Hundreds of Steelworkers come together in solidarity

Several hundred USW members from different locals and industries came together at the USW headquarters to rally for a fair contract for Steelworkers at Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, who are currently negotiating a new contract with the company after the previous one expired on June 30.

ATI Rally July 30, 2015, Downtown PittsburghThe crowd included workers at ATI from locals in Leechburg, Brackenridge, Washington, Midland and Latrobe, Pa. A number of Boilermakers, Iron Workers, Healthcare Workers and Public Sector Workers were standing in solidarity with their brothers and sisters at ATI as well.

Prior to the march to ATI headquarters, USW locals and officers gathered in the courtyard outside USW headquarters, where the crowd heard from a number of speakers, including USW International Vice President Thomas Conway.

“If this company wants to fight, we’re going to show them an old school labor fight,” Conway said to the crowd, which was cheering and holding various signs showing solidarity. “If you’re going to pick a fight with a union, [USW is] the last union you should pick a fight with because we know how to do this.”

For the Steelworkers at ATI, a fair contract is more than just fairness for the employees themselves, but for their families. ATI has proposed a contract that hikes up the premiums of the workers’ insurance, causing potential financial burden, especially for families with children or any individuals who have been diagnosed with illness, disease or disorder.

“I’m not going to be intimidated,” Karl Brendle, member of Local 1138 announced to his brothers and sisters. “It is time that ATI chooses workers and families over corporate greed.”

Hundreds of Steelworkers then took to the streets, marching to ATI Headquarters in PPG Place. On the march along Boulevard of the Allies, a number of supporters were taking pictures and cheering in solidarity. Several local news stations and newspaper reporters were covering the rally, where chants of “What do we want? A fair contract! When do we want it? Now!,” “Stand up! Fight back!,” and “We are ONE!” were shouted by the Steelworkers.

The Steelworkers even saw solidarity from a bus driver who was waiting for the crowd to pass at the intersection of Boulevard of the Allies and Stanwix Street, as she honked several times and waved from the driver’s seat.

Louis A. Bonnoni, President of Local 1138 – 3 & 4 took an unpaid day off to support the Steelworkers battling for a fair contract with ATI, even though he works for Akers National Roll Company in Avonmore, Pa.

“This [rally] means the world to me. Unions help people have fairer jobs, support and healthcare,” Bonnoni said. “USW has taught me to grow in solidarity and support other unions.”

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