in 2001 the USW’s International President. 

During his time with the union, Gerard has been a constant, strong and credible voice for the USW in both Washington, D.C., and Ottawa. He has testified on innumerable occasions on behalf of the union’s membership and their jobs, families and communities.

Gerard served on variety of advisory councils and task forces, setting policy and relentlessly defending workers during his presidency.

Under Gerard’s leadership, the USW formed the first global union, Workers Uniting, and he has built global labor alliances around the world.

He intends to remain active in the labor community but has largely decided to enjoy his well-earned retirement and looks forward to spending more time with his wife and family.

Conway, who will take over for Gerard as USW International President, has been USW Vice President since 2005. He began his career as a millwright at Bethlehem Steel in 1978. He has served as a staff representative and as the secretary of the USW’s Basic Steel Conference. He has also chaired many of the union’s major sector negotiations in steel, mining, aluminum, tire and rubber, oil, and other metals and manufacturing operations.

Conway has led the charge on trade issues affecting these sectors, including the union’s efforts in trade enforcement. He also spearheaded the USW’s efforts in fighting to bring change to the nation’s trade and manufacturing policies. 

In addition to serving on the governing board of the Institute for Career Development and the board of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), Conway has been instrumental in building and guiding the USW staff training program and in helping to develop the union’s leadership development program.

Conway’s position as Vice President will be filled by District 1 Director David McCall.

McCall first joined the union’s international executive board in 1998. Beginning his career as a millwright, he has held many union positions, including serving as a staff representative, assistant director and director with more than 40 years of union experience.

McCall, whose district encompasses the state of Ohio, has many years of bargaining experience across the union and chairs major negotiations in steel, paper and other sectors. He also serves as secretary of the USW Constitution Committee.

USW Secretary-Treasurer Stan Johnson will be replaced by District 4 Director John Shinn.

Johnson has served the USW as Secretary-Treasurer since 2009. He began his union career at a URW tire plant in 1975 as a tire builder. He has held many union positions throughout his career at the District and International levels.

As the union’s CFO, Johnson has brought stability, strength and confidence to the union’s finances. He oversees the union’s crucial Rapid Response program and chairs the union’s Rubber and Plastics Industry Conference, leading negotiations with some of the nation’s largest tire makers. He also chairs bargaining within the paper industry.

John Shinn, who will become the union’s next Secretary-Treasurer, currently serves as the director of USW District 4, which encompasses the Northeast corridor states and New England, as well as Puerto Rico. 

He joined the USW executive board in 2012 and has aggressively promoted job creation within his district. Shinn chairs the Inter-Union Gas Conference and various committees within the union’s paper conference.

Shinn first joined the Aluminum, Brick and Glass (ABG) workers in 1988 and served as a staff representative in the ABG and as a sub-director in the USW before becoming director. 

Roxanne Brown will take over for International Vice President at Large Carol Landry.

Landry joined the USW executive board in 2008 as the first woman to ever serve on the board, bringing with her years of experience as an activist and negotiator.

Landry began her career in 1986 and held many union positions. She has been responsible for the union’s nuclear and chemical sectors and served as co-chair of the USW’s Next Generation program. She also served as Vice President of the IndustriALL Global Union and spearheaded programs encouraging women to take leadership roles in the union.

Filling Landry’s seat will be Roxanne Brown, who currently serves as USW Legislative Director in the union’s Washington, D.C., office. She will continue to oversee legislative, public policy and political matters while remaining based in the capital.  

Brown has a broad base of experience working for legislation that supports USW members and all working people. She also works with the various companies and associations that are impacted by regulations and laws under consideration in the nation’s agencies and Congress. She began working for the USW legislative department in 1999.

International Vice President Jon Geenen will be replaced by Leeann Foster.

Geenen joined the USW Board in 2008 and has overseen bargaining, trade issues and public policy related to the domestic paper industry.

He began his career in 1977 as a journeyman maintenance tech in the pulp and paper industry. Since then, Geenen has worked tirelessly to guide USW paper workers through a maze of mergers and acquisitions, to develop a coordinated pattern of labor agreements within the industry and to improve contract language and strengthen the voice for members.

Leeann Foster, who currently serves as Assistant to the International President and has served as Associate General Counsel since the 2005 USW/PACE merger, will replace Geenen.

Foster works as the lead bargainer with many companies within the paper sector, as well as leading the union’s Women of Steel leadership program. She also serves as the Co-Chair of the IndustriALL Global Union working group for the pulp and paper sector.

Together with Geenen, Foster has led the USW paper industry through difficult bargaining and has worked to develop a safety strategy within the sector.

Throughout these changes, the USW remains a progressive and powerful voice for workers in the United States and Canada and around the world.

“Our union is changing and becoming more diverse,” said Gerard. “We represent more different kinds of workers in more and more sectors, and our board is changing to reflect that growth. The USW is committed to bringing forward the next generation of labor leaders and to provide the tools, training, and opportunity they will need to succeed.

“These changes in leadership do not mean we are shrinking from any of our longstanding commitments. Rather, these new leaders are redoubling our promises to them and to our mission to always fight for the working class. The new team brings vast experience and knowledge of our industries and issues and will continue the proud traditions the union has always stood for.”

“While we will miss our colleagues,” said Conway, “we recognize their desire to move into new phases of their lives, and we wish all the best for them. They have left behind a solid and stable union, and for that, we thank them.”

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

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USW’s Anna Fendley Selected as IndustriALL North American Vice President

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 08:48

CONTACT: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) today announced that USW Associate Legislative Director Anna Fendley has been selected as Vice President for the North American region of the global labor union IndustriALL.

Fendley has worked in various positions at the USW for a decade, including the past six years in the USW’s Washington, D.C., office. She also chairs the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) youth committee, of which she’s been a member since 2014.

“Anna is doing exceptional work in our legislative office, tackling a wide range of issues from health and safety to health care to climate and energy,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “We know she is more than ready to take on this new role.”

Fendley will take over for retiring USW Vice President Carol Landry on the IndustriALL executive board, effectively immediately.

IndustriALL is a global federation of labor unions founded in June 2012. It has more than 600 affiliates from 140 countries, all fighting for better working conditions and workers’ rights.

The first woman to hold the position, Landry was elected as IndustriALL North American Vice President at the 2016 IndustriALL World Congress meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“I’m so proud to see the next generation taking on these fights,” said Landry. “With activists like Anna leading the charge, the global labor movement is in good hands.”

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

USW: Section 232 Agreement Will Advance North American Steel, Aluminum Production, Promote National Security

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 12:57

CONTACT: Holly Hart, 202-778-4384, hhart@usw.org

The United Steelworkers union (USW) released the following statement today after the United States, Canada and Mexico reached an agreement on lifting U.S. Section 232 sanctions on aluminum and steel imports into the United States and ending retaliatory action by Canada and Mexico.

“Today’s agreement will help restore confidence and stability to the North American steel and aluminum markets,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “From day one, we made it clear that the real problem isn’t Canada or Mexico, but those countries that are undermining the trading system through predatory trade practices and non-market policies that have created massive overcapacity and trade imbalance.  

“We must now focus on ensuring that the production, employment and investments that the 232 actions stimulated continue and that our core national security interests are advanced.

“Let’s not forget that the basis for this action was protecting our national security and critical infrastructure. That objective remains, and today’s agreement, with its monitoring provisions, will ensure this goal is met.  

“Tariffs on steel and aluminum have already strengthened these critical U.S. industries, and workers are either back at work or being trained for new jobs necessary to meet our nation’s needs.  

“Today’s deal should not only ensure that our unique economic, defense, security and intelligence relationship with Canada remains strong, but that our equally skilled Canadian members in steel and aluminum will no longer be hurt.”

“Steel and aluminum are the backbone of our nation’s economy, defense and critical infrastructure,” said USW International Vice President Tom Conway. “The Section 232 action has helped stabilize and promote the U.S. industry’s position and protected and increased jobs.  

“Canada and Mexico, as a result of today’s deal, are expected to be partners in ensuring that unfairly traded products won’t undermine the strength of our steel and aluminum companies. New monitoring provisions will allow for early detection if transshipment and circumvention occur. These provisions must be strictly enforced, and we will be on the lookout for product surges fostered by metal traders who are trying to take advantage of our market.

“We expect that the companies that benefitted from the Section 232 actions and today’s deal will invest in their operations and their workers, rather than jeopardizing our security interests by lining their pockets.

“The USW has fought for relief against unfair trade, and it is our fight that has helped foster the strength of these industries.”

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

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