You are here

Steelworker News

Subscribe to Steelworker News feed
United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed
Updated: 1 hour 46 min ago

County Workers at Kane Community Living Centers Vote to Join USW

Fri, 01/21/2022 - 09:43

Contact: Chelsey Engel, (412) 212-8173, cengel@usw.org

Roughly 500 workers at four Kane Community Living Centers voted unanimously today to join the United Steelworkers union (USW).

Debbie Blakeley, a recreation aide at the Kane Centers’ Ross Township facility, said that workers voted to join the USW in order to pursue workplace rights and a voice on the job as well as stronger wages and benefits.

“Respect is a big thing for all of us,” said Blakeley, who has worked at the Kane Centers for 37 years. “I’m looking forward to working with the union to get what we deserve, because we all work really hard.”

The bargaining unit will consist of Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), recreation aides, dietary and housekeeping workers, and material handlers at the Allegheny County-run assisted living and senior facilities in McKeesport, Glen Hazel, Ross Township and Scott Township.

The union vote, which began on Dec. 15, 2021, was certified through the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB). The new bargaining committee will enter negotiations for a first contract as USW members in the coming weeks.

“We’ve been striving all year to make this election happen, and I am so glad we can now move on to the work of bargaining a fair contract,” said Desirae Beatty, who has been with Kane for 17 years as a CNA. “We have shown the county and Kane that we can organize and move as one, and we are ready for a positive change.”

Kane workers will now join the nearly 150 other Allegheny County workers represented by the USW and the more than 50,000 other USW-represented health care workers across North America.

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 commemorates Dr. King by demanding voting rights legislation

Mon, 01/17/2022 - 09:00

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

(Pittsburgh) – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway released the following statement marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day and calling for the U.S. Senate to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act:

“The freedom to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, but it is now in grave peril as Republican-led state legislatures chip away at this foundational right.

“Gerrymandering districts, reducing polling locations – mostly in Black, Latino, and college communities – and instituting other restrictions intended to disenfranchise voters or discard their votes is un-American. It must stop. 

“There is no better way to honor civil rights heroes like Dr. King and Rep. Lewis than by passing common-sense voting rights legislation. The USW calls on the U.S. Senate to finally take decisive action, secure free and fair elections and protect our democracy for generations to come.”

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 Talon Metals’ Nickel Supply Agreement

Tue, 01/11/2022 - 10:06

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

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway released the following statement today in response to Talon Metals’ six-year agreement to supply a major customer with nickel from its Tamarack Project in central Minnesota:

“This agreement represents an important step forward for the Tamarack mining project, providing the security and stability of a long-term customer.

“The USW reached its own agreement with Talon last summer to collaborate on work force development at Tamarack. USW members have a long legacy of mining in Minnesota and across North America, and they look forward to lending their knowledge and skills to ensuring this work is done in a sustainable, environmentally safe manner while providing good union jobs.

“As we look to the future, it’s clear that nickel will be an essential component to the battery technology powering the clean economy. USW members are proud to source this and other critical minerals domestically so that we can ensure a stable supply chain for this emerging industry.

“Mining has long supported Minnesota’s communities. We look forward to working with Talon to responsibly operate its Tamarack mine so that mining continues to provide both needed resources and good jobs well into the future.” 

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.

Carnegie Library Workers Ratify First Labor Agreement

Fri, 01/07/2022 - 16:34

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

Workers at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh this week ratified their first collective bargaining agreement that covers approximately 300 workers across 19 branches as well as the library support center. 

The group voted to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union in August 2019 seeking a seat at the table when it came to decisions impacting the library community and their own working environment.

“I am beyond proud of our bargaining committee and all of our workers who stood in solidarity to win this contract,” said Emily Miller, Adult Programming Librarian at the Office of Programs and Partnerships in East Liberty. “We’ve learned so much and we are excited to continue moving forward with our work as a union.”

Some of the highlights of the agreement include standardizing positions into “Job Grades” and increasing starting wages, most significantly among the lowest-paid positions; wage increases for current workers guaranteed by four raises over the life of the four-year agreement; limitations to health insurance rate hikes, and the addition of Christmas Eve and Juneteenth as paid holidays.

“Along with the individual gains we made that are unique to our work, we also now have the power that comes from our collective bargaining agreement—a proper grievance procedure,” said Kira Yeversky, a clerk at the Homewood location. “These wins alone will go a long way toward creating a more equitable and just library for everyone.”

The Teamsters and SEIU currently represent the Carnegie Library’s drivers and environmental service workers. This new agreement covers all remaining eligible staff who are among a growing number of USW-represented professional workers in Allegheny County.

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 Calls on Manchin to Aid Working Families, Fulfill Promise of Build Back Better

Mon, 12/20/2021 - 11:42

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

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway and District 8 Director Billy Thompson released the following statement today urging Sen. Joe Manchin to vote for the budget reconciliation bill that would deliver long-overdue investments in workers and their families:

“The Build Back Better Act represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in America’s middle class, providing access to badly needed resources like quality child- and eldercare, affordable health care and safer, more resilient workplaces.

“Joe Manchin now has the chance to join his Senate colleagues to make this a reality, not only for the hundreds of thousands of workers in West Virginia who voted for him, but for working families across our nation, who are depending on our elected officials to finally put their well-being ahead of that of the already rich and powerful.

“We urge Sen. Manchin to reconsider his current, misguided position on Build Back Better and instead negotiate in good faith to finalize the bill. There is simply too much at stake for him to walk away from his responsibility to our nation: to meet today’s challenges while ensuring a more secure future for all Americans.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, mining, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service, public and health care sectors and higher education. District 8 represents thousands of USW members in West Virginia, and three other states.

USW Endorses Kathy Hochul for Governor of New York

Fri, 12/17/2021 - 07:01

Contact: Dave Wasiura, (716) 565-1720, dwasiura@usw.org

(Buffalo, N.Y.) — The United Steelworkers (USW) today endorsed Kathy Hochul, leading a growing movement of unions and working families backing her campaign.

USW District 4 Director Del Vitale said that Hochul will provide strong leadership during a time when New York needs it most and that the USW is extremely proud to be the first industrial international union to endorse her given her long track record of fighting for working families.

“As a nation, if we want to create good jobs, modernize our crumbling infrastructure and expand the middle class, then we need to elect true public servants like Kathy Hochul, who know it’s their job to make it happen,” Vitale said.

“We need reliable leadership to ensure American workers are free to organize and bargain collectively so they can have safe workplaces and long-term economic security,” Vitale said. “Kathy Hochul will fight for policies based on fairness and justice, and New York’s workers will be proud to fight for her.”

“Her time as an elected official – from her time as Erie County Clerk, through her career in Congress to her service as governor – demonstrates that she will be a dependable ally for unions and workers,” Vitale said. “The USW looks forward to helping elect Kathy Hochul and keeping her in office to deliver on behalf of working families.”

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 tech, public sector and service occupations

USW Calls for Measures to Address Predatory Trade Practices, Advance Human Rights as China Marks 20 Years in WTO

Thu, 12/09/2021 - 09:45

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

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway released the following statement today, advocating for stronger domestic mechanisms against Chinese state-led, market-distorting trade practices and enhanced efforts to fight Chinese Communist Party (CCP) human rights abuses in advance of the 20th anniversary of China joining the World Trade Organization (WTO):

“It’s long been clear that China’s entry into the WTO two decades ago was a mistake that has since allowed the Chinese Communist Party to leverage its predatory trade practices against other member nations, even while it continues to exploit workers in its own country.

“As we now look to confront Chinese overcapacity and other global distortions, we cannot simply count on the CCP’s willingness to adapt to international norms or the WTO to hold it to them. We must instead deploy our own defense mechanisms to safeguard our workers and industries and the communities they support. 

“We must also redouble our fight against the CCP’s well-established record of human rights abuses and attacks on democratic freedoms: from genocide against the Uyghurs to denying the people of Hong Kong the rights they were promised. 

“Sens. Brown and Portman’s Leveling the Playing Field Act 2.0 and the companion bill U.S. Reps. Sewell and Johnson introduced into the House last week represent a much-needed, bipartisan opportunity to strengthen our domestic trade remedy laws and protect American jobs.

“Sen. Schumer and others have similarly put forward legislation that will build out our supply chains and ensure healthy competition and innovation, even as the Biden administration continues to address these issues on a number of fronts, including holding China to its trade promises.

“Twenty years ago, leaders like Speaker Pelosi predicted that China’s entry into the WTO would stifle the interests of both American workers and the Chinese people. As the CCP continues to rely on massive industrial subsidies, opaque laws, state-owned enterprises and even forced labor, her leadership and that of many of her colleagues will be sorely needed as we push to reframe our engagement with China so we can truly compete on a level playing field.”

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 EPA Proposed Rule on Renewable Fuel Standards

Tue, 12/07/2021 - 14:05

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

The United Steelworkers union (USW) today welcomed the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule on the renewable fuel standard (RFS) renewable volume obligations (RVO). The rule, which sets annual renewable fuel volumes and percentages for biofuels, is traditionally updated every year, but a new rule has not been issued since 2019.

“This is an important step in providing needed clarity for the oil industry, one that will help companies make plans for the future and which in turn will help create a more favorable environment for job retention and creation,” said Mike Smith, who chairs the USW’s National Oil Bargaining Program.

The EPA also announced an informal proposal on small refinery exemptions alongside the RVO rule, which the USW will review. These exemptions have historically been an important tool to retain union-represented oil refinery jobs given the inconsistency in implementation of the RFS.

Smith said that while the USW applauded the Biden administration for finally putting out an RVO proposal, the rule does not address what the union sees as fundamental flaws with the RFS, including the unregulated market for renewable identification numbers (RIN).

“High and fluctuating RIN prices jeopardize USW members’ jobs at independent refineries,” Smith said. “While it was clear that our industry was long overdue for guidance in this area, our union will also continue to push Congress and the administration for larger reforms to the RFS so that workers and their communities have even more long-term stability.”

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.

Carnegie Library Workers Reach Tentative Agreement

Tue, 12/07/2021 - 12:21

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

Workers at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh reached a tentative agreement last Thursday, Dec. 2, on a four-year contract that would cover approximately 300 workers across 19 branches as well as the library support center.

“I’m so proud of every worker who shared their stories and fought for our first contract,” said Kira Yeversky, who works as a clerk at the Homewood library branch. “They displayed true solidarity, and I can’t wait to see what this next chapter brings for all of us.”

Workers voted to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union in August 2019 seeking a seat at the table when it came to decisions impacting the library community and their own working environment.

Yeversky said the agreement represents many significant gains around these issues and more, including workplace health and safety, pay equity and affordable health care.

The Teamsters and SEIU currently represent the Carnegie Library’s drivers and environmental service workers. This new agreement covers all remaining eligible staff who are among a growing number of white-collar USW members in Allegheny County.

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 U.S. House Passage of Build Back Better Act

Fri, 11/19/2021 - 07:20

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

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway released the following statement today after the U.S. House passed the Build Back Better Act:

“The USW has long called for robust investment in both our nation’s physical and social infrastructures, and we applaud the significant progress the House passage of the Build Back Better Act represents.

“President Biden’s ambitious Build Back Better agenda presented a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in the future of the middle class while also making our nation more secure today.

“Building on the success of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, this bill now puts us on a path to also rebuild our nation’s human infrastructure. Initiatives like expanding early childhood education, investing in health care, ensuring workplace rights, providing paid family leave and facilitating industrial investments to help combat climate change will supply badly needed resources to workers and their families.

“We now call on the Senate to quickly finish the job by also passing the Build Back Better Act so that we can start making long overdue investments and truly start building our nation back better.”

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: New OMB Waiver Process Provides Needed Transparency

Wed, 11/17/2021 - 19:05

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

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway released the following statement today after the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Made in America Office announced a new process for granting waivers to the Buy American Act: 

“The USW welcomes the Made in America Office’s new waiver process, which will offer much needed transparency and streamline requirements across the agencies.

“Manufacturing is the backbone of our economy, and workers and communities across the country depend on the good, family-sustaining jobs the sector provides. If we’re going to be spending tax-payer dollars, it’s essential that we support domestic industries first.

“While there may be instances when required materials are not available, by now making information about waivers public and consistent, the Made in America Office is helping to close loopholes and position domestic businesses to better connect with opportunities to fill these needs.

“As recent supply chain strains have clearly demonstrated, the costs and logistics of reliably importing products into the United States continues to grow. The new waiver process will be crucial as our nation begins to re-shore some of these goods and rebuild our domestic industries.

“The USW applauds the Biden administration’s continuing commitment to investing in domestic manufacturing. As we begin to make long needed upgrades to our nation’s infrastructure, its whole-of-government approach will help ensure that this monumental investment directly benefits our workers and jobs.”

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 8888 Reaches Tentative Agreement on New Contract with Huntington Ingalls Industries

Mon, 11/15/2021 - 05:36

Contact: Dwight Kirk, (202) 257-3966, dflat@mindspring.com

United Steelworkers Local 8888 has reached a tentative agreement with Huntington Ingalls Industries on a new collective bargaining agreement covering Huntington Ingalls Industries shipbuilders, a pact that would enhance wages, improve pensions, curb health care costs and bolster promotional opportunities in lower job categories.

The proposed agreement, which was finalized last night, covers 60 months. The current contract would have expired tonight at midnight. Local 8888 members got their first detailed report on the tentative agreement this afternoon at a members-only meeting at the Boo Williams Sports Complex in Hampton.

The Local 8888 bargaining committee strongly recommended ratification of the new pact. "The last two years have been like no others. The Worldwide Pandemic has changed all of our lives and required all of us to make significant adjustments and to reimagine our lives, including the way that we work. Through it all, the world’s greatest shipbuilders have delivered."

The union will hold a secret ballot vote for members-only to ratify or reject the proposed contract on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021.

USW Local 8888 represents more than 10,000 workers at the Newport News shipyard.

USW Local 7600 Announces Tentative Agreement with Kaiser Permanente

Sat, 11/13/2021 - 11:07

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

United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7600 today announced that the union reached a tentative national and local agreement with Kaiser Permanente alongside the other 20 locals who together make up the Alliance of Health Care Unions.

“The past 20 months of the pandemic have been tough, and we made deep, personal sacrifices so we could keep helping our patients and our communities,” said USW Local 7600 President Micheal Barnett. “We’ve more than earned a fair contract that reflects our contributions to Kaiser Permanente’s continuing success.”

Barnett said that the proposed contract represents important progress in narrowing the wage gap between Kaiser’s Inland Empire workforce and other area workers doing the same jobs, as well as beating back a proposed two-tier wage scale and making significant gains on staffing, racial justice, and more.

The Alliance Common Issues Committee (CIC) met today to approve the agreement. The next step is for the Delegates Conference to review and approve the agreement. Local leadership will then conduct membership information meetings and arrange ratification votes.

USW Local 7600 represents workers at 72 Kaiser Permanente locations in Southern California in a wide range of job classes, from respiratory care practitioners to surgical technicians, engineers, pharmacy technicians and assistants, licensed vocational nurses, dietary aides, environmental service workers, medical assistants, appointment clerks, phlebotomists, and more.

They are among the more than 50,000 members of the Alliance of Health Care Unions, who work in nearly every geographic area where Kaiser Permanente has a presence. 

“We began bargaining in April ready to negotiate in good faith for a fair contract, but management forced us to fight for it at every turn,” said USW Staff Representative Rosie Gonzalez. “I’m proud of our members’ unwavering strength and solidarity as we faced these challenges together and finally reached an agreement.”

USW Local 7600 also withdrew its notice of its intent to hold an unfair labor practice strike, which was set to begin Monday, Nov. 15.

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 House Passage of Infrastructure Bill

Sat, 11/06/2021 - 09:25

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

(Pittsburgh) – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which would provide roughly $1 trillion for upgrading the nation’s critical infrastructure:    “The USW applauds the U.S. House for passing this monumental bill, paving the way for a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.   “Robust investment, coupled with strong domestic procurement provisions, will help American workers, including hundreds of thousands of USW members, not only by making their communities safer but by promoting widespread job growth and economic opportunity.   “Our members stand ready to produce the essential building blocks of a modern infrastructure, as we begin making long-overdue upgrades to the nation’s roads, bridges, broadband, public transit, ports, power grids, and more.    “Our elected leaders have long promised this kind of transformational infrastructure investment but ultimately failed to deliver. Now, thanks to President Biden’s vision and leadership, Congress has finally come together and passed bipartisan legislation that will directly benefit American workers and ensure a brighter future for generations to come.    “We now look forward to working with the administration and our congressional leaders as they address needed investments in our nation’s social infrastructure, making the rest of the president’s Build Back Better agenda a reality.”    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 Intends to Strike Kaiser Over Unfair Labor Practices

Thu, 11/04/2021 - 17:18

Contact: Chelsey Engel, cengel@usw.org, (412) 212-8173

The United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7600 today said that the union has given Kaiser Permanente management a 10-day notice of its intent to strike over unfair labor practices beginning on Mon., Nov. 15, 2021.

The USW and Kaiser management, along with 20 other local unions who belong to the Alliance of Health Care Unions (AHCU), have been negotiating since this past spring over a labor agreement that will cover roughly 50,000 health care workers in nearly every geographic area where Kaiser Permanente has a presence.

“We are prepared to meet with management all day, every day if that’s what it will take to reach a fair agreement for these essential workers,” said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer and USW Vice President of Human Affairs Fred Redmond, who leads the union’s health care sector bargaining. “Our union will continue to bargain in good faith, and we strongly urge Kaiser to begin doing the same.” 

The multi-billion-dollar health care giant has persistently tried to force workers to accept provisions like a two-tier wage scale that will make it harder to recruit and retain qualified staff. It also refuses to address the vast wage disparities between its Inland Empire workforce and other area workers doing the same jobs.

At the same time, Kaiser Permanente management has engaged in serious unfair labor practices and violations of workers’ rights in an effort to undermine support for the union.

“Workers already gave so much of themselves, even prior to the pandemic, and Kaiser has yet to offer a proposal that reflects their hard work and sacrifice,” said Local 7600 President Michael Barnett. “We plan to stand in solidarity as a union until we make that happen.”

USW Local 7600 represents 7,400 workers across 72 Kaiser Permanente locations in Southern California. They work in a wide range of job classes, from respiratory care practitioners to surgical technicians, engineers to pharmacy technicians and assistants, licensed vocational nurses, dietary aides, environmental service workers, medical assistants, appointment clerks, phlebotomists, and more.

The United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) and the Oregon Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals joined the USW in filing their 10-day notices today, bringing the number of Kaiser Permanente workers signaling their intent to strike to more than 30,000.

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 Roxanne Brown to Serve on AFL-CIO Executive Council

Thu, 11/04/2021 - 08:34

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

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement today congratulating USW International Vice President Roxanne Brown on her election to the AFL-CIO Executive Council:

“We are proud to announce that USW International Vice President Roxanne Brown will be joining the AFL-CIO Executive Council. Roxanne has a wealth of experience, and we welcome her passion and dedication to ensuring all workers have a seat at the table. 

“Roxanne has spent more than two decades in our Washington, D.C., legislative office, spearheading work on procurement, energy and environmental regulation. This includes heading our union’s atomic sector and participating in our upcoming oil bargaining.

“As we look to the future, Roxanne and her work will be a vital part of ensuring that our nation’s elected leaders, policies and regulatory agencies all serve workers’ best interests.

“On behalf of the entire USW, I want to congratulate Roxanne as she takes on this new role. Our movement needs leaders like her, and we know that she will continue to fight tirelessly on behalf of all working families.”

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 Supports Interim Arrangement with EU on Section 232

Sat, 10/30/2021 - 13:07

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 announcement that the United States and European Union had reached an interim arrangement on Section 232 steel and aluminum relief measures:

“Steel and aluminum are the backbone of our nation’s defense and critical infrastructure, but for too long, global overcapacity and targeted predatory practices have undermined domestic production and employment.

“That’s why the USW backed the Section 232 relief measures the Department of Commerce initiated years ago and why our union now supports the interim arrangement between the United States and the European Union.

“This new arrangement, which will maintain but modify Section 232 measures on steel and aluminum from the EU, will create a framework that will ensure U.S. domestic industries remain competitive and able to meet our security and infrastructure needs.

“It will also provide a much-needed opportunity to address the non-market predatory practices of China and other countries thathave distorted global markets, while also spurring a dialogueover climate concerns stemming from countries whose industries are far more carbon intensive than those in the United States and the EU.

“Under this arrangement, the United States will allow a basic overall level of steel imports, which will measure less than those that came from the EU in 2017 and 2018. Above this level, imports will be subject to a 25 percent tariff. The deal creates certainty both for domestic producers of steel and users who are unable to find domestic supplies.

“Through this arrangement, the Biden administration also closed a gaping loophole through which steel imports that are often carbon intensive and from countries still subject to the original 232 measures reach the United States. 

“Right now, semi-finished steel items like slabs and other products from China, Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere are shipped into the EU, subjected to limited transformation and then qualified as being of EU origin.  

“Under the interim arrangement, steel imports from the EU must entirely be produced in the European Union, commonly known as ‘melted-and-poured.’ This will help ensure European and U.S. steelworkers are not losing jobs to countries outside this agreement. 

“In aluminum, the Biden administration reached a parallel arrangement with the EU that ensures the U.S. has the capacity to meet its critical needs and allows for limited amounts of downstream products. 

“As we look to the future of our industries and jobs, it will be vital to rein in global overcapacity, stemming largely from Chinese Communist Party’s state-led trade practices. Engagingwith our allies is a necessary step in this process, and this arrangement offers a path forward toward working together to address this larger concern. 

“Combatting climate change will also require coordinating with our partners. Both the U.S. and European industries have demonstrated a commitment to reducing the carbon intensity of their products, and working together will ultimately provide results for workers and our environment.

“We appreciate Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and their respective staffs’ active consultation with the USW and domestic industry during the negotiating process. 

“Any trade agreement requires constant attention to implementation, monitoring and enforcement, and we applaud the administration’s efforts to actively work toward a long-term solution. We know that they will continue to be real partners in ensuring that this arrangement and all our trade agreements prioritize our nation’s safety and our members’ jobs.

“This arrangement shows President Biden’s strong commitment to the Steelworkers and American workers.”

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

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

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