Steelworkers to Trump: Complete the Section 232 Investigation

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

Remember last week when the steelworkers showed up? They were all over Capitol Hill and the Commerce Department, drumming up support for the Section 232 investigation into steel imports that President Trump began in April – and has since stalled.

No, really. The administration has put this off.

“The policy decision has been made to postpone that until the tax bill,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Friday. It would appear the Trump administration is afraid that possible steel tariffs will dampen support – among Republican senators! – for comprehensive tax reform.

Well. While they drag their feet, steelworkers are being pummeled by impossibly cheap imports. What does that mean in places like Ashland, Kentucky, Granite City, Illinois, Northwest Indiana, or Lorain Ohio?

Hear them speak for themselves:

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This has reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Freight can’t wait

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

A freight train hauling lumber and nylon manufacturing chemicals derailed, caught fire and caused a 108-year-old bridge to collapse in Tempe, Ariz., this week, in the second accident on the same bridge within a month.

The bridge was damaged after the first incident, according to Union Pacific railroad that owns the rail bridge, and re-opened two days later. 

The official cause of the derailments is still under investigation, but it remains clear that the failure to modernize and maintain America’s railroad infrastructure is dangerous. 

In 2019, 499 trains that derailed were found to have defective or broken track, roadbed or structures, according to the Federal Railroad Administration’s database of safety analysis.

While railroad workers’ unions have called for increased safety improvements, rail companies have also used technology and automation as an excuse to downsize their work forces.

For example, rail companies have implemented a cost-saving measure known as Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR), which has resulted in mass layoffs and shoddy safety protocols. 

Though privately-owned railroads have spent significantly to upgrade large, Class I trains, regional Class II trains and local, short-line Class III trains that carry important goods for farmers and businesses still rely on state and local funds for improvements. 

But cash-strapped states struggle to adequately inspect new technologies and fund safety improvements, and repairing or replacing the aging track and rail bridges will require significant public investment.

A true infrastructure commitment will not only strengthen the country’s railroad networks and increase U.S. global economic competitiveness. It will also create millions of family-sustaining jobs needed to inspect, repair and manufacture new parts for mass transit systems, all while helping to prevent future disasters.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work