Congress Has More Work to Do

We know working people are the backbone of this country, and this crisis has turned the lives of our members upside down.

Some are working from home to do their part to keep our communities safe while others risk their own lives upholding the dignity of life in health care facilities with inadequate resources. Many continue to work under uncertain conditions to keep our country supplied and moving during this crisis. Some have suffered the devastating blow of a lay-off or closure.

Congress has offered some relief to folks with the last trio of bills they passed, but we know that much was missing and more is needed.

Last week, our union sent a letter to Congress, urging them to include:

Aid to Workers:

  • Congress must fully use the Defense Production Act through administrative action or through federal legislation.
  • Ensure workers who are on strike or lockout receive federal unemployment benefits pre-empting state laws limiting access to benefits,
  • Fully fund COBRA benefits for laid off workers until the economy recovers to pre-recession levels and ensure all workers, no matter the size or type of employer, receive paid sick leave and FMLA expansions. See what we are working on at the state level HERE.
  • Require an OSHA emergency temporary standard to ensure there are enforceable workplace health and safety protections for everyone who is still working.
  • Improve workers’ ability to negotiate with their employers through collective bargaining for protections during the pandemic.

 Aid to Retirees, Companies, and the Economy:

  • Provide direct aid and support to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and not underfund the Social Security system through inefficient payroll tax cuts.
  • Ensure the Federal Government verifies maximum accountability of taxpayer funds by making sure companies that receive aid don’t move business overseas and they abide by our collective bargaining agreements.
  • Provide aid to state and local governments and to the U.S. Postal Service that ensures continued operation of vital public services.
  • We don’t want to stop medical supplies from entering the country, but must defend current tariffs on other goods so other countries don’t flood our markets while our workplaces are not operating due to the pandemic.

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to stay safe at work if you’re considered essential and what you qualify for if you’ve lost your job because of COVID-19. To help with that, we have put together many resources for you that are being updated as we get new information. You can find those HERE.

You're keeping our nation going – doing the jobs that really matter, making the things we need the most. Please take a moment to listen to this message of gratitude from International President, Tom Conway. As Congress continues negotiations on additional stimulus bills, please be ready to act to ensure our members, and all workers, are represented and Congress includes our demands.

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