A Message from District 1

Click here to download this letter as a PDF.

USW District 1 Director Blatt recently sent the following letter to local union officers

Dear District 1 Sisters and Brothers,

With the November election fast approaching, the stakes for our Union could not be higher. The USW is a diverse Union that represents a cross section of the Nation’s economy in the private and public sectors. Likewise, the members we represent are diverse in their political affiliations and personal opinions with regard to the direction of our Country and who should lead that effort on the Federal, State and Local levels.

The USW realizes that finding 100% common ground on that issue is impossible. It is for that reason that endorsements on personal opinions are not practicable. As an organization, we must consider the issues that affords us the best environment for collective bargaining for our current members, retirees and organizing new members. 

Because the stakes are so high, the USW took the steps necessary to listen to those diverse opinions on the issues that are most important to our members. The Union developed a program called “Your Union Your Voice”. In January, February and March 2020, before the pandemic thwarted our efforts, the USW hosted 170 town hall meetings throughout the Nation, 13 in Ohio, to talk to our members about issues that were most important to them. The town hall meetings locations and times were widely published in the USW@Work, on the USW website and letters were sent to every local union to be read at the monthly meetings. The results of those meetings can be found on the USW website at “Your Union Your Voice”.

It is the policy of the USW International Union that in order for any candidate to get a USW endorsement, they must fill out and return a USW Issue Questionnaire. The questionnaire was sent to both President Trump’s and Vice President Biden’s campaigns in November 2019. The questionnaire is important and we wanted to know each of the candidates position on issues that affect us in the workplace, such as trade and labor standards, affordable healthcare and organizing just to name a few. The USW questionnaire can be viewed on the USW website. President Trump did not return a questionnaire. Vice President Biden did submit answers to the USW questionnaire. The completed Biden questionnaire can be viewed on the USW website.

In the July USW Executive Board Zoom meeting, Vice President Biden made some significant commitments to our Union:

  • $1.3 trillion in infrastructure spending that would include a Buy America provision. It would guarantee any materials made to rebuild our Nation’s infrastructure would be made in the U.S.A. This would enhance manufacturing in every economic sector.
  • $400 billion to rebuild our cities that would include the same Buy America provision.
  • A seat at the table for Labor in any future Trade Agreement talks to ensure America’s workforce is protected.
  •  Vice President Biden assured us he would encourage and work for the passage of the Pro-Act that would protect our right to organize and level the playing field with meaningful improvements in collective bargaining rights and laws.
  • He would also close the tax loopholes for corporations and make them pay their fair share of taxes and restrictions on corporations and not be able to send our jobs overseas.
  • Enhance the Affordable Care Act and work to make the cost of healthcare cheaper for all U.S. citizens.

President Trump has not approached the USW for an endorsement or made any commitments in a second term. Some issues the USW has had with the Trump Administration:

  • President Trump has stated publicly he is for Right to Work (RTW); he also had his attorneys write a brief supporting RTW when the Janis case was heard by the Supreme Court. President Trump’s appointees to the Supreme Court voted in favor of the Janis case to ensure passage.
  • President Trump appointed John Ring and Peter Robb as the Chairman and General Council of the NLRB. They are both Management-side Labor Attorneys who would allow corporations to unilaterally cut wages and reduce benefits.
  • Under the guidance of Ring and Robb, the NLRB has overturned decades of precedent in labor law, such as taking away the right to engage in mid-term bargaining and slanted worker’s rights to organize and join unions in favor of Corporations.
  • Most recently, the NLRB ruled that companies are not required to bargain over COVID-19 related practices or procedures. The companies also have the right to discipline or terminate workers who complain about unsafe workplaces related to COVID-19.

It is for all of the aforementioned reasons that the USW has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for President of the United States and encourages your support. Vice President Biden has a long history of voting in favor of labor rights. Look for more information as we get closer to November 3rd.  

Each USW member has a right to vote for who they think will best represent them and their family and we will defend and support that basic premise.  However, this year we ask you to also consider who will support working families on workplace issues.  We should vote in what is our own best interests; and Vice President Biden has committed to stand up for us regarding collective bargaining issues.  The time has come for us to regain leverage at all our bargaining tables, not constantly defend what we have, but improving what we deserve.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

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

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

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