You are here

Steelworker News

Subscribe to Steelworker News feed
United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed
Updated: 40 min 56 sec ago

Pitt Faculty Members Vote to Join Steelworkers Union

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 15:15

Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, 412-562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

University of Pittsburgh faculty members are looking forward to bargaining their first union contract with the school’s administration following the faculty’s successful vote to become members of the United Steelworkers (USW).

“This result has been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait,” said Tyler Bickford, an associate professor in the university’s English department. “It’s a good feeling to know that we as faculty members have finally achieved what all workers deserve – a voice in the decision-making process that affects our lives on the job.”

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board held a mail ballot election over the past several weeks for faculty members, following more than two years of delays as a result of legal challenges from the administration. Preliminary results today showed that more than 71 percent of the workers who voted cast votes to join the union.

 “Simply put, this will make Pitt a better institution,” said Bickford. “The result will be greater security for workers, better educational outcomes for students, and increased transparency across the university.”

The 3,300 workers at Pitt will become part of the 850,000-member USW, one of the largest labor unions in North America, which has its headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh. Adjunct instructors at Point Park University and Robert Morris University also are members of the USW.

“This vote was successful because these workers know that this decision will make the university a better place for the entire community,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “When academic workers have a seat at the table, it results in a better environment for teachers, for students, and for everyone who calls Pitt home.”

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

Thirty-one thousand health care workers authorize strike at Kaiser Permanente

Tue, 10/12/2021 - 07:17

CONTACTS:

Jess Kamm Broomell, USW | jkamm@steelworkers.org | (412) 562-2444
Chelsey Engel, USW | cengel@steelworkers.org | (412) 212-8173
Jeff Rogers, UNAC/UHCP | jeff.rogers@unacuhcp.org | (909) 263-7230
Anjetta Thackeray, UNAC/UHCP | anjetta.thackeray@unacuhcp.org | (909) 455-5146

Note: Union officers and bargaining team members, nurses and other health care professionals are available for television, radio, and print interviews.

(Fontana, Calif.) -- The United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) and United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7600 announced today that 31,000 members who work at Southern California Kaiser Permanente locations have voted—by an overwhelming majority—to grant the unions the authority to call a strike.

“Health care workers are facing record levels of burnout after 20 months of the COVID pandemic,” said USW Local 7600 President Michael Barnett. “We urge Kaiser Permanente management to come to the table and bargain a fair contract that addresses chronic understaffing and safety issues rather than forcing workers into a labor dispute by insisting on dangerous cost-cutting measures.”

Together UNAC/UHCP and USW Local 7600 represent a combined 31,000 workers in a wide range of job classes from registered nurses, physical therapists, and pharmacists to licensed vocational nurses, appointment clerks, housekeeping attendants, medical assistants, customer service representatives, pharmacy assistants, phlebotomists, pharmacy technicians, membership service representatives, dietary aides and more.

They and other members of the Alliance of Health Care Unions serve Kaiser Permanente’s 12 million patients across 39 hospitals and more than 700 medical office buildings.

The Alliance has been at the bargaining table with health care giant Kaiser Permanente since April. The 21 union locals represent more than 50,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente medical centers and offices nationwide.

Among the top priorities for workers is ensuring a means to effectively fill open positions and maintain the safe-staffing levels necessary to protect patients and those who care for them. Instead, Kaiser Permanente management is pushing proposals that will exacerbate already critical staffing shortages, including slashing wages for new hires and depressing wages for current workers who are trying to keep up with rising costs for food, housing and other essentials.

“We’re concerned about the future of nursing and how we recruit and retain nurses and other health care workers who will serve our communities for years to come,” said Denise Duncan, RN, president of UNAC/UHCP. “We can no longer sit back and watch the employer continue to dismantle the progress we made in quality patient care and health plan membership growth.”

Duncan and Barnett both emphasized that Kaiser Permanente’s insistence on eroding standards of care and working conditions, despite the employer’s $44.5 billion in reserves, will impede efforts to advance health care access.

Both unions held strike authorization votes, which concluded on Oct. 10. The 3,400 members of the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (OFNHP), who work at Kaiser locations across the state, also announced the results of their strike vote today. As required, the employer would get a 10-day notice before workers take any further action.

Kaiser Permanente patients and the public can click here to sign the Alliance petition calling for the health care giant to invest in patient care and those who provide it.

NOTE: All Kaiser Permanente employees who agree to interviews are speaking NOT as representatives of Kaiser Permanente, but as patient advocates and representatives of UNAC/UHCP—protected concerted activity as defined by the National Labor Relations Act, the National Labor Relations Board, and U.S. courts

USW Applauds Biden Administration’s Vision on U.S.-China Trade Relations

Mon, 10/04/2021 - 11:02

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

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement today after United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai delivered a speech outlining the Biden-Harris administration’s new approach to the U.S.-China trade relationship:

“The USW welcomes the Biden administration’s plan for addressing our nation’s trade relationship with China. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai made clear in her remarks today that we must have a steady approach to confronting the Chinese government’s predatory and protectionist policies rather than the often erratic and limited approach of the Trump administration.

“As we seek to address the structural problems posed by the Chinese Communist Party’s non-market and state-led trade practices, our focus must first be on ensuring China’s leaders fulfill the promises they’ve made, rather than rushing to extract new promises they are unlikely to keep.

“China’s leaders have yet to meet the commitments of the Trump administration’s Phase One trade deal, and Tai made it clear that enforcing this deal is her first priority. As such, the Biden administration will maintain the tariffs that China’s leaders accepted as part of this agreement and will not unilaterally disarm as China’s trade policies continue to undermine global markets and the jobs and livelihood of workers here in the United States.

“Tai also highlighted the devastating impact these policies continue to have on our steel industry and our workers. China built up enormous overcapacity that swamped world markets, undermining our national and economic security. Her focus on steel reflects the Biden administration’s recognition of how critical the sector and its workforce are to our nation.

“A sound plan for addressing our trade relationship with China will enable us to invest in America’s future and build back better. We welcome the vision expressed in Tai’s speech and look forward to working with the administration as it moves forward with this approach.”

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

USW Local 7600 will seek strike authorization from 7,400 Kaiser Permanente workers

Thu, 09/23/2021 - 06:24
Contact: Chelsey Engel, cengel@steelworkers.org, 412-212-8173   (Fontana, Calif.) -- Members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7600 at Kaiser Permanente have scheduled a strike authorization vote to be held October 2-10, as negotiations continue over a new labor agreement that will enable them to continue providing high-quality care for the Inland Empire community.    “With demands that would negatively impact worker safety and patient care, it’s clear that management is more concerned with pursuing its own agenda than it is about workers and patients,” said Local 7600 President Michael Barnett. “We urge Kaiser Permanente to come to the table and bargain with us for a fair contract rather than force workers into a labor dispute by insisting on dangerous cost-cutting measures that would make it impossible to maintain safe staffing levels.”    Roughly 7,400 health care workers in USW Local 7600, in conjunction with the 20 other local unions who make up the Alliance of Health Care Unions (AHCU), have been bargaining with Kaiser Permanente since this past spring. Both the national and local agreements expire Sept. 30.   Kaiser Permanente’s most divisive demands include a two-tiered wage scale that would pay new hires significantly less for doing the same jobs as current workers, making it even more difficult to fill empty positions.    The paltry wage increases that the company has proposed for current members of the union also do nothing to address the tremendous pay disparity between Inland Empire workers and their area counterparts.   As a result, members of USW Local 7600 plan to vote on whether to grant negotiators the authority to institute a strike if necessary.    “We’re stretched thin, and after more than a year and a half of sacrifices throughout the pandemic, morale is starting to falter,” said Barnett. “We’ve pulled together to make sure that shifts are covered and our patients are well cared for, sometimes at the expense of our own health and security. But we need management to take safe staffing seriously, and we need them to prioritize our community as much as we do.”   The decision to hold the vote comes after the local decided to pause their labor-management partnership with Kaiser last Friday over similar concerns. The local is also pursuing multiple unfair labor practice charges after management threatened to withhold or cancel vacations and other earned time off until the contract is settled, as well as intimidated workers who wore union t-shirts to show their support for the bargaining committee.    USW Local 7600 represents workers in more than 200 different job classes, including licensed vocational nurses, appointment clerks, housekeeping attendants, medical assistants, customer service representatives, pharmacy assistants, phlebotomists, pharmacy technicians, membership service representatives and dietary aides, across 72 Kaiser Permanente locations in Southern California.   The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.  

USW Putting Pause on Labor Management Partnership with Kaiser

Fri, 09/17/2021 - 10:00

Contact: Chelsey Engel, 412-212-8173, cengel@steelworkers.org

(Fontana, Calif.) -- Members of United Steelworkers Local 7600, which represents 7,400 workers across 72 Kaiser Permanente locations in Southern California, today announced that they would pause participation in their longstanding labor-management partnership. This comes after the health care giant repeatedly signaled that it is not taking the partnership seriously, jeopardizing the system’s ability to keep workers and patients safe. 

“We remain committed to working with management to improve working conditions and ensure that every patient that enters our doors has access to top quality care,” said USW Local 7600 President Michael Barnett. “But we can only do this if management makes an equal effort.” 

In recent months, top management rejected a joint recommendation on racial justice, refused to engage on concerns about safe staffing and leaned on the local to fill many holes in the schedule as workers grapple with the ongoing pandemic. On top of this, management proposed slashing wages for new hires, making it harder to recruit new workers even though staffing is already stretched thin. 

“We need a true partner,” said Barnett, “but it’s become clear that management is more concerned with advancing its own agenda than working collaboratively with us.”

While workers risked their lives during the pandemic, Kaiser Permanente management also went behind their backs and hired a consultant to study health system operations without the partnership’s consent or input. Worse, the consultant’s wildly inaccurate findings now influence many of the conglomerate’s bargaining positions.

More than 52,000 union members in the Alliance of Health Care Unions, which is composed of 21 local unions including USW Local 7600, have been bargaining nationally since April 2021. 

USW Local 7600, which represents workers in more than 200 different job classes, including licensed vocational nurses, appointment clerks, housekeeping attendants, medical assistants, customer service representatives, pharmacy assistants, phlebotomists, pharmacy technicians, membership service representatives, and dietary aides, began bargaining over local issues in May. 

Both the local and national agreements expire Sept. 30, 2021. The local said today that USW leaders and members are prepared to move forward with a membership vote to authorize a strike if needed. 

In its most recent proposal, Kaiser Permanente management laid out a two-tiered system that would pay new hires as much as 39 percent less than current employees for the same work. If implemented as written, the proposal would also pay some workers less than minimum wage. 

“We’re all making sacrifices during the pandemic, working long hours under grueling conditions because we care about our patients, but management is not approaching this situation in the same way,” said Barnett. “It’s past time for management to return to the purpose of the original partnership and once again prioritize the health and wellbeing of our community.”

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

USW Praises Selection of Brad Crabtree for Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management

Thu, 09/02/2021 - 14:09

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

United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Roxanne Brown issued the following statement today in response to the announcement that President Biden would nominate Brad Crabtree for Assistant Secretary for the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management:

“The Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management does crucial work for the Department of Energy, and the USW applauds the decision to nominate Brad Crabtree as its Assistant Secretary.

“We know Brad well through our mutual work with the Carbon Capture Coalition, a nonpartisan collaboration promoting the large-scale expansion of carbon reduction technologies that will ensure a sound future for industrial facilities and the millions of manufacturing and energy jobs associated with them.

“Brad understands as well as anyone how important it is to find broad stakeholder agreement – from labor to management to NGOs – on the crucial issues of energy and manufacturing. We know he will bring this same balance and dedication to his new role.”

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

USW International Vice President Fred Redmond to Serve as AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer

Fri, 08/20/2021 - 09:02

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

USW International President Tom Conway issued the following statement today after the AFL-CIO Executive Council elected USW International Vice President Fred Redmond to serve as secretary-treasurer. The council today also elected former AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler as president of the AFL-CIO: 

“We are incredibly proud that the AFL-CIO Executive Council selected USW International Vice President Fred Redmond to serve as its secretary-treasurer alongside AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler.

“Fred is a decades-long union activist with a proven commitment to both negotiating good contracts and advancing civil and human rights, including through his recent work as chair of the AFL-CIO Task Force on Racial Justice. We know that he will bring the same passion and dedication to his new position. 

“Workers across our nation are facing unprecedented challenges, and we are deeply grateful to Fred for assuming this role, even as he continues his work with the USW. Rich Trumka’s passing reverberated throughout the labor movement, but despite our grief, I know Fred, like all of us, is committed to ensuring the AFL-CIO’s vital mission goes uninterrupted.”

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

USW to Kick Off National Week of Action on Infrastructure

Thu, 08/12/2021 - 08:14

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

USW members next week are launching a nationwide week of action as a part of their ongoing We Supply America campaign, calling for robust investments in the country’s infrastructure and highlighting the contributions USW members make, both in obvious and more inconspicuous industries. 

This will include a bus tour scheduled for stops at USW locals in six states between Aug. 16 and 20.

“We need a national infrastructure that keeps us safe, that is modern, that keeps our supply chains stocked with the materials we need, and that keeps the country moving in the right direction,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “As a union, we have the skilled work force to accomplish all these goals.”

Throughout its We Supply America campaign, the USW is calling on Congress to pass legislation to secure large-scale, long-term infrastructure investments that will create good, union jobs and rebuild communities. 

“This is about so much more than fixing roads and bridges,” said Conway. “We need an ambitious overhaul of our entire critical infrastructure from modern schools and health care facilities to state-of-the-art communications networks. Everything that USW members make and everything that we do contributes in some way to this vital project.”

In a series of events along the bus tour’s route, USW members and leaders will address how comprehensive infrastructure investment drawing on American-made materials will provide widespread economic opportunity, strengthen domestic supply chains and spur job growth in communities across the country. 

Along the way, they will be joined by like-minded allies, including Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, members of Congress and other elected leaders, company representatives, and environmental and manufacturing advocates, who share the union’s vision for swift, robust infrastructure investment that draws on the skills and determination of American workers.

In addition to the bus tour, USW members across the United States this week will be joining with their employers to send letters to the administration and elected officials, engaging in a postcard campaign that includes delivering thousands of cards to Senate offices, and calling their members of Congress in support of robust infrastructure investment. 

“Ultimately, every worker and every family in every U.S. state will benefit in some way from an infrastructure program,” said International Vice President Roxanne Brown, who oversees the union’s legislative and political efforts from Washington, D.C.

“Done right, a robust infrastructure investment will spur jobs and job growth in communities across the country and bring meaningful economic opportunity to people in all of our neighborhoods,” Brown said. “Congress just needs to make it a reality.”

The USW’s We Supply America bus tour will include events in Chesterton, Ind.; Newark, Ohio; Weirton, W. Va.; Danville, Va.; Wilmington, N.C.; and Pittsburgh.

Updates on the tour, including livestreams of the events, will be available on all USW networks: @Steelworkers on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, as well as at uswvoices.org/live.

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

USW Welcomes Senate Passage of Infrastructure Bill, Calls for Continued Urgency

Tue, 08/10/2021 - 10:47

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

(Pittsburgh) – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement today after the U.S. Senate passed its bipartisan bill that would provide roughly $1 trillion for upgrading the nation’s critical infrastructure:  

“The USW commends the bipartisan work of the U.S. Senate in passing a badly needed infrastructure bill. Our nation’s critical infrastructure is long past due for significant upgrades, and this bill is an important step toward both making our communities more secure and creating millions of good, family-sustaining jobs.

“USW members from across every corner of our union already provide the essential building blocks of a modern infrastructure, from the steel that goes into our bridges, to the pipes that carry our water, to the fiber optic glass that keeps us connected and much more. 

“A comprehensive infrastructure investment that draws on the goods and services American workers supply will promote widespread job growth and economic opportunity. USW members and their families will further benefit from this investment as their workplaces and communities become safer and more efficient.

“As this bill moves to the U.S. House, we cannot let the momentum falter. We urge Congress to continue working together in overhauling both our physical and social infrastructures until they finally meet our modern needs.”

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

 

USW Mourns Loss of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

Thu, 08/05/2021 - 11:47

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

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement today after receiving the unexpected, tragic news that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka passed away:

“The labor community suffered an immeasurable loss today with the passing of Rich Trumka, a true friend of our union and of workers everywhere.

“Since his early days as a mine worker, Rich never shied away from a fight, dedicating his life to advocating for justice and equality for working families the world over.

“Rich’s was always one of the loudest voices in calling for not only fair wages and working conditions but also for an economic system in which all workers have a seat at the table.   

“On behalf of the USW, I extend our most sincere and deepest condolences to the Trumka family. The members of our union, the labor movement and working families across the country will feel the sting of Rich’s loss. We will honor his legacy by continuing his fight.”

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

USW, US Wind Announce Partnership to Transform Historic Sparrows Point Site

Tue, 08/03/2021 - 12:19

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

The United Steelworkers union (USW) announced today that it will partner with US Wind as it transforms a portion of the former Sparrows Point steel mill into a manufacturing facility supporting the growth of offshore wind energy.

US Wind plans to use the site to make the monopile foundations needed for their offshore wind developments.

Through the agreement, the USW will work with the company to recruit and train local workers, ensuring the surrounding community shares in the benefits of this investment. The USW and US Wind will also mutually support workers’ rights to unionize and collectively bargain.

USW International President Tom Conway said that the USW and US Wind share a number of goals, including ensuring that the U.S. has strong domestic supply chains for emerging energy industries and creating high-quality manufacturing jobs. 

“The loss of the Sparrows Point steel mill, which once employed thousands of workers, was a huge blow to the Baltimore community and to U.S. manufacturing as a whole,” Conway said. “Now, we have a chance to create the jobs of the future right here on this historic site and ensure that they are good, union jobs that will again support families across this region.”

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

USW Tech Workers Ratify Historic First Contract at HCL

Thu, 07/29/2021 - 08:09

Contact: Tony Montana, 412-562-2592, tmontana@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that workers have ratified a first contract with Google contractor HCL America, Inc., covering about 65 employees who are based in Pittsburgh.

USW International President Tom Conway said that the three-year contract improves wages, job security and working conditions.

“After close to two years of hard work, patience and solidarity from our members at HCL, we are proud of what we achieved in this agreement,” Conway said. “More than ever, our struggle with HCL shows that all workers deserve the protections and benefits of a union contract.”

Members of the USW bargaining committee said that HCL‘s treatment of workers illustrates why unions are more important than ever and pointed out the consolidated complaint issued against the company by the National Labor Relations Board over unfair labor practices.

“After ignoring our concerns, HCL tried to prevent us from forming a union, and when it failed, the company dragged out the negotiating process while sending our jobs overseas in retaliation,” said Amanda Parks, a member of the bargaining committee who works for HCL. “Now, with a strong union and contract in place, we’re confident that our voices will be heard.”

“HCL can no longer use issues like wage rates, job descriptions or opportunities for advancement to divide workers,” said Renata Nelson, another member of the bargaining committee who works for HCL. “The company must understand that we deserve fair consideration for our contributions to its success and respect us as people with families and bills to pay.”

The ratified contract takes effect immediately, and will expire in three years.

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

USW Applauds OMB’s Plan to Strengthen Domestic Content Requirements

Wed, 07/28/2021 - 08:00

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

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement today in response to the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) proposed rulemaking that will include an increase in the Buy American threshold for general government procurement from 55 percent to 60 percent immediately and ultimately to 75 percent:

“Workers across every facet of our economy, including hundreds of thousands of USW members, are ready and willing to help our nation meet its needs. 

“It’s vitally important that as the federal government spends taxpayer dollars, those funds go toward giving these workers the opportunity to continue manufacturing high-quality products and supporting good, community-sustaining jobs now and into the future.

“Today’s announcement that the OMB will raise the general government procurement threshold demonstrates a serious commitment to revitalizing our nation’s manufacturing base, rebuilding our supply chains and ensuring a steady path forward for our domestic industries.

“The USW applauds this bold, forward-looking action and looks forward to continuing our work with the OMB’s Made in America office and the whole Biden administration as together we look to secure our nation’s manufacturing capacity and promote widespread economic security.” 

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

USW’s Tentative First Contract with Tech Firm HCL Improves Wages, Job Security

Fri, 07/23/2021 - 08:11

Contact: Tony Montana, 412-562-2592, tmontana@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the union has reached tentative agreement on a first contract with Google contractor HCL America, Inc., on behalf of about 65 employees who are based in Pittsburgh.

USW International President Tom Conway said the tentative agreement represents the hope of a bright future for workers seeking to organize unions to negotiate for better pay, benefits and working conditions, no matter what industry or occupation.

“Nearly two years ago, HCL’s employees voted to organize and bargain collectively for a fair contract, and the company fought viciously against it for as long as it could,” Conway said. “Thanks to the solidarity and determination of these workers and the leadership of our committee, we have reached this important milestone of a first tentative agreement.”

Amanda Parks, a member of the USW bargaining committee who works for HCL, said that over its three-year term, the proposed contract addresses pay parity and includes meaningful wage increases. It provides additional paid time off and includes important contract language safeguards to provide job security.

“In spite of the company’s best efforts to discourage participating in the union and to avoid negotiating in good faith, we remained united to make our voices heard and demand a fair contract,” said Renata Nelson, also a member of the committee. “We work hard, and we deserve what all workers deserve, an agreement that reflects our important contributions to the company’s success.”

Beginning in October 2020, Region 6 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a series of four amended, consolidated complaints against the company which outlined in detail the company’s failure to bargain in good faith.

Among other illegal actions, the NLRB alleged that HCL had outsourced work from Pittsburgh to Krakow, Poland, in retaliation for workers voting for union representation, and the board sought to order the company to restore the work to bargaining unit members.

A ratification vote for the membership is scheduled for July 30, 2021. If ratified, the proposed contract would take effect immediately.

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

Pitt Faculty Looks Forward to Holding Election to Join USW

Fri, 07/16/2021 - 15:41

Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, 412-562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

Faculty members at the University of Pittsburgh are looking forward to holding a vote to become members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union after the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) scheduled an election to take place from Aug. 27 through Oct. 12.

“It’s been a long road, but I am thankful that we will finally have the chance to make our voices heard,” said Tyler Bickford, an associate professor in the university’s English Department. “A vote for a union is a vote to create a better university. Gaining a voice will provide faculty members with greater job security, improve educational outcomes, promote better research and increase transparency across the university system. It’s a win-win.”

The decision to hold an election follows years of relentless anti-union efforts by the Pitt administration aimed at preventing such a vote from taking place.

Financial records show that the Pitt administration has paid more than $2.1 million since 2016 to Philadelphia “union avoidance” law firm Ballard Spahr for its help in an ongoing campaign to stop faculty members’ unionization efforts, as well as to prevent a concurrent effort by Pitt graduate student workers to join the USW.

“It’s unfortunate that an institution like Pitt can accept millions in tax dollars and then turn around and spend millions to silence its workers,” said Melinda Ciccocioppo, a lecturer in the psychology department. “As Pitt faculty members, we have wanted nothing more than what all higher education workers deserve – a voice in the decisions that affect our lives and those of our students.”

A PLRB hearing examiner ruled last summer that the university administration artificially inflated a list of its faculty employees in order to impede the faculty’s unionization campaign. This April, the examiner issued a follow-up decision on which faculty members would be included in the USW bargaining unit, bringing the total to about 3,000 faculty members.

“We look forward to making our voices heard loud and clear and then moving forward with the important work of making the University of Pittsburgh a better institution for faculty, students and our entire community,” Ciccocioppo said.

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

USW Members Ratify New Contract with ATI

Tue, 07/13/2021 - 19:04

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

(Pittsburgh) – Members of the United Steelworkers union (USW) today ratified a new four-year contract with specialty steel maker Allegheny Technologies Inc., (ATI) that raises wages, provides lump-sum payments and protects affordable, high-quality health care for current and future workers. 

In accordance with an agreement between the union and the company, 1,300 USW members in nine ATI locations will begin returning to work on or before July 18, ending an unfair labor practice strike that began March 30, 2021.

“Our members showed tremendous strength and solidarity, beating back demands for concessions that would have hurt generations of workers,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “This contract reflects how truly powerful working people can be when we fight together.”

USW members voted to ratify the tentative agreement reached on July 2. The new contract runs from March 1, 2021, through February 28, 2025.

“The company came into these negotiations in January looking for unfair and unnecessary concessions,” said USW Vice President David McCall, who chairs negotiations with ATI. “But after years of sacrifice, including the past year working through the pandemic, our members deserve a deal that reflects their contributions to the company’s success. This contract achieves that goal.”

The new contract preserves premium-free health insurance coverage without the second, lower tier of health care for new hires the company wanted. It also provides $7,000 in direct payments and a 9 percent increase in wages over the life of the agreement, as well as protecting union jobs against outside contractors, safeguarding shutdown pensions and making other important improvements.

“I’m proud that our members refused to be intimidated by the company’s tactics,” said McCall. “While we certainly tried to avoid a labor dispute, when we were forced to strike against ATI’s unfair labor practices, our members stuck together and remained committed to reaching a fair deal. Now that solidarity is paying off.”

The USW represents about 850,000 North American workers in a variety of industries such as steel, aluminum and other metals; pulp and paper; tires and rubber; chemicals; energy producing; oil refining; healthcare; the service and public sectors; and a growing number in professional, tech and academic fields.

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