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USW Stands in Solidarity with Striking Auto Workers

Mon, 09/16/2019 - 11:45

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

(Pittsburgh) –United Steelworkers union (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement in support of United Automobile Workers (UAW) members who are on strike with General Motors: 

“The USW stands in total solidarity with striking UAW members, as they undertake this fight with GM. It inevitably falls to workers themselves to protect and advance their interests from runaway corporate greed and the continued abandonment of working-class communities. 

“When it comes to corporate self-interest, management at General Motors has displayed the worst possible behavior, including plant closings and a complete failure to share the rewards UAW members made possible. 

“UAW members had no choice but to stand up for themselves and their families. The USW, at every level of our organization, is prepared to offer assistance and support as they begin this struggle. They have our complete backing and commitment.”

To see Conway’s letter of support to the UAW, click here

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

USW Condemns HCL Technologies for Anti-Union Tactics as NLRB Election Nears

Mon, 09/16/2019 - 11:25

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

PITTSBURGH–The United Steelworkers (USW) today condemned HCL Technologies, Ltd., for coercing employees into mandatory meetings aimed at defeating the workers’ campaign to organize a union and bargain collectively for better, more secure jobs at Google’s Bakery Square offices.

Last month, more than 66 percent of roughly 80 eligible HCL employeessigned cards indicating their desire to be represented by a union, and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) scheduled a representation electionfor Sept. 24, 2019.

Since then, HCL has enlisted Eric Vanetti of “Vantage Point Alliance,” a controversial management consultant who gained notoriety in March 2018 for playing a role when Fuyao Glass defeated a union organizing campaign at its facility in Moraine, Ohio, as documented in the filmAmerican Factory.

“We have vast experience after decades of negotiating fair contracts for many thousands of members who work for multinational corporations,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway, “but in its drive to avoid bargaining in good faith with its employees in America, HCL, like Fuyao, is resorting to the same tactics employers have used for 100 years.”

Conway said “captive audience” meetings like those HCL coerced employees into attending typically begin with managers talking about how they prefer resolving conflicts “within the family” and without a union to advocate on the workers’ behalf. Generally, the company’s behavior evolves into bullying individuals or groups of workers if support for the union persists.

“We are a modern, international union with strategic partnerships around the world and members in every sector of the economy, including a variety of professional workers, from pharmacy technicians to university professors,” he said. “We are proud of the respectful and productive relationships the USW has established with employers and various industry groups through almost 80 years.”

HCL employees will cast secret ballots at the East Liberty branch of the Carnegie Library between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sept. 24, 2019. The votes will be counted and results available immediately, but the NLRB has its own process for certifying the election.

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, health care, academic, tech and service occupations.

USW: Dem Debate Should Offer Meaningful Discussion of Trade

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 13:38

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

(Pittsburgh) –United Steelworkers (USW) International President Thomas M. Conway issued the following statement in advance of the Democratic debate, calling on the 2020 presidential candidates to discuss the details of their proposed trade policies. 

“Each of the Democratic presidential candidates who will debate tonight offers a vision dramatically different from the current president who has only made America less secure and more divided and has left U.S. workers and communities less safe due to deregulation. On so many issues, the president is taking America in the wrong direction.

“On the issue of trade policy, the candidates tonight must provide more specific answers and identify a clear path forward for America’s manufacturing workers.

“American workers and their employers have faced barriers and predatory practices from bad actors across the globe. More than 3.4 million U.S. workers have lost their jobs as a result of China’s illegal trade. Democratic candidates must offer a realistic plan for containing the Chinese dumping and overcapacity that have devastated so many American industries as well as for ending theft of intellectual property.

“Democratic presidential hopefuls must also detail their plans for reforming NAFTA and fashioning any future trade agreements to include better affordable medicine provisions, while incorporating enforceable labor and environmental standards.

“The candidates owe it to all American workers to identify what they will do to ensure that those who work hard and play by the rules have a chance to succeed in the global economy.”

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

 

 

 

 

 

Georgia Kumho Tire Workers Vote for USW Representation

Sat, 09/07/2019 - 11:48

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

MACON, Ga. (Sept. 7) – Workers at the Kumho Tire factory in Macon, Ga., voted this week to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union nearly two years after the initial vote was marred by the company’s numerous violations of workers’ rights.

While some legal challenges remain before the election results are official, the initial vote count showed 141 votes for the union and 137 against, with 13 challenged ballots still to be resolved at an upcoming hearing.

About 325 workers would be in the USW bargaining unit at Kumho.

 “Kumho spent thousands upon thousands of dollars and used every trick in the book to fight its own workers, including suspending a union activist who was eight months pregnant. Still, solidarity prevailed,” said USW District 9 Director Daniel Flippo. “We look forward to resolving these challenges as quickly as possible so that these workers can finally have the chance to sit down with the company and bargaining a fair contract.”

An administrative law judge issued an order in May for a new vote at the Kumho factory after finding that company officials violated workers’ rights during the first election in October 2017.

Following that initial vote, which resulted in a narrow defeat for the union, the USW filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) accusing the company of illegal conduct in its effort to suppress the union.

In his ruling, Administrative Law Judge Arthur J. Amchan wrote that the company’s illegal conduct was “pervasive” and that it warranted not only a new election, but the “extraordinary” remedy of requiring company officials to read a notice to employees outlining all of the violations.

Kumho’s violations, Amchan said, included illegally interrogating employees, threatening to fire union supporters, threatening plant closure, and creating an impression of surveillance, among other threats to workers.

“Too often companies try to bully and intimidate workers who simply want to exercise their right to bargain collectively,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway. “That is simply a losing strategy. Rather than fighting their own workers, employers should work with them to build a better future for everyone.”

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

USW Announces Tentative Agreement with Alcoa

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 12:57

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

The United Steelworkers (USW) today announced that the union has reached a tentative agreement with Alcoa on a master contract and said that negotiating committee delegates will now return to their local unions to conduct membership information meetings and arrange ratification votes.

“We came to the table months ago prepared to negotiate in good faith for a fair contract, but management made us fight for it every step of the way,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “We are proud of what we have accomplished due to the unity, strength and solidarity of local union leaders, members and Contract Action Teams.”

USW District 7 Director Michael Millsap, who chaired negotiations with Alcoa for the union, said that the committee will be recommending the proposed agreement to the membership for ratification.

“The proposed contract builds on decades of collective bargaining progress with hard-fought economic and non-economic improvements,” Millsap said. “Our members have earned and deserve fair wages, benefits and working conditions.”

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

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

Pittsburgh Association of Technical Professionals Files for NLRB Representation Election

Thu, 08/29/2019 - 08:41

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

The Pittsburgh Association of Technical Professionals (PATP) have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board for a union representation election with HCL, a tech contractor at Google’s Bakery Square offices. HCL’s 90 employees work side-by-side with those of the giant corporation for far less compensation and few, if any, of the perks.

The PATP is a project sponsored by United Steelworkers (USW) union to help Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania workers in high-tech fields organize and bargain collectively with their employers for improved working conditions and standards of living.

With more than 66 percent of eligible employees signing cards seeking union representation, PATP members decided to file for the election today so that they can begin the process of bargaining for fair wages and benefits as quickly as possible.

“HCL, its managers and we employees stand only to gain by seeking an expedient and fair NLRB-supervised election,” said HCL employee Joshua Borden.

“Workers at HCL deserve far more than they have received in terms of compensation, transparency and consideration, and it has gone on like this for much too long,” said HCL employee Renata Nelson. “While on-site management tries to do what they can, where they can, their hands are often tied by arbitrary corporate policy.”

The NLRB now must determine if the cards and signatures collected satisfy its criteria and schedule a representation election, when individual workers will cast ballots for or against organizing a new unit within the PATP and USW.

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, health care, academic, technical and service occupations.

USW Members Ratify Contract with BF Goodrich

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 08:43

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

PITTSBURGH (Aug. 17) – Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union voted to ratify a new three-year contract with BF Goodrich covering about 2,500 workers at facilities in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Fort Wayne, Ind. 

The agreement, which passed by about a 2-to-1 margin, includes annual wage increases and bonuses, maintains quality, affordable health care coverage, and strengthens retirement benefits.

“These hard-working union members, along with tire workers across the industry, are facing a number of challenges, first and foremost the threats of foreign competition and unfair trade,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway. “They should be proud that they were able to reach an agreement that maintains family-supporting jobs while ensuring the long-term competitiveness of their facilities.”

The USW’s previous three-year agreement with BF Goodrich expired on July 27. The two sides began talks for a new contract this spring. The new agreement runs through July 30, 2022.

Kevin Johnsen, chair of the USW’s Rubber/Plastic Industry Council, said the agreement was a testament to the strength and solidarity of the union’s membership.

“It was only by standing up with one voice and confronting these challenges together that we could reach a fair and equitable agreement,” Johnsen said.

Overall, the USW represents more than 18,000 workers in the tire industry at companies including BF Goodrich, Goodyear, Bridgestone-Firestone, Titan, Cooper, Sumitomo and Uniroyal.

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

Carnegie Library Workers Vote to Join United Steelworkers

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 18:31

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

(Pittsburgh) – Workers at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh voted overwhelmingly to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union today after launching their organizing campaign in June. They are seeking a collective bargaining agreement that would cover employees across 19 branches and the library support center. 

“We are honored to welcome these vital community builders into our growing union,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway. “This is a big step toward making the library more fair and equitable for the workers that keep it thriving.”

The United Library Workers began discussing unionization last summer in hopes of gaining a voice when it comes to making decisions that affect the library, the people they serve, and their own working environment.

“I am so excited for us to start this next chapter and look forward to working toward a contract that we deserve,” said Isabelle Toomey, a children’s librarian at the Downtown and Business branch. “And I am proud of my fellow co-workers for coming together and utilizing our right to organize.”

The Teamsters and SEIU currently represent the Carnegie Library’s drivers and environmental service workers. This new effort includes all 321 remaining eligible staff who will join a growing number of white-collar Steelworkers in Allegheny County.

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

USW Announces New Leadership for its Legislative, Policy and Rapid Response Programs

Tue, 08/13/2019 - 11:18

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

The United Steelworkers (USW) union today announced a series of promotions impacting its legislative and policy work in Washington, D.C., and statehouses across the country.

“Our union’s legislative arm gives workers a much needed voice. Whether it’s about reforming our nation’s broken trade system or keeping workers safe on the job, ordinary people deserve to have their elected officials listen to their priorities,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway.

“Each of our new leaders is highly qualified and committed to making sure the laws and policies that are enacted at all levels of government benefit working people.”

Roy Houseman will serve as USW legislative director, overseeing the union’s national agenda, while Anna Fendley is assuming the newly created position of director of regulatory and state policy.

Houseman has been a part of the union’s legislative and policy department since 2011, previously serving as associate legislative director and working on a broad array of issues including trade and pensions. Before coming to Washington, D.C., Houseman worked at the former Smurfit-Stone paper mill in Missoula, Mont., serving as president of USW Local 885. As legislative director, Roy will oversee Congressional affairs for the union, working to improve wages, hours and conditions for USW members and their families.

Fendley has worked in various positions at the USW for a decade, most recently as associate legislative director in the union’s Washington, D.C., office. In her new role, she will further the union’s goal to proactively influence state-level policies to keep USW members working and to create high-quality jobs in their communities. She will also continue her work on federal policy impacting safety and health, as well as building and maintaining coalitions with other policy-oriented organizations such as the BlueGreen Alliance.

There is also new leadership of USW Rapid Response program, the union’s nonpartisan, grassroots effort that empowers USW members to participate in the legislative process.

Kim Miller, who was appointed director of Rapid Response in 2010, has been promoted to Assistant to the USW President. For more than two decades, Miller has fought to advance workers’ rights, first as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill and later for the USW.  Now, she will advise USW leaders on political, legislative and policy issues, working with the USW’s Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. offices.

Amber Miller is the new USW Rapid Response director. Miller began her career at Chase Brass and Copper Co. in Montpelier, Ohio, where she served in a variety of leadership roles, including local union president. When she came to Pittsburgh in 2012, Miller joined the Rapid Response staff. As director, she will help USW members to use their collective voice to engage with legislative issues that impact their workplaces and labor contracts.

“The laws and policies enacted at both the national and state level have a huge impact on nearly all of the diverse sectors where our members work,” said USW International Vice President Roxanne Brown, who oversees the union’s public policy, legislative and political agendas. “Our union is lucky to have this new team leading these fights.”

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

USW Mourns Loss of Life in Dayton and El Paso, Calls for Unity, Action

Wed, 08/07/2019 - 15:00

CONTACT: Fred Redmond, fredmond@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Thomas M. Conway released the following statement regarding the mass shootings that took place this past weekend:

“We are all brokenhearted at the acts of senseless violence that have taken the lives of at least 31 people in Dayton and El Paso. This includes a daughter and a niece of two separate USW members in Ohio. We send our condolences to all the loved ones left mourning, and we grieve with them.

“Unions and moral people everywhere must work to combat the surge of hate and divisiveness plaguing our nation. Politicians and public figures must also better acknowledge that their words have power and that we can only heal when we come together to stand as one.

“Beyond that work, though, America needs to come to terms with the destructive killing power and nature of the weapons available to nearly anyone with the resources to purchase them. These weapons are turned against both law enforcement and innocent civilians far too often, and that should be intolerable to us as citizens.  

“The Trump administration has the means to make real change by implementing stronger, common-sense regulations, which the vast majority of Americans support. It also has a duty to denounce hatred and bigotry instead of giving them a platform.

“Americans are calling on their elected leaders to finally stand up and do something. They need to listen.”

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

USW Joins Filing Seeking Anti-Circumvention Inquiry in Uncoated Paper Orders on Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia and Portugal

Fri, 08/02/2019 - 14:18

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

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers (USW) union today joined with several domestic paper producers in filing a request with the U.S. Department of Commerce to address the circumvention of existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on uncoated paper imports.

The original case covered uncoated paper in sheets, largely copy paper.  Foreign producers have shifted to flooding the United States with essentially the same product but doing so in rolls which are then converted into sheets. This is now having the same devastating impact on domestic producers and workers.   

“The domestic paper sector has been under attack for more than twenty years as foreign producers seek to take advantage of our market, putting our members’ jobs in jeopardy.  Thousands have been lost to foreign unfair trade practices,” said USW International Vice President Leeann Foster, who oversees bargaining in the union’s paper sector. “Our trade laws are supposed to defend American workers and industries by addressing foreign unfair and predatory trade practices. We need our government to stand up for domestic jobs and stop the assaults on our workers.”

The domestic producers joining today’s effort are Domtar Corporation, Packaging Corporation of America, North Pacific Paper Company and Finch Paper. The products undermining U.S. producers and workers come from Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia and Portugal. 

“We were forced to fight to get trade relief against dumping and subsidies of uncoated paper in sheet form only to now see our competitors circumventing the law by sending it into our market in rolls, then having it cut here,” said Foster. “The USW will continue that fight against unfair trade until every last domestic job is safe.”

“Too many foreign companies and governments seek to avoid playing by the rules and will do whatever they can to undermine our producers and steal our jobs,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway. “The USW has fought for decades to see that our laws provide a level playing field for our members, but despite promises of a new approach to trade, workers continue to have to fight for their own jobs and for the enforcement of our trade laws.  

“Handling circumvention promptly is an important part of effective enforcement. Hopefully, the Administration will act quickly.” 

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 1 Director Names New Assistant

Fri, 07/26/2019 - 14:46

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

United Steelworkers (USW) District 1 Director Donnie Blatt, who took office on July 15, this week named staff representative Teresa Hartley as the new assistant to the district director.

Before becoming director on July 15, Blatt served as the assistant to his predecessor, David McCall, who last week left that post to become the USW’s International Vice President (Administration).

Hartley began her USW career in 1995 when she went to work for InterMetro Industries in Fostoria, Ohio. There, she became a member of USW Local 1915 and attended her first USW Women of Steel (WOS) conference, which gave Hartley her first exposure to the union’s culture of activism.

In 2000, Hartley began working at the Cooper Tire factory in Findlay, Ohio, where she became a member of USW Local 207L. She quickly became active in the local, serving as the chair of the local union’s Women of Steel Committee. 

Hartley attended five years of WOS leadership courses, learning about all aspects of the union and how to advocate on behalf of all workers. Hartley went on to serve as the district’s civil rights coordinator and Women of Steel coordinator.

“This union gave me a voice. I have been afforded the opportunity to work closely with the sisters, brothers and siblings in our district and to provide the same opportunities and education to them that I have had for myself,” Hartley said. “As times have changed, so has the union, and I feel we have made great progress in District 1 the last several years under the leadership of then-Director McCall and Assistant to the Director Blatt. I look forward to working with Director Blatt and continuing to move our district forward.”

District 1 represents about 60,000 USW members at workplaces across the state of Ohio.

“Through the years, I have watched Teresa grow into her current leadership role in the district,” Blatt said of Hartley. “As Women of Steel coordinator, civil rights coordinator and a Building Power trainer, Teresa has earned the respect of our members in District 1. She will fill a great leadership role in the district, and I look forward to working with her as my assistant.”

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

Pitt Faculty Organizers Decry Chancellor’s Refusal to Comply with Labor Board Subpoena

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 07:32

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

Faculty union organizers at the University of Pittsburgh today condemned Chancellor Patrick Gallagher’s refusal to fully comply with a subpoena from the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB). 

The subpoena requested information regarding the list of faculty eligible to be in a potential bargaining unit that the Pitt administration provided to the PLRB earlier this year. The administration this week directed its lawyers to defy the request, filing a motion to quash with the board. If successful, the administration would be able to avoid providing nearly all of the requested information.

The USW sought the information in preparation for a PLRB hearing scheduled to begin July 24 to examine the accuracy of the list. Organizers believe the refusal stems from a desire to conceal that the Pitt administration deliberately inflated the number of faculty in order to avoid a union election.

“Given the depths to which Chancellor Gallagher has already sunk in order to thwart our efforts to form a union on campus, it’s unsurprising that the administration is pursuing this course of action,” said William Scott, an associate professor in the English department. “It’s clear that he knows a majority of faculty want a union and is willing to do anything to keep us from voting.”

On June 18, the PLRB ruled that the union’s objections to the list warranted consideration and ordered the Pitt administration to provide it to the organizing committee. Faculty organizers found that the list appears to include several hundred individuals who do not belong, including deans and other administrators, graduate student employees, undergraduate students, faculty who haven’t taught at Pitt in years, faculty who are retired, and even a few faculty who are deceased.

The evidence organizers requested would confirm these findings.

“One of the primary reasons Pitt faculty want a union is because we need more transparency on campus,” said Melinda Ciccocioppo, a lecturer in the department of psychology. “This latest in a string of attacks on our right to vote further illustrates this problem.” 

Pitt faculty filed for a union election in January, citing the erosion of shared governance and the administration’s failure to focus the university’s resources on the core mission of teaching and research.

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.

Carnegie Library Workers File for Union Election

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 14:36

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

Workers at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh today filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). They are seeking a collective bargaining agreement that would cover employees across 19 public branches and the library support center.

“Filing authorization cards is an exciting milestone for all of us,” said Rachel Masilamani, a part-time librarian at the Downtown and Business location. “It’s no surprise to me that we’re filing today with so many of us committing our support to this democratic process. We all love the library, and are ready to work together to make it even better.”

The United Library Workers began discussing unionization late last summer. They launched their official campaign with the United Steelworkers last month in hopes of gaining a voice when it comes to making decisions that affect the library, the people they serve, and their own working conditions.

“Respectful discussion, protecting one another’s privacy, working towards the greater good, and making well-informed decisions are our core values,” said Masilamani. “This is a big step towards making the library a more fair and equitable place, and I am proud to stand with my coworkers today.”

The committee also called on the library administration to respect workers’ right to organize, remain neutral, and refrain from spending public resources on anti-union activity.

The Teamsters and SEIU currently represent the Carnegie Library’s drivers and environmental service workers. This new organizing effort includes all 350 remaining eligible unrepresented staff who would join a growing number of white-collar Steelworkers in Allegheny County, from public defenders to professors.

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

District 4 Director Names New Assistant

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 12:53

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 14:45

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

USW Installs Thomas M. Conway as International President

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 13:19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To see the full installation ceremony, click here

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

USW Membership Ratifies Three-year Arconic Master Agreement

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 18:41

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 11:27

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 09:15

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


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

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

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

Attention Assignment/Editors: Speakers, Interviews & Photo Opportunities

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

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

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

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

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