Women -- and Men -- Marched in Valparaiso, Including USW Members

By Terry Steagall
USW Local 1010

The Women’s March in Chicago was being planned with an estimate of approximately 22.000 attendees. I  was going to attend, and I saw an article in the local newspaper that a 65-year-old woman, Charlotte Friedlund, decided to organize a Woman’s March in Valparaiso. I decided I should support the Women’s March in Valparaiso, since there would be more than enough support in Chicago.

Little did I know, the Women’s March in Chicago would reach 250,000 people! The march in Washington reached 500,000 people and the total would be two million people nationwide.

Well, I went to the Women’s March in Valparaiso, in a city of approximately 32,000 people and we had approximately 500 people surround the Porter County Court house on the Square from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., on Saturday, in solidarity for women’s rights and human rights. We were loud, we were proud, we were peaceful and we sent a message to President Trump!

It’s time for America to “Stand Up and Fight Back”, because the Republicans have control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The People need to stand up to the “Swamp Rat Lobbyist” in Washington D.C., and send a message to Congress, that they were sent to Congress do the work of the People,  not the “Swamp Rat Lobbyist” for special interest trying to undermine our Democracy with Political Contributions to Congress.

All we have right now is, the “Power of the People”, so you need to participate in Marches in your community and if there isn’t a March or Rally in your community, start one!

Power of the People, is all we have!

Posted In: Union Matters

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