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USW: USFL Players Choose Union Representation

Tue, 06/07/2022 - 06:07
Contact: Tony Montana – (412) 562-2592 or tmontana@usw.org   PITTSBURGH — The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that players in the United States Football League (USFL) voted in favor of union representation in an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. The USW, in coordination with the United Football Players Association (UFPA), filed a petition for a representation election on behalf of about 360 USFL players after a majority of them signed cards in early May.   USW International President Thomas M. Conway said that the union is proud to stand with players to ensure they are treated fairly by the league.   “Pay, hours and working conditions are areas where a union can make a difference,” Conway said. “Giving players a strong collective voice will ensure more security for individuals, their earnings and their jobs.”   UFPA President Kenneth Farrow, who played six seasons of professional football, said that the power of a union will make a huge impact for players who often face uncertainty due to injuries, poor facilities and bankrupt employers.   “Every worker deserves the opportunity to bargain for better pay, benefits and working conditions as part of a union,” Farrow said. “Players can guarantee a stronger voice in determining their own futures by bargaining as part of a collective.”   UFPA Vice-President Nick Temple, who played seven seasons in multiple football leagues, said that players are standing together and forming a union to address and improve working conditions.   “Like all workers, professional athletes deserve to be treated with dignity and respect on the job by their employers,” Temple said. “The USW has empowered generations of workers to fight for fairness, so we are prepared to bring the top concerns of the players to the table.”   Founded in 2020, the UFPA is composed of football players with experience in the National Football League, Arena League of American Football, XFL, Canadian Football League and others.   Formally affiliated earlier this year, the USW and UFPA are fighting together for better treatment for professional athletes in the USFL, as well as the XFL and other potential leagues who are not covered by contracts like those in the NFL Players’ Association.   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 Disappointed in EPA Biofuel Blending Requirements

Fri, 06/03/2022 - 14:15

 Quotas Will Pressure Small Refineries, Threaten Oil Supply, Jobs 

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

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers union (USW) today expressed its disappointment in the Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule setting biofuel blending percentages, after the agency increased requirements for 2021 and set quotas for 2022 at their highest level to date. 

“There are limits to how much ethanol an engine can burn, just as there is a ceiling for how much gasoline consumers can buy,” said Mike Smith, who chairs the USW’s National Oil Bargaining Program. “If we consider these constraints together, it’s clear that the biofuel thresholds are now unattainably high.” 

The union also decried the predictable impact of the final rule on a fundamental flaw in the renewable fuel program: the limited and unregulated market for renewable identification numbers (RIN).

“Our members and the industry need long-term stability,” said Smith. “Instead the rule will put increasing pressure on small, non-integrated refineries that rely on biofuel credits to meet their obligations. 

“High and fluctuating RIN prices jeopardize our members’ jobs, which is why the union submitted comments attesting to the undue burden this market puts on workers and their employers. Unfortunately, EPA failed to heed our warning.” 

Smith said that in a time of economic uncertainty that includes record high gas prices, regulators should be making it as simple as possible to refine oil domestically.

“Introducing more volatility into an already broken RIN system isn’t going to solve our nation’s energy crisis,” said Smith. “It’s only going to increase costs and jeopardize 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: Labor must protect health care for all, this Pride Month and beyond

Wed, 06/01/2022 - 07:16

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

The United Steelworkers (USW) union released the following statement in recognition of Pride Month

“Every year, the month of June is recognized across the United States, and in many places around the world, as Pride Month—a time to celebrate the gains already won by the LGBTQ+ community and to recommit to true solidarity and action towards equality for all. 

“The need for that push is pressing, as state legislatures, as well as other national institutions, launch continuous legislative attacks on the most marginalized in our society. 

“In this fight, we must recognize that health care is a human right and that no one should be denied safe, accessible, life-affirming treatment.  

“Most importantly, as we move forward with organizing the next generation of workers, we must honor our duty to bargain good contracts that solidify benefits for all members, and to prioritize health and safety in the workplace. 

“We must also speak out boldly against any acts of hate or terrorism, and we must stand up for all our union siblings, as our union, and the entire labor movement, knows that an injury to one is an injury to all.” 

Learn more about how to protect and empower LGBTQ+ workers at www.usw.org/steelpride

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.

Collins Aerospace Illegally Locks Out Union Workers

Fri, 05/27/2022 - 14:59

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

The United Steelworkers (USW) said that approximately 250 members of Local 1449 were locked out of their jobs Monday by management at Collins Aerospace after only two weeks of bargaining.

USW District 8 Director Larry Ray called on the company, a division of Raytheon Technologies, to abandon its strategy of trying to bully union workers into accepting management’s demands and instead continue negotiating in good faith to reach a fair contract.

Ray said that USW members were looking forward to returning to the bargaining table when the company locked them out. Members have repeatedly asked the company to allow them to come back to work while they continue negotiations, but the company has refused.

“Collins Aerospace must be made accountable for its decision to hold our jobs, families and community hostage over issues that should be resolved through collective bargaining,” Ray said. “Management needs to end this lockout immediately, return these workers to their jobs and resolve our differences at the table.”

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 Commits to Engaging Administration in Pursuit of Successful Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Agreement

Mon, 05/23/2022 - 06:42

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

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers union (USW) released the following statement upon the Biden administration’s announcement that it will launch negotiations on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF):

“Last year President Biden laid out his vision for an Indo-Pacific strategy to deepen U.S. engagement in the region. Since that time, the administration has consulted with the USW on the contours of the policy and the goal of ensuring that the economic components of a potential deal reflect the president’s worker-centered priorities.

“While the details for the negotiations are still in flux as the administration seeks to engage partners in the region, the USW commits to continuing its deep engagement with the administration across all issues, as well as on which countries may be suitable partners. This must be a high standards agreement with partners that have the capacity and intent to meet its terms.

“Our goal will always be reaching an agreement that advances the interests of U.S. workers, strengthens our economy and adheres to our values and ideals. There is a long road ahead, and we are willing partners.

“The U.S. already is engaged in the Indo-Pacific through more than $1 trillion in investments, substantial trade flows and strategic partners. Workers don’t question this: They understand that America is stronger when we work with friends and allies.

“At the same time, workers will not hesitate to oppose bad trade and economic initiatives.

“Engagement on the IPEF to date has identified key issues that must be addressed. Organized labor has and will continue to provide input and work with the administration to try and reach a successful IPEF. At the end of the day, our support will depend on the substance of any agreement and the results it provides to our 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.

 

USW member joins Sen. Baldwin for introduction of the Workplace Violence Act

Mon, 05/16/2022 - 09:43

Valencia Davis has worked in health care for 38 years, servicing the most vulnerable people in her community. Sometimes this has included working with patients on a psychiatric hold for their own protection, and like many health care workers, Davis has experienced workplace violence more than once.

This is why she and other USW activists are fighting for the passage of H.R. 1195, also known as the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act. Originally passed with bipartisan support by the U.S. House in spring 2021 thanks to Rep. Joe Courtney, the bill was introduced to the Senate last Wednesday, May 11, by Sen. Tammy Baldwin. 

Davis, who is a member of Local 7600, participated in the virtual press conference announcing the introduction of the bill, which has 26 co-sponsors in the Senate. She highlighted several violent incidents when she was put in harm’s way on the job.

“One time I was watching a patient on a psychiatric hold and out of nowhere he jumped up and attempted to lock me in his private room,” she said. “When I tried to open the door, he grabbed me, and I started to scream for help.”

In an April survey of 2,500 nurses from National Nurses United, 48 percent of nurses working in hospitals reported an increase in workplace violence, up from 31 percent in September 2021. Some states have enacted legislation on their own to address this growing crisis, including Davis’ home state of California, which, in 2019, passed a workplace violence standard.

“Now employers are required to make a plan that includes frontline caregivers’ input – and every health care worker in America deserves the same opportunity,” Davis said. “We deserve a safe workplace so we can provide the best care.”

Former USW Vice President of Human Affairs and current AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond also spoke at the press conference and demanded the government step in as workers’ lives are on the line.

“Workplace violence is not just part of the job,” said Redmond, who used to oversee the USW Health Care Workers Council. “It has been a worsening problem for more than a decade, and it is preventable. It is time for our Congress to act.”

USW members have been pushing for the Workplace Violence Act for years, and have even marched and lobbied in Washington to have their voices heard.

Click here to learn more about the bill!

USW Announces Tentative Agreement with Arconic on Four-Year Contract

Sun, 05/15/2022 - 10:00

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

PITTSBURGH – The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the union has reached a tentative agreement on a new, four-year master contract with Arconic (NYSE: ARNC) covering roughly 3,400 workers in Davenport, Iowa; Alcoa, Tenn.; Lafayette, Ind.; and Massena, N.Y.

USW District 11 Director Emil Ramirez, who chaired the negotiations, said the tentative agreement features substantial wage and benefit improvements for all Arconic employees.

“For their outstanding work throughout the pandemic and beyond, USW members have earned and deserve a fair agreement,” Ramirez said. “The unity and solidarity of our membership across all of the Arconic locations enabled us to negotiate improved security for our earnings, benefits and jobs in this contract.”

The USW said that the proposed new contract increases wages by 20 percent over its term, maintains the current health care coverage with no premium increases, improves pensions and includes the addition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday.

Members of the USW committee will now return to their locals to discuss the terms of the proposed agreement with workers with the unanimous recommendation that it be ratified.

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 tech, higher education, public sector and service occupations.

USW Leader Seeks Trade Relief on Chinese Rail Component Imports

Thu, 05/12/2022 - 14:46

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

A United Steelworkers (USW) union leader from Granite City, Ill., testified today before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), urging the panel to impose duties that would provide U.S. manufacturers with relief from unfairly traded Chinese imports of freight rail coupler systems and components, a practice that threatens good jobs at his factory.

“In a couple of years we went from almost a thousand members to barely 300,” USW Local 1063 President Antonio Wellmaker told the commissioners. “Unfair competition from Chinese imports have meant that we lost 725 jobs and for those of us that have held on, we do so making less money.”

Thursday’s hearing was part of the final phase of an ITC investigation launched last fall following a petition filed by the Coalition of Freight Coupler Producers. The petition alleges that Chinese-subsidized manufacturers are importing freight rail coupler systems and components and dumping them, or selling them in the United States at less than fair value.

Wellmaker, who works for Amsted Rail in Granite City, said that antidumping and countervailing duties would help to stem the tide of illegal imports and give him and his co-workers at Amsted a more level playing field on which to compete.

“Because our compensation is tied to production quantities, we’re making less money,” Wellmaker testified. “We did not see significant job loss at the plant facility until around three years ago when I understood that Chinese imports started flooding into the United States.”

Wellmaker said the possibility of duties on imports as a result of the trade case has led Amsted to hire new workers in anticipation of an increase in business.

“We support this investigation because we know what trade relief for our hard-working members and their families could mean,” he said. “I am confident that we will be able to continue adding workers, increase production and add shifts and workdays if dumped and subsidized freight rail imports are dealt with.”

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 Condemns Arrest of Korean Labor Leader

Wed, 05/11/2022 - 10:00

Contact: Ben Davis, 412-562-2501, bdavis@usw.org

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers union (USW) today strongly condemned the May 4 arrest of Youn Taeg-gun, first vice president of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), who was detained for his leading role in organizing a general strike on October 20, 2021.

Youn’s arrest is particularly outrageous given that International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions 87, protecting freedom of association and the right to organize, and 98, protecting the right to organize and collective bargaining, entered into force in the Republic of Korea on April 20.

Youn led the strike in part because at the time, KCTU president Yang Kyeung-soo was in detention on similar spurious charges. Like President Yang before him, Youn has been charged with violation of the Infectious Disease Control Act on Demonstration and Assembly, despite the KCTU’s proper observance of COVID-19 protocols.

The strike took place shortly after representatives of the USW, UAW and AFL-CIO visited the Korean embassy in Washington D.C., to demand Yang’s freedom. The USW also raised the arrest of President Yang and the interrogation of Vice President Youn during the meeting of the U.S.- Korea Free Trade Agreement Labor Council on April 26.

Vice President Youn’s arrest, in the context of current discussions on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, this week’s ASEAN-US Special Summit and President Biden’s upcoming visit to South Korea, can only be seen as an expression of the Korean government’s intention to disregard fundamental labor rights and international conventions.

The USW calls on the Korean government to openly adhere to these ILO conventions by releasing Youn and ending police harassment of trade unionists for engaging in legitimate union activity.

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 Biden Administration’s Stakeholder Engagement on Responsible Mining

Tue, 05/10/2022 - 15:17

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

The United Steelworkers (USW) union issued the following statement today after participating in the White House’s working group to advance responsible mining: 

The USW welcomes the Biden administration’s leadership as we look to facilitate responsible mining and meet our growing need for critical minerals.

The legal framework for hardrock mining in the United States is now 150 years old. It’s essential that we streamline our permitting process to balance robust assessment of mining plans with the need to more swiftly approve projects so we can domestically mine materials in time to meet our climate, infrastructure and national security goals.

As today’s meeting demonstrated, achieving this objective will require all stakeholders working together so we can ensure workers and their communities reap the full benefits of these investments. 

USW members across North America already engage in responsible mining and welcome the opportunity to continue providing our nation with the raw materials it will need 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.

USW Marks AAPI Heritage Month, Calls for Global Solidarity, Respect for Workers’ Fundamental Rights

Mon, 05/02/2022 - 13:34

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

The United Steelworkers (USW) released the following statement in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month:

The USW proudly celebrates the many contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islander workers throughout our nation’s history and stands in global solidarity with workers in Asia and across the world.

As we seek to make our trade system fair and balanced, we recognize that we have an obligation to protect workers’ fundamental labor rights, in North America and in all our partner nations. This includes ending forced labor, ensuring workers can form independent unions and stopping retaliation against workers speaking out against unsafe work.

“Greedy multinational corporations are perfectly happy to pit workers against each other in a race to the bottom on wages and working conditions,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “We must resist their attempts to divide us.

“Instead, we must confront racism in our workplaces and communities and redouble our efforts to eliminate race-based violence. We must also strive to ensure all workers are able to access their basic human rights so that workers the world over can collectively negotiate fair contracts that allow them to provide for their families and return from work safely.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 the Biden Administration’s Interim Build America, Buy America Guidance

Mon, 04/18/2022 - 15:30

Contact: Joe Smydo, jsmydo@usw.org, 412-562-2281

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement today in response to the Biden administration’s release of interim guidance for using American-made materials and products in projects funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA): 

“President Joe Biden’s interim Build America, Buy America guidance will ensure that publicly funded infrastructure projects help to rebuild the nation’s manufacturing base, strengthen supply chains and support good-paying jobs for U.S. workers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the feeble state of American manufacturing, while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drove home once again the danger of relying on foreign-sourced products. A reinvigorated industrial base will help to safeguard America’s economy and security.

“America’s workers stand ready not only to build new transportation systems, communicationsnetworks and other infrastructure through the IIJA, but to supply the raw materials, parts and components needed for all of those projects.

“These workers lead the world in responsible production practices, and they’ll deliver unparalleled quality, ensuring new roads, bridges and other improvements stand the test of time.

“The USW looks forward to working with President Biden and his administration to finalize the Build America, Buy America guidance and unlock the full power of the IIJA.”

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: Workers Should Celebrate Jackson’s Historic Confirmation

Thu, 04/07/2022 - 12:29

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

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers (USW) union released the following statement today from USW International President Tom Conway following the Senate’s vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.   “Today is a day for USW members and working people across the country to celebrate history, with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s bipartisan confirmation to the nation’s highest court.   “In addition to breaking new ground as the first Black woman on the court, Judge Jackson has demonstrated throughout her career that she carries a deep commitment to protecting the rights of workers, upholding our nation’s core democratic principles, and ensuring equal opportunity for all Americans.    “As we see increasing attacks on workers’ rights, voting rights and other fundamental civil rights across the United States, we now know that we have an ally in Judge Jackson who will safeguard our freedoms and uphold the sacred ideals on which our nation was founded.   “As Judge Jackson demonstrated during her Senate confirmation process, she is the right person at the right time to serve on the Supreme Court. We are confident that she will serve our nation with honor and integrity.”    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.  

Union Workers Ratify Five-Year Contract with Kennecott Utah Copper

Mon, 04/04/2022 - 06:38

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

The United Steelworkers (USW) said that workers have ratified a new, fiveyear labor agreement with Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation, covering more than 1,300 hourly workers at the Rio Tinto subsidiary’s mine in Salt Lake County.

The new contract includes gains for workers that include lump sum payments, wage increases in each year as well as other contract improvements, and it maintains and improves health and life insurance benefits.

USW District 12 Director Gaylan Prescott, who co-chaired the negotiations, said that workers stood together to demand the fair contract they have earned.

“Members of four different unions showed tremendous solidarity throughout the bargaining process,” Prescott said. “Together, we sent management the unmistakable message that union workers would settle for nothing less than the opportunity to continue improving the standard of living for ourselves and our families.”

While the USW represents about 900 of the hourly workers at Kennecott, others employees covered by the contract include members of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

Workers at Kennecott rejected a previous contract offer from the company on March 18, 2022.

Many terms of the newly ratified agreement will take effect immediately, and it is scheduled to expire on April 1, 2027.

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 Welcomes Biden’s Plan to Achieve Energy Independence

Thu, 03/31/2022 - 13:31

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 President Joe Biden’s plans to secure critical supply chains and increase domestic energy production: 

“The USW welcomes President Biden’s leadership as we look to break our dangerous dependence on nations like China and Russia for our immediate and long-term energy needs.

“Increasing domestic oil production and releasing oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserves will alleviate the pressure too many American families are feeling as greedy companies seek to profit from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the disruptions to global energy markets it caused.

“As we look to the future, we will also need to safeguard access to the resources required for other energy technologies such as large capacity batteries.

“USW members across North America are already responsibly mining many of these materials. They stand ready and willing to further to mine, produce and recycle lithium, cobalt, manganese, nickel, graphite and other critical minerals as we build out and secure our own domestic supply chains.

“President Biden’s plans to allocate more resources to these industries will allow us to both keep our communities safe now and help our nation meet its energy needs well into the future.

“We look forward to working with the Biden administration as we secure our domestic supply chains and move toward energy independence.”

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 Section 232 Deal with UK

Tue, 03/22/2022 - 15:31

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 the United Kingdom reached an arrangement on Section 232 relief measures:

“The USW supports the 232 arrangement between the United States and the United Kingdom announced today as an important step in addressing systemic problems like illegal dumping and global overcapacity that threaten the vitality and future of our steel and aluminum industries. 

“Our union backed the 232 relief measures from day one. They helped spur investment, production and job creation in the steel and aluminum sectors.

“The 232 arrangement with the United Kingdom leaves the overall structure of the 232 relief measures in place while imposing tariff rate quotas. It will allow us to work together with an important trading partner and end retaliatory tariffs, while continuing to recognize the national security importance of the steel and aluminum sectors.

“The arrangement also takes important steps to limit third parties seeking to take advantage of our markets by shipping their products through the United Kingdom with minimal transformation. This includes strict ‘melted and poured’ requirements for steel and a ‘smelted and cast’ requirement for aluminum that precludes inputs from Russia, Belarus and China from being utilized and then allowed in under the tariff rate quota.

“Just as significantly, the U.S.-U.K. arrangement will require annual audits to ensure the Chinese-owned company British Steel is not receiving preferential financing from the People’s Republic of China and will help stem the Chinese Communist Party’s attempts to use companies around the globe as its agents.

“The administration is making important progress as we work to limit unfair trade and create demand for the products our members make every day. From robust infrastructure investments to negotiating thoughtful arrangements with the EU, Japan and now the United Kingdom, President Joe Biden is helping create good jobs and foster strong domestic industries.”

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 5 Votes Down Chevron’s ‘Last, Best and Final’ Proposal, Prepares for Unfair Labor Practice Strike

Sun, 03/20/2022 - 17:32

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

Members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 5 voted down Chevron’s most recent proposal on a contract covering more than 500 workers at its Richmond, Calif., refinery.

The USW encouraged Chevron to return to the bargaining table, but it refused, forcing workers to give notice of their intent to begin an unfair labor practice strike on March 21 at 12:01 a.m.

The previous contract between Chevron and USW Local 5 expired Feb. 1, and members have since been working on a rolling 24-hour extension.

“It’s disappointing that Chevron would walk away from the table instead of bargaining in good faith with its dedicated work force,” said Mike Smith, chair of the USW’s National Oil Bargaining Program. “USW members continued to report for work throughout the pandemic so our nation could meet its energy needs. They deserve a fair contract that reflects their sacrifice.”

The USW reached a pattern agreement with the oil industry on wages and working conditions on Feb. 25, but each of the approximately 200 participating units also bargain over local issues before ratifying their individual contracts.

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 Push Pro-Worker Legislation as Beshear Names March 9 ‘Union Workers Supply Kentucky Day’

Wed, 03/09/2022 - 12:52

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

Nearly 100 members of the United Steelworkers union (USW) today met with their state legislators in Frankfort to advocate for bills that would help working families, including swift, comprehensive investments in upgrading Kentucky’s infrastructure that draw on locally made goods and services.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear also met with the group and issued a proclamation declaring the day “Union Workers Supply Kentucky Day.”

The proclamation noted Kentucky’s C-minus infrastructure grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers, as well as USW members’ capacity to produce the aluminum, asphalt, chemicals, packaging and other materials that will be needed to make the improvements.

“The Commonwealth of Kentucky is committed to robust infrastructure investment to enhance job stability, create economic growth, and improve the safety of its communities,” according to the proclamation.

Union members also pushed bills that would protect unemployment benefits, limit workplace discrimination and help ensure fair pay.

“USW members are proud to supply Kentucky,” said USW District 8 Director Larry Ray. “We will continue to push our elected leaders to prioritize workers and their families at every turn. We’re grateful to have a partner in Gov. Beshear who understands the value of union labor and look forward to working with him to make our communities safer and our jobs more secure.”

USW District 8 represents tens of thousands of workers in Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland. 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 marks International Women’s Day with call to #BreaktheBias

Tue, 03/08/2022 - 07:25

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

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway, Vice President Leeann Foster, and Vice President at Large Roxanne Brown released the following statement in honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month:

“Women have always resided at the core of the labor movement, blazing their own trails and creating their own way. In our own union, sisters continue to break barriers in their work in foundries and mills, in schools and shipyards, and across many other industries, all while caring for their families and their communities.

“Our strength as a union comes from this diversity and from our commitment to building solidarity beyond artificial boundaries. We know there is simply no room and no time in the fight for workers’ rights for bias or discrimination.

“On this International Women’s Day, and during this Women’s History Month, the USW honors the contributions of the often-forgotten activists who help form the backbone of labor. We also join our union siblings from around the world in the international campaign to fight stereotypes in our workplaces and help #BreaktheBias.

“Together we can create a world where gender inequality is history.” 

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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

USW Local 8888 Ratifies 60-Month Contract with Huntington Ingalls Industries

Tue, 03/08/2022 - 06:31

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

Members of United Steelworkers Local 8888 today decisively ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with Huntington Ingalls Industries covering nearly 10,000 shipbuilders at Newport News Shipbuilding.

The union's Tellers Committee announced the results of the mail ballot count early this morning:

  • YES -- 3,678
  • NO -- 533 

Local 8888 President Charles Spivey, a strong champion of the new contract, praised the overwhelming "Yes" vote. "Our members have spoken -- decisively. They have ratified a contract that broke new ground and enhanced gains from previous negotiations. Now it's time to move this union forward, understanding that a good contract is no better than the members who know what it says and what it means."

The new 5-year (or 60-month) contract will be effective February 7, 2022 and will expire on February 7, 2027. The agreement contains over $22,000 in new money based on a 40-hour week. It also features a first-time $2,000 Essential Pay bonus; a new Domestic Partner benefit; an additional 8 hours of annual leave, and a monthly boost to the pension payment to future retirees.

Members rejected the initial tentative agreement last November. The mail-in ballot used in the second vote more than doubled the number of members who voted in person in November. USW Chief Negotiator Fred Redmond called the mail ballot "a gamechanger." Redmond, who is also USW International Vice President for Human Affairs, said, "It engaged thousands more members and allowed their voices to be heard and their votes to be counted. This is a proud union with a new generation emerging in the shipyard. This contract gives them solid footing to flourish."

President Spivey, who has been a Steelworker for more than 40 years and survived two strikes, added, "Essential Shipbuilders are now permanently recognized in writing and we are not going back."

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

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