Let Us Remember Those who are Laid Off, Locked Out or Walking a Picket Line This Holiday Season

The damage has been done … again. Once again, the band aid solutions have come too little, too late. And once again, as manufacturing plants close or shut down, American workers are laid off or locked out. The people who feel the effects the worst are working men and women and their families through no fault of their own.

An email was recently sent to a staff member from a Steelworker in Fairfield, Alabama. Bo Edwards from USW Local 1013 talks about how this layoff from U.S. Steel is affecting his family and many other manufacturing families across America this Christmas.

I would like to tell you how illegal dumping and unfair trading practices have affected my family. Besides struggling to pay bills due to being laid off, it also affects my extended family.

Every year at the holidays we always buy the food for the family celebrations at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is our way of allowing our family to enjoy focusing on each other and allows them not worry about preparing dishes.

This year, due to the economic effects of dumping, we are getting basic staple goods from a food bank set up by the Steelworkers Local to help fill my pantry. 

No big deal you say? It also affects my local community too because my family is not participating in buying local goods and gifts for needy children as we have done each year in the past. One of our local merchants has had to put his business up for sale because 40% of his sales were from local steelworkers. 

The needy children that we provided presents for each year won't be getting any because I'm out of work and I don't have enough money to buy those gifts due to foreign companies being allowed to dump their inferior goods here on American soil.

Not only is my family affected many others are affected as well.  Saying Merry Christmas is kind of hollow this year as it will not be one for my family or for the thousands of other Steelworkers who are out of work due to unfair trade practices.

This holiday season, let’s remember those members who are struggling through no fault of their own.  Let’s take time to write a legislator and ask them to stand up for American workers and American jobs. Let’s tell them to stop unfair trade before it hurts workers and their families. Let’s tell them to not accept trade deals that destroy good-paying jobs just for corporate profits.

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Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

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Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

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United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222