Steelworkers Join Labor-Friendly Lawmakers and Government Allies to Highlight Pro-Worker Policies

Steelworkers will stand with those who share our core values, including collective bargaining, affordable health care, infrastructure, workplace health and safety, fair trade, and retirement security. 

Recently, USW members joined allies to showcase progress on several of these core values.

Health Care and Workplace Accommodations for Pregnant Workers 

District 10 Women of Steel Coordinator and Sub-district 1 Director Kelly Weaver in late August joined U.S. Senator Bob Casey (Pa.) and representatives from Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania and the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh to highlight the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which recently went into effect. 

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act requires employers to make reasonable accommodations that will make it possible for pregnant workers to stay on the job, much as they would under the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

“We had to fill this gap — you might even call it a loophole — that employers could exploit by forcing that pregnant worker to choose between their job and a healthy pregnancy,” said Casey. “No more.” 

Explaining the law’s direct impact on workers, Weaver said, “having the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act become law is such a great benefit to pregnant workers everywhere. Instead of forcing pregnant workers out of work and onto an unpaid FMLA leave, now we can require employers to make minor accommodations such as having a chair to sit on, having an additional bathroom break, or having light duty. Pregnant workers will still be able to earn their full wages, take care of their families financially, and continue to have their benefits during this time, reducing the stress in an already stressful situation for some.”

Infrastructure, Investments in Union Jobs

On August 30, 2023, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited USW District 7 at the Gary, Ind., office. USW members from each major steel local in Northwest Indiana and District 7 staff had an informal meet-and-greet to discuss the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s (BIL) impact on the domestic steel industry. 

Our union was instrumental in the passage of the law, especially the inclusion of strong Buy America requirements for federal projects. Buy America laws are a clear statement by our government that U.S. workers should get the first chance to make the iron, steel, manufactured products, and other construction materials purchased with tax dollars. 

Specifically, Cleveland-Cliffs Burns Harbor produces the plate used in bridges. USW members at Cleveland-Cliffs Burns Harbor melted and poured all the steel needed for the I95 bridge repair in Philadelphia within three days. 

Fair Trade and Organizing 

Key allies from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in recent weeks joined USW members in Pittsburgh to highlight the importance of fair trade and discuss strategies for organizing more workers into our growing labor movement. 

Leaders from USW District 10 and our union’s Women of Steel (WOS) program hosted several USTR representatives for a tour of U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thompson facility in Braddock, Pa., followed by a discussion at USW Headquarters that touched a variety of topics including trade, collective bargaining, and strategies to protect women and members of the LGBTQI+ community from workplace discrimination, and more.

Additionally, Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su met with our officers at the USW’s Headquarters on Labor Day and then held a roundtable discussion with workers who were involved in organizing campaigns in the region as well as staff from various unions. 

Those in attendance shared stories about challenges they’ve faced when organizing and how private corporations, universities, and non-profits alike employ anti-union tactics.

Su assumed the office of Acting Labor Secretary in March, 2023 after President Joe Biden nominated her. She served as the California Labor Secretary from 2019 to 2021, and California Labor Commissioner from 2011 to 2018, overseeing the state’s Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement. 

Her relationship with the USW dates back to our effort to help car wash workers organize in California in the early 2000s.

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