United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/rss United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed Liquid error: undefined method `match' for nil:NilClass AMPS en hourly 1 USW Interns Learn About the Union Difference https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/usw-interns-learn-about-the-union-difference Fri, 22 Jun 2018 09:19:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/usw-interns-learn-about-the-union-difference A group of 13 interns working at the USW international headquarters visited the All-Clad plant in Canonsburg, Pa., on Monday, June 11.

The interns, who come from all over Pennsylvania, were able to see how the plant operates and interact with members of Local 3403 who manufacture the popular cookware.

“The younger generation is the future,” said Bobby McAuliffe, director of District 10, after touring the plant with the interns. “We need to mentor them, because one day they will be the future of the union.”

The USW intern program was created to give college students an inside look into the union and teach them the importance of solidarity.

To help orient the interns, many of whom have signed union cards and are paying dues to Local 3657, the group toured the All-Clad plant, where they got a behind-the-scenes look at the work USW members do.

Established in 1971, All-Clad perfected the recipe of metal melting by fusing several durable metals together. All-Clad then began producing professional quality cookware by creating “steel sandwiches” through the process of cladding.

“It’s fascinating to see how everything comes together,” said intern Gracie Brickner, a senior from the University of Pittsburgh, who is interning in the organizing department. “I’ve never been in a plant before, and seeing everyone in action puts a face to the organization we’re working for.”

In addition to its superior quality, All-Clad is also known for using American steel and keeping their products American made.

“This company is investing in our future, keeping these manufacturing jobs in Canonsburg, Pa.,” said District 10 Sub-director John Ratico. “It’s not very often you find a company that’s willing to invest in American manufacturing and use American products, and it’s greatly appreciated.”

After spending the day watching the All-Clad union members, the interns were given a lesson in the union’s history.

“I really learned the importance of solidarity and the significance in keeping manufacturing jobs in America,” said Amanda Silva, who is spending the summer working in the organizing department.

This year, the union has interns working in organizing, new media, communications, legal, membership development, and elsewhere.

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USW International Vice President Carol Landry Remembers 3M Union Leader Michael Schanks https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/usw-international-vice-president-carol-landry-remembers-3m-union-leader-michael-schanks Wed, 20 Jun 2018 14:09:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/usw-international-vice-president-carol-landry-remembers-3m-union-leader-michael-schanks This article originally appeared in Chemical Solutions, Issue 12. 

It is with a broken heart that I write this. Mike was truly one of the good guys, not just among Steelworkers but within all his circles of co-workers, family and friends. 

In the fall of 2015, Mike reached out to me about forming a “3M Council.” He saw how local unions banded together to exchange information at similar chemical companies, and he observed how that led to positive results for each local, on the shop floor and at the bargaining table. He thought it could work at 3M, too, so he stepped up to kick-start the council.


District 11 Staff Representative Travis J. Lohmann (left) and Mike Schanks (right).

Beyond being the architect of the 3M Council, Mike became the driving force behind every meeting. He kept in touch with the eight other sites, and was always aware of the issues affecting each 3M local. His advice proved invaluable to me and the USW staff with whom he worked closely. I know all the other local leaders held him in high esteem, too. 

Even workers who didn’t have a union seemed to recognize Mike’s willingness to help. How many times did he tell you about a trip to Illinois, Minnesota or Kentucky to help others get better protections on the job through a union? Mike was devoted. 

One of Mike’s last acts was to check on a fellow union brother who was going through hard times—he just seemed to put others’ needs above his own.

Mike’s smile was evident in the group pictures taken. He had a lot to be proud of—by my count 1,500 workers saw improvements in their work conditions through his vision of forming the 3M Council just a few years ago. 

We will dearly miss Mike, but his spirit of activism will live on. 

USW International Vice President Carol Landry

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EPA Head Removes Safety Protections from Chemical Disaster Rule https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/epa-head-removes-safety-protections-from-chemical-disaster-rule Wed, 20 Jun 2018 13:34:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/epa-head-removes-safety-protections-from-chemical-disaster-rule This article originally appeared in Chemical Solutions, Issue 12. 

With members of chemical industry trade associations standing beside him, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt signed revisions to EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP) in May that eliminate safety protections for workers, first responders and communities.

Pruitt removed many safety and risk management items from the Obama era—including all accident prevention program provisions—that pertain to 12,500 U.S. facilities, including chemical plants and refineries.  

He said the revised slate of proposed rules “reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens.”

These “unnecessary burdens” include eliminating the requirement that owners of a chemical plant evaluate options for safer technology and procedures that would mitigate hazards; removing the requirement that companies conduct a “root-cause analysis” after a “catastrophic” chemical release or an incident that might have caused one (near miss); and ending the requirement that a third-party compliance audit be done after an accident at a plant or when conditions are discovered that could lead to an accidental release of chemicals.

Also removed would be outside audits of company risk-management plans to ensure they are adequate. Pruitt’s changes would make it harder for citizens living around plants with chemicals to protect themselves by finding out the types of chemicals stored, the types of procedures the plant has in place to mitigate the risks and what to do in case of an emergency. First responders would still have this information readily available to them.

The 2013 explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, which killed 15 people, including 10 firefighters, and destroyed part of the town prompted the Obama-era rules. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) investigated the incident and discovered that the town’s volunteer firefighters did not have any formal training or planning to prepare them to handle a fire or emergency at the fertilizer plant. The board said that changes were needed in regulations and transparency to prevent a repeat tragedy.

After the West explosion, the EPA changed its regulations about how companies store dangerous flammable chemicals and how they develop risk-management plans. These new rules were going to take effect in June 2017, but Pruitt delayed them.

Before making a final decision on the proposed rule changes, the EPA is soliciting public comment. A public hearing was held June 14, 2018.

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Chemical Safety Board Guidelines Help Chemical Companies Prepare for Extreme Weather Events https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/chemical-safety-board-guidelines-help-chemical-companies-prepare-for-extreme-weather-events Wed, 20 Jun 2018 12:23:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/chemical-safety-board-guidelines-help-chemical-companies-prepare-for-extreme-weather-events This article originally appeared in Chemical Solutions, Issue 12. 

No one at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, expected the unprecedented rainfall that resulted from Hurricane Harvey last August. The site experienced record flooding, causing equipment to fail and stored chemicals to decompose, burn and release fumes and smoke into the air.

Twenty-one people sought medical attention after being exposed to the fumes and smoke. All the Arkema employees evacuated, and more than 200 residents living nearby were forced to leave and could not return home for a week.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) investigated the incident and released its final report on May 24, 2018.

Key Findings

The flooding caused the plant to lose electrical power and backup power to its low temperature warehouses and some of its refrigerated trailers that contained organic peroxides made at the plant. The flooding also compromised the liquid nitrogen system.

Some of the organic peroxides have to be kept below 32 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent them from decomposing and catching fire. These chemicals are used to produce items like solid surface countertops and polystyrene cups and plates.

Three refrigerated trailers containing organic peroxides could not be moved to higher ground because of the flooding and lost power. The organic peroxides heated up and caught fire. Emergency responders did a controlled burn of the remaining six refrigerated trailers on higher ground because there was not a way to check on the chemicals inside the trailers and remove them safely.

The CSB found that many companies may be unaware of flood risks causing process safety hazards at their facilities because Federal process safety regulations do not require flood insurance maps and studies to be included in required safety analyses.

The CSB also found that there is limited industry guidance on flooding, and if provided, is either too generic or does not require conservative precautions to prevent a flood like the one Arkema experienced in Crosby.

Lessons Learned

The CSB said that “more robust industry guidance” is needed to help chemical companies prepare for extreme weather events, like flooding, to avoid similar incidents.

According to a 2015 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report, flooding from extreme rainfall events has increased and is expected to continue, placing many parts of the U.S. at greater risk for flooding. Future projections in this report show Texas leading the country in the possibility for flood-related damage.

The CSB’s suggestions include the following:

  • Facilities should do an analysis to determine their susceptibility to extreme weather events like flooding, earthquakes and high winds.
  • When conducting analyses of process hazards or facility siting, companies should evaluate the potential risk of extreme weather events and the adequacy of safeguards.
  • When evaluating and mitigating the risk from extreme weather events, facilities should strive to apply a sufficiently conservative risk management approach.
  • If flooding is the risk, facilities must ensure that critical safeguards and equipment are not susceptible to failure by a common cause and that independent layers of protection are available in the event of high water levels.

Click here to read the full CSB report.

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DowDuPont Slashing Costs in Preparation for Three-Way Split in 2019 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/dowdupont-slashing-costs-in-preparation-for-three-way-split-in-2019 Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:10:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/dowdupont-slashing-costs-in-preparation-for-three-way-split-in-2019 This article originally appeared in Chemical Solutions, Issue 12. 

DowDuPont is busy cutting $3.3 billion in costs before its planned split into three independent businesses, but so far the impact on USW chemical workers has been minimal.

The company shut down its manufacturing plant in La Porte, Texas, and its Kevlar facility in Charleston, S.C. Last March, it decided to move DuPont’s production of aramid intermediates at the Chambers Works site in Deepwater, N.J., to a supplier from India that had newer process technology. Decommissioning of the manufacturing section is expected to be finished this summer.

The company said it would help the 100 USW-represented Chambers Works employees laid off from the production move with transfer to other jobs within the corporation or to other positions with local employers.

DuPont is a tenant at Chambers Works. The company spun off its performance chemicals division to a new company called Chemours on July 1, 2015. Chemours took control of the Chambers Works site.

So far, the merged company has not shuttered any Dow sites or laid off any Dow workers, according to Kent Holsing, chair of the DowDuPont North American Labor Council (DNALC).

Chopping Expenses

DowDuPont plans to save money through procurement activities, global workforce reductions, building and facility consolidations and select asset shutdowns. Before splitting into three independent segments, the material sciences and agriculture divisions each are eliminating over $1 billion in costs and the specialties segment is expected to save just under $1 billion. Nearly 60 percent of DuPont’s corporate overhead costs have been eliminated

DowDuPont Chief Executive Officer Ed Breen is shutting down research and development projects that are expensive, require years of work and may have poor investment returns. He calls these projects, “moonshots,” and considers them a waste of money. One such project was DuPont’s $200 million cellulosic ethanol bio-refinery in Iowa that opened in 2015. The plant turned corn stalks, leaves and cobs left in fields into 30 million gallons of ethanol a year. That business is for sale.

Instead, DowDuPont will invest in smaller projects that cost no more than $30 million, carry less risk and improve profit margins. Plans are for the material sciences division to have incremental capacity expansions over several years to make it a “cash machine.” Recently, the newly designed laboratories in the Experimental Station building in Delaware received a $200 million facelift to attract top scientists for the company’s consolidated industrial biosciences division. It creates enzymes for a variety of products.

Upcoming Split

The materials science division will be the first to split around April 2019, and it will have headquarters in Michigan. The agriculture division will separate by June 1, 2019. It will be called Corteva Agriscience and be headquartered in Delaware. Then, the specialty products division will be formed, and it will be called DuPont. Its headquarters will be in Delaware, too.

Marc Doyle, chief operating officer for the specialty products division, has not said if he will be the CEO for the new DuPont. He told the media that management is working on how to handle DuPont’s billions of dollars in pension liabilities, and will discuss it later this year.

DowDuPont earned $1.1 billion profit for the first quarter of 2018. The materials science division increased sales 17 percent, and the specialty products division had an 11 percent increase in sales. The agriculture division saw net sales decrease 25 percent because of weather delays in the northern hemisphere and Brazil.

Delaware-based DuPont and Michigan-based Dow Chemical had their $150 billion merger approved by all regulatory authorities worldwide in August 2017.

DowDuPont Council Petition Needs Your Signature

The 2017 DowDuPont merger was about satisfying Wall Street and the companies’ shareholders, and the company’s leaders continue to pander to these investment interests through their plan to chop over $3 billion in expenses. They say they will run the merged organization “lean and mean” by shutting down plants, eliminating jobs, laying-off employees and reducing the number of suppliers.

In response, the DowDuPont North American Labor Council (DNALC) launched a global petition to DowDuPont CEO Jim Fitterling. The council is challenging the multinational corporation to focus on the interests of its employees, their families and their communities instead of paying attention solely to Wall Street.

“Globally, DowDuPont employees will face many changes and challenges in the coming months, so the company’s unionized workers around the world are mobilizing together to ensure that everyone’s best interests are represented,” said USW Local 12075 President Kent Holsing from the Midland, Mich., facility. Holsing chairs the DNALC.

“We also are speaking for the non-union employees who do not have a voice. Our goal is to use this petition as a platform to ensure the employees and their communities are represented and heard,” he added.

The petition is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese by going to http://usw.to/dowdupontpetition

Please post and share the petition on social media and your local union webpage.

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Ohio BASF Members Ratify Five-Year Contract https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/ohio-basf-members-ratify-five-year-contract Tue, 19 Jun 2018 10:36:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/ohio-basf-members-ratify-five-year-contract This article originally appeared in Chemical Solutions, Issue 12. 

Local 1-8565 members at BASF’s Streetsboro, Ohio, cement plant ratified at the end of March a five-year agreement that included a 13 percent wage increase over the contract term and benefit improvements.

The contract began March 31, 2018 and ends April 1, 2022.  It covers 19 maintenance and production workers.

“The workers felt comfortable with a five-year contract,” said Local 1-8565 President Marcus Graves.  He helped negotiate the agreement for the BASF unit in his amalgamated local.

Wages increase the first year at 2.5 percent. Wages will increase 2.6 percent in the second, third and fourth years. Workers will see a 2.75 percent wage increase the fifth year of the contract.

No changes were made to the health care plan, and workers will continue to pay 20 percent of the health insurance premiums.

Life and accidental death & dismemberment insurance coverage increases $2,000 to $42,000 of coverage.

BASF will increase its 401(k) match from 6 percent to 7 percent effective Jan. 1, 2019.

The local inserted a probationary period for summer help, and added contract language regarding daily transfers, via seniority, if there is a lack of work in an area. Graves said everyone is cross-trained and can do all the jobs at the site.

“It was a tough negotiation,” Graves said, “but the members won a decent contract.”

BASF bought the site six years ago from Master Builder, which purchased it from Degussa.

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District 12 – Educators and Allies Win in Pueblo https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/district-12-educators-and-allies-win-in-pueblo Fri, 15 Jun 2018 09:52:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/district-12-educators-and-allies-win-in-pueblo In May, with backing from the community, parents, union members and our families, more than 900 teachers represented by the Pueblo Education Association, voted to go on strike for the first time in 25 years!

Pueblo City School District (PCSD) teachers were seeking a 2 percent cost-of-living increase and increased contributions to their healthcare to address disparate pay issues that have plagued the district for years. Even though these improvements were consistent with the recommendation of a third-party, an independent fact finder, the school district was baulking until they saw the support that teachers were getting from the community.

“If we honestly believe our kids and grandkids deserve the best teachers, then we have to offer decent pay and benefits to make teachers want to come here,” says Joel Buchanan, a retired USW member who joined fellow steelworkers supporting the striking teachers. Joel is a 43-year USW member and retiree from Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel (formerly Oregon Steel).

In 2017-2018, PCSD teachers were paid an average of $47,617 according to the Colorado Department of Education. That comes out to 10 percent below the average teacher’s pay statewide, and nearly 22 percent less than what teachers are paid nationally.

Stagnant pay has contributed to difficulties filling open teaching positions across Pueblo City School District. Teacher turnover hovers around 20 percent, and teachers like Joel’s son, Kevin, who teaches at Central High School in Pueblo, have found themselves spending more of their own income each month to purchase school supplies for their students.

After two years of working without a contract, teachers at PCSD had reached their boiling point. The strike was approved by a nearly-unanimous 95 percent of teachers voting. However, support for the walkout did not end there. Steelworkers from locals 2102 and 3267 at Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel, and SOAR activists showed up on the picket lines to support the teachers. And, the Denver Post reported that local firefighters dropped off water to striking teachers.

Although the school district had brought in substitute teachers to staff classrooms, parents refused to cross picket lines. Instead, they brought burritos to their kids’ striking teachers.

After two days of picketing and holding candlelight vigils outside of the homes of Pueblo’s school board members and superintendent, representatives of Pueblo City School District agreed to reconvene negotiations after they cancelled a public meeting a few days prior. Within 24 hours, the teachers were awarded their cost-of-living increases plus the increases in healthcare they had originally requested.

The School Board also conceded to not penalize students by adding days to the end of the school year or by docking teachers’ pay for the days of the strike.

Sources: 

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Katrina Fitzgerald - USW District 1 PAC Contributor https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/katrina-fitzgerald-usw-district-1-pac-contributor Wed, 13 Jun 2018 10:08:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/katrina-fitzgerald-usw-district-1-pac-contributor Katrina Fitzgerald
District 1
Local Union 1123
Timken Steel
Canton, Ohio

“With a stroke of a politician’s pen our workplace rights and protections can be gained or lost. Whether we like it or not, workers must have a voice in politics. We have to do everything we can to make our voices heard by politicians and anyone who is running for elected office. Contributing to PAC is one way I do that.”

Click HERE to share your story about why USW PAC matters to you.

Note: Federal law prohibits USW PAC from soliciting contributions from individuals who are not United Steelworkers Union members, executive and administrative staff or their families. Any contribution received from such an individual will be refunded immediately.

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Local 3657 WOS Gives Back https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/local-3657-wos-gives-back Tue, 12 Jun 2018 13:51:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/local-3657-wos-gives-back A small group of representatives from Local 3657’s Women of Steel (WOS) committee today handed out more than 200 “blessing bags” filled with toiletries to those in need.

The WOS committee coordinated the effort with the Red Door Program, a local charity affiliated with Saint Mary of Mercy Church in downtown Pittsburgh. The Red Door provides a bag lunch to more than 100 people each day, Monday through Saturday.

Many of the people who come for food also need help with personal care items, said Danielle Dindinger, a WOS member who helped distribute the blessing bags.

“The Red Door is just across the street from our office, and we see the people who come for meals every day,” said Dindinger. “We noticed a need, and we decided to help.”

The bags were filled with shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, wet wipes and other toiletries.

The local, which represents USW staff at the International headquarters and in district offices, had a bucket drop to raise money to buy supplies, and the WOS committee spent the past month assembling the bags.

Rachel Nunes, who chairs the local’s WOS committee, said that homelessness and its root cause, a lack of access to affordable housing, is a big concern for the group. They’ve done similar drives in the past and plan to continue the work in the future.

“We’re working to build a relationship with the Red Door and other organizations, so we can continue to support the work that they do,” said Nunes. “We need community connections based on trust and mutual respect. It’s all well and good to do one-off things, but what we really need to do is address the underlying issues.”

Pictured: members of the Local 3657 WOS Committee, taken by Ike Gittlen, member of Local 3657. Click here to view more photos.

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One Hundred and Forty Years Union Strong https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/one-hundred-and-forty-years-union-strong Tue, 05 Jun 2018 10:46:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/one-hundred-and-forty-years-union-strong Glass Blower

One hundred and forty years ago, July 1, 1878, to be exact, a determined group of skilled glass workers met in Pittsburgh, Pa. The result was the formation of the American Flint Glass Workers Union.

The “Flints," as they became known, were one of the six original organizations that formed the Knights of Labor, which later became the American Federation of Labor.

The Flints led the fight to establish child labor laws in the United States. In addition, they can make a legitimate argument that they invented Glass 2collective bargaining as we know it today.

In 1903, the AFGWU bargained the Star Island Agreement which contained provisions that laid the groundwork for today's grievance and arbitration process.

Fifteen years ago, in June of 2003, these same glass workers met once again in Pittsburgh and approved a merger with the United Steelworkers of America, creating the USW Glass Industry Conference allowing these workers to continue the fight for social justice and assuring dignity and respect for workers toiling in our nation’s glass factories."

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USW Members Confront Exxon on Workers’ Rights, Transparency https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/usw-members-confront-exxon-on-workers-rights-transparency Thu, 31 May 2018 09:45:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/usw-members-confront-exxon-on-workers-rights-transparency USW members joined striking Australian union members at ExxonMobil’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday, May 30, in Dallas to confront the company over its treatment of the Australian contractors and to advocate for greater transparency from the company on its political spending.

Longtime USW member and ExxonMobil employee Ricky Brooks, president of Local 13-2001, presented shareholders with a proposal, on behalf of the USW and 25 co-filers, that would require ExxonMobil to file a report detailing the company’s spending on political lobbying, both individually and through industry groups, each year. The proposal received 26 percent of shareholders’ votes. 

In addition to advocating for the transparency proposal, Brooks spoke out about safety issues at his Baytown, Texas, facility and brought attention to the unjust actions ExxonMobil has supported against the striking union members in Australia.

Two hundred workers have been on strike for about a year against a maintenance contractor that works for ExxonMobil’s Australian subsidiary, Esso Australia. The contractor has slashed wages and benefits and imposed a more burdensome work schedule.

Steven Soloman, one of four Australian workers who traveled to Dallas, attended the meeting and was prepared to confront the company about the hundreds of millions of dollars it has spent on union-busting efforts. Company officials, however, refused to allow him to speak. 

The company also took the extreme step of banning the other three Australian workers from admittance to the meeting, despite remarks from ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods acknowledging that the company would need its world-class work force to reach its goal of doubling productivity in downstream and chemical sectors and tripling productivity in upstream activities by 2025.

The company’s stated reason for barring the workers was to protect shareholder safety. However, none of the three banned union members have been charged with any crimes related to their legal strike in Australia.

The three barred union members were able to make their presence known outside the meeting by handing out leaflets to shareholders detailing their struggles and by speaking to a crowd of other organizations in attendance.

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May Update from the NOBP Chair https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/may-update-from-the-nobp-chair Wed, 30 May 2018 11:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/may-update-from-the-nobp-chair This article originally appeared in The Oilworker, Issue 42. 

We are sending the call letter soon for the September National Oil Bargaining Program (NOBP) conference.  If there is a change in local or unit leadership, please ensure that the letter reaches the appropriate person(s).   

Also, please send to Julie and me the names of your newly elected officers as soon as possible.  For locations with turnover, I am scheduling meetings to give a briefing on the national oil bargaining process.  Having current contact information helps in reaching out to the correct person.

We are scheduling a Process Safety Representative training the week of August 6 at the Local 13-423 hall in Port Arthur, Texas.  We are sending a call letter out shortly, but wanted to give you a heads up since we have received inquiries about the next class. 

Our first NOBP kickoff sessions were conducted at our Andeavor local in Mandan, N.D., and our Suncor local in Denver.  Throughout the summer and fall, the strategic campaigns department is traveling to oil locals and helping them prepare for bargaining in 2019.  Please work with strategic campaigns staffers as they help the locals to get as many members as possible to attend these important kickoff sessions. 

One concern we heard from members when visiting locals to critique our 2015 bargaining preparation was that not enough information was shared. This round we have a new action program. We encourage all oil locals to participate in this process because it’s an essential step in preparing for bargaining.  

As we lead up to NOBP negotiations, we have received a number of contract extension requests from companies. This is not unusual. They were granted at times in the past, but so far this year, we have not entertained any such requests. 

It is my opinion that we can accomplish more being united and moving lockstep as a group than we can bargain separately.  That is why we push to negotiate as councils. It makes sense to bargain as one group since we have many of the same interests.

Last week we saw movement in a couple of areas where our union has fought hard to preserve our jobs.  The renewable fuel standard discussions between the ethanol and oil sectors resulted in a proposal that seems to be one the merchant refiners can support.  This proposal would allow sales of E-15 fuel year round and ethanol exports to qualify for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). This would add a large number of RINs to the market, giving a win to both sides.  The current discussions prompted RIN costs to drop to around 30 cents.  This is a significant reduction in costs for refiners. 

The other positive news was the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) recommendation to not reverse the flow of the Buckeye pipeline. This enables our Philadelphia-area refineries to continue moving product to the Pittsburgh area.   The downside is that Buckeye will have multi-directional flow capability, which increases the potential for moving product from the Midwest to Pittsburgh.  We must watch this situation closely since a refinery price war could cause a high volume of gasoline flowing from the Midwest to Pittsburgh and prompt the company to return to the PUC and argue that it is not receiving the full potential of the pipeline flow heading west out of Philadelphia.

I look forward to seeing many of you in the coming months as we prepare for our September NOBP conference to set oil policy.

In Solidarity,

Kim Nibarger
NOBP Chair
knibarger@usw.org
(Office) 412-562-2403

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District 1 SOAR Honors Immigrant Strikers Murdered at "Little Steel" Strike https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/district-1-soar-honors-immigrant-strikers-murdered-at-little-steel-strike Wed, 30 May 2018 09:13:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/district-1-soar-honors-immigrant-strikers-murdered-at-little-steel-strike Over eight decades ago, 70,000 steelworkers, including many new to our country, walked out of Republic mills, in the tough, violent strike that became known as the ‘Little Steel’ Strike. That fight was over the fundamental right of workers to form and be represented by a union of their choosing. Steelworkers won the right to unionize, but the sacrifices by workers were heavy. Some paid the ultimate price.

In Massillon, Ohio, one of the sites of that strike, three immigrant workers: Loghin Oroz, from Hungary, Nicholas Vathiaz, a Greek immigrant and Spanish native Fulgenzio Calzada, gave their lives for the worker’s cause.

Vathiaz, 37 at the time, and Calzada, 47, were murdered, shot by police, on June 11, 1937, at a peaceful union rally that was attacked by cops. Oroz was gassed and badly beaten. He died a few days later.

For eighty years these working class heroes laid in their graves in Massillon, unnoticed, their sacrifices not celebrated. That was before Colorado University professor Ahmed White wrote a book about that struggle, “The Last Great Strike,” bringing these worker’s lives, and their murders by police, to the notice of Massillon Steelworker’s Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) members. 

“We had to find a way to honor these heroes,” stated Paul Santilli, president of Massillon SOAR Chapter 27-11. “Whatever rights we have are because these great men gave their lives to get them. We’ve had to fight for everything; nothing was ever given to us without a battle. Some of the younger folks think the company gave us benefits, rights. We have the responsibility to show our newer members how we won these rights!”

Santilli had spearheaded a push that got an historic plaque put up on the Massillon town square memorializing the ‘Little Steel Strike’ a decade ago.

Along with Massillon SOAR Secretary-Treasurer Tom Treisch, they reached out and built a committee to help on this project. First, they wanted to find the striker’s graves. Sue Burton, a pro-union poet who’d lived in the area, told them she’d heard stories of the fights as a child, that she had visited the grave sites, leaving flower, gifts, and poems. The stones were in poor shape and one was missing, so the committee took up fundraising to upgrade/replace the memorials.

“Nobody turned us down, everyone wanted to help out when we explained what it was for,” Tom Treisch said. “It took quite a while, but we got the sites cleaned up, new stones and a plaque honoring those martyrs put up on the square.” 

“There’s no way we could have succeeded without others help, the reference librarian and genealogist, Jill Wingard, who tragically passed away in February, did tremendous work. We could not have found them without her help. AFL-CIO brought us heavy equipment that made it possible to get in there and repair the sites.”

This work culminated on May 5, 2018 with a gathering of hundreds at the Massillon City Library, addressed by USW International President Leo W. Gerard, USW District 1 Director Dave McCall and others, to honor the three immigrant martyrs to labor’s cause.

As we come together here to honor these three heroes, who sacrificed their lives, just stop and think, especially those who’ve worked in the mill, just what it would be like without our union, if you had no say, that the boss was god,” asked Leo Gerard. “We owe everything to these three men. Thanks to SOAR here, they are no longer unknown.”

Tiffany McKee, leader of the USW Ohio Next Generation group, was impressed, as well. “This has been a real eye-opener not just for me, but for a lot of younger workers. It really puts things in perspective. The torch is being passed, and now it’s up to us.”

USW District 1 Director, Dave McCall, spoke about how, as a young worker, he was inspired to become more involved in the union.  “It is never just about us personally,” he said. “Our struggles win the victories that we build on, that create the fighting union we now have. These men left their homes, like immigrants today, looking for a better life.  Then, like today, they were called names, downgraded. However, because of the many, united in struggles, we have created something much greater.”

For Tom Treisch, it was personal. “I remember having to struggle when dad died, the same age as Mr. Calzada, at 47. He had to work hard his whole life. Nobody gave us anything; but, because of these fellows’ sacrifice we have a chance to do better.”

For 95-year old Michael Perez, whose father, Erasmo Perez, had participated in the strike after fleeing his home in Spain to escape the fascist coup Franco launched against the elected Popular Front government, it meant a lot to have those struggles memorialized. Erasmo's grandson, Ray Perez, president of USW, Local 1124 in Massillon, was also present.

Ray said, “I never thought I’d see this. Every time I go past the square now, I can see the appreciation of this entire city for their sacrifices. This fight, for working people, is a family affair, it’s in our blood.”  

“We didn’t know a lot about the strike when I was a kid,” said Ray. “My family lived in a neighborhood where literally everyone was from another country, and they all worked in the mill. Spaniards, Russians, Italians, Hungarians, Greeks—they had to learn English to be able to speak to each other. I remember when I got a job in the mill; my grandma called me over and told me how happy she was that I got a good Union job.  It just seemed natural to get active and run for local union president. I’m proud of granddad and proud of my Union!”

Library Director Sheri Brown said that since they’d gotten involved in this memorial, many people had expressed interest in learning more about unions, labor history. They’d begun working with a student group that is working on a documentary film on the area’s labor history, she said. “We have thousands of retired steelworkers in this area. We forget that workers had to organize and protest, fight for things that workers take for granted now.”

“This isn’t the end, just the start,” said Fred Garrett, president of the Golden Lodge I.W. Abel SOAR Chapter 27-27, in Canton. “We plan to use all this to help us build a coalition to fight for social justice for all.

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On China, Workers Need More Than Promises https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/on-china-workers-need-more-than-promises Wed, 30 May 2018 09:08:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/on-china-workers-need-more-than-promises International President Leo W. Gerard and progressive talk show host Leslie Marshall last week discussed trade negotiations with China, and the administration’s troubling decision to trade a position of power for more empty promises.

During recent talks between Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Chinese trade representatives, Mnuchin seemed to walk back many of the tariffs the president had announced for Chinese goods.

“There’s been too much of the president making verbal commitments that don’t get followed through,” said Gerard.

Part of the reason, Gerard said, is that the competing factions within the administration cannot agree on a sound trade policy.

“Steve Mnuchin and others are blind free traders,” said Gerard. “When they’re part of the negotiations, you can be sure they’re not going to do anything to undermine their Wall Street buddies or do anything for Main Street.”

The president also seems unduly concerned with protecting Chinese rather than American jobs, specifically regarding the large electronics company ZTE, which had been penalized for violating sanctions against countries like North Korea and Iran.

“He told Wilbur Ross, the secretary of commerce, to get this thing resolved quickly because China was losing too many jobs on this,” said Gerard. “That’s literally what he said.”

Instead, the United States needs a trade policy that will consistently advocate for its own workers, even if it means individual members of Congress or the administration might have to forego opportunities to further enrich themselves.

“Why do you think our bridges are falling down? Why do you think we haven’t had real wage increases since the mid-70s?” said Gerard. “Because we’ve embarked on this stupid trade regime that does nothing for workers and lines the pockets of the already rich and powerful.”

“Somebody ought to have some guts and stand up for the country, stand up for the workers,” Gerard said. 

Click here to check out the Twitter poll Marshall posed to her Twitter followers on the subject.

Additional Resources:

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USW Oil Workers Press Washington for Changes to Renewable Fuel Standard https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/usw-oil-workers-press-washington-for-changes-to-renewable-fuel-standard Tue, 29 May 2018 12:09:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/usw-oil-workers-press-washington-for-changes-to-renewable-fuel-standard This article originally appeared in The Oilworker, Issue 42.

USW oil workers are good at stirring up action to demand resolution to issues affecting their jobs. Their fly-ins to Washington, D.C., and a Capitol Hill rally are helping to push the Trump administration, elected officials, the small refiner coalition, and the corn ethanol lobby to make changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard so that both farmers and oil refinery workers can keep their jobs.

The problem has always been not the use of ethanol, but the method used to prove compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  Many small refiners do not have the capability at their sites to blend ethanol into gasoline, so they send their gasoline to blenders. To prove compliance, they must purchase Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) on the market. A RIN is assigned to each gallon of ethanol produced by an ethanol producer.

The RFS mandates that the proof of compliance—also known as the point of obligation—falls on refiners—not blenders.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created the RIN system, which is an unregulated financial market. At first, it worked because the RINs were cheap. But then, Wall Street, big oil companies with blending facilities and financial hustlers discovered they could earn huge profits buying up RINs, hoarding them and selling them on this unregulated market.

Soon, small merchant refiners like PBF, HollyFrontier, and Monroe Energy were paying millions of dollars a year for RINs to the point that it was affecting their ability to do needed maintenance and upgrades, pay their employees and stay in business.

RINs are not a problem for the major oil companies like ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP and Phillips 66 because they have blending facilities to blend the ethanol into the gasoline they produce.

“When you look at the graphs for ethanol use and RIN cost, ethanol is practically a straight line, while the RIN cost line goes up,” said Kim Nibarger, head of the USW’s National Oil Bargaining Program.  “The top-level negotiations are now causing the RIN cost to fall. I thank our oil workers for getting in front of their elected officials and educating them on what the real problem is with the RFS. The ethanol lobby stubbornly refuses to acknowledge it’s not the use of ethanol that we’re concerned about, it’s the RIN cost.”

Educate Washington

Robert Cammarn, Local 241 president at the HollyFrontier refinery in El Dorado, Kan., has traveled three times to Washington, D.C., to lobby his Kansas congressional delegation and testify to the EPA on the RINs issue.

“Mostly, they are concerned about being from a farm state and how to balance ethanol with refinery issues,” Cammarn said.  “I don’t believe any of them had a true understanding of what our issue was. They hadn’t formed an opinion other than what the ethanol folks were talking about.

“I mostly gave them an understanding that it doesn’t matter how much ethanol they mandate. The point is that the point of obligation shouldn’t fall on the merchant refiners; it should be on blenders and retailers. We aren’t trying to reduce the amount of ethanol required,” he said.

Cammarn said he explained how small, independent refiners like HollyFrontier do not have the capacity for blending and how his whole community depends upon the refinery for its economic stability. He also emphasized that the workers share in the environmental obligation with EPA and its mandate.

He said he received surprised reactions from the congressional aides he spoke to.  “They were more educated after I walked out of their office.”

Impact on Communities

Glen Nunez, who works at the PBF Chalmette, La., refinery and is vice president of Local 13-522, has traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby on the RINs issue these past two years. He met in person with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and said the senator understood how many small refiners would be affected by RINs costs.

“The politicians seem a lot more educated this year than the year before on the effect RINs have on small refiners,” Nunez.

“Small refineries can’t keep up with RIN costs. They can’t make money and pay RINs costs. In New Orleans, we have two small refineries and they can’t continue to pay,” he said.

Studies have shown that one refinery job affects 17 other jobs, so if a refinery is shut down, thousands are impacted.

“Our two plants employ about 1,000 people, so if they shut down it would totally destroy local communities in this region,” he said.

Possible Solutions

At the beginning of May, the Trump administration said it would scale back the use of biofuel waivers for small refineries and allow ethanol exports to count toward federal biofuels usage quotas. This would expand the market for RINs, increase the RINs supply and lower the RINs costs. The administration would also permit 15 percent ethanol fuel to be sold year round. These actions would be part of a broad overhaul of the country’s renewable fuel policy.

Media reported on May 23, 2018 that top officials for the EPA and the departments of Energy and Agriculture will meet May 24 to discuss changes to the RFS and to try to resolve long-standing tensions over the program between the oil refining and corn ethanol industries.

Nunez said he would like to see a cap on the RIN price. “I don’t want to lose this job. I’ve been here for 15 years. I would like someone to step in and put a cap in place. It is ridiculous to sell RINs on an open market as a commodity.”

Cammarn also is waiting to see if there will be a cap on RINs costs and if E85 is actually sold year round. “If they don’t change the point of obligation or put a cap on RINs, then the problem will not go away, and the ethanol lobby gets the ability to sell ethanol year round. Workers in my industry would still be negatively impacted.

“This is small oil against the point of obligation for the RFS. It isn’t big oil against the corn industry,” he added.

PHOTOS

Top: DeVon Crawford, USW Local 10-234 president at Monroe Energy in Trainer, Pa., leads a Washington, D.C., oil refinery worker rally to urge lawmakers to make changes in the proof of compliance for the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Bottom: Oil workers rally at the U.S. Capitol to press for changes in how oil refiners show they are in compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard.

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USW Presents “Sunshine” Proposal at ExxonMobil Shareholders Meeting https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/usw-presents-sunshine-proposal-at-exxonmobil-shareholders-meeting Tue, 29 May 2018 11:58:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/usw-presents-sunshine-proposal-at-exxonmobil-shareholders-meeting This article originally appeared in The Oilworker, Issue 42.

ExxonMobil shareholders will be considering a USW proposal on the company’s direct and indirect lobbying activities at the annual shareholders meeting on Wed., May 30, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. CT in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas.

USW Local 13-2001 President Ricky Brooks will present the proposal. Joining him at the meeting are several Australian union members who are on strike against a maintenance contractor that works for ExxonMobil’s Australian subsidiary— Esso Australia Pty Ltd (Esso). The Australians have some questions they want the company to answer.

The USW encourages its members who have stock in the company to vote for the proposal- Item #7, which requests the company to provide an annual report on lobbying at the local, state and federal levels:

“Whereas, we believe in full disclosure of ExxonMobil’s direct and indirect lobbying activities and expenditures to assess whether ExxonMobil’s lobbying is consistent with its expressed goals and in the best interests of shareholders.

“Resolved, the shareholders of ExxonMobil request the preparation of a report, updated annually, disclosing:

  1. Company policy and procedures governing lobbying, both direct and indirect, and grassroots lobbying communications.
  2. Payments  by ExxonMobil used for (a) direct or indirect lobbying or (b) grassroots lobbying communications, in each case including the amount of the payment and the recipient.
  3. ExxonMobil’s membership in and payments to any tax-exempt organization that writes and endorses model legislation.
  4. Description of management’s and the Board’s decision-making process and oversight for making payments described in sections 2 and 3 above.”

Grassroots lobbying communication is directed toward the public. It refers to communication about specific legislation or regulation, the company’s view on those items, and its encouragement to the recipient of the communication to take action.

Indirect lobbying means ExxonMobil’s membership in a trade association or other organization that does lobbying.

Each year the report would be presented to the company’s audit committee or other relevant oversight committees and posted on the company website.

Why Support

“The shareholders have a right to know how ExxonMobil is spending their money to influence legislation and change regulatory protection that may not be in their or their family’s best interest,” said Kim Nibarger, head of the USW’s National Oil Bargaining Program.  “This proposal is a step in the right direction.”

ExxonMobil spent over $94 million on federal lobbying since 2010.  It also lobbies in 33 states, according to an investigative piece from the Center for Public Integrity, but the company’s disclosure is uneven or absent. ExxonMobil does not provide this information, and it is only disclosed if reporters dig for it.

The company also does not disclose its memberships or payments to trade associations or the amount of its money used for the organizations’ lobbying. Again, outside sources reveal that the company is a member of the American Petroleum Institute (API), Business Roundtable and National Association of Manufacturers.  These groups collectively spent $44 million on lobbying for 2017.

ExxonMobil is also a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and its membership drew media focus.  ALEC is infamous in labor union circles for creating model legislation that attacks workers’ rights. 

Company response

ExxonMobil recommended a vote against the proposal. It said it supports accountability and “appropriate” (editor’s emphasis) transparency and disclosure of lobbying activities and expenditures.

The company said it places its key issues, lobbying activities, and political activities policy and guidelines on its website. In addition, it said it publishes quarterly reports on its federal lobbying and the portions of its payments to trade associations and other groups that spend money on federal lobbying.  It says these reports and its contributions to more than 100 U.S.-based organizations, including ALEC, are on its website as well. 

In reality, USW and its investor allies have never been able to adequately research the payments paid to trade associations as the company claims.  ExxonMobil advised USW that it would give a “tutorial on where to find the data”—but thus far this project has stalled, and the necessary information has not been revealed.

USW Lead Filer

For six years, the USW took the lead in filing this proposal for ExxonMobil’s proxy statement.  Last year, it received 28 percent of the shareholder vote - a 2 percent increase from the previous year.  USW is joined by over 25 other religious and social responsible investors in our effort for greater transparency and disclosure. 

The USW and its institutional investment partners are concerned that inadequate disclosure about ExxonMobil’s state lobbying and payments toward trade association and organization lobbying negatively impacts the corporation’s reputation. That is why a vote “Yes” on Item 7 is necessary.

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USW Teaches Hazard Mapping at University Park Site https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/usw-teaches-hazard-mapping-at-university-park-site Fri, 25 May 2018 11:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/usw-teaches-hazard-mapping-at-university-park-site This article originally appeared in Standing Strong at Solvay: May 2018.

Workers and management at Solvay’s University Park, Ill., plant are more aware of potential health and safety problems since they received USW training on hazard mapping last October during the facility’s annual safety day.

USW staffer Ashlee Fitch from the Health, Safety & Environment Department and Jeff Hill, North American representative on the Solvay Global Forum, taught the hazard mapping classes over a two-day period.  Solvay broke the workforce into groups so that everyone, including management, could attend one of the sessions.

Hill said that he and Fitch divided the class into groups of three to four people and gave them poster board paper and markers. Each group selected a work area they were familiar with, drew the area on paper and identified with different colored markers where the hazards were located.

“This class got people talking, saying things like, ‘Hey, I didn’t realize what was in this tank.’ It created a lot of awareness. We had management people tell us they didn’t realize they had certain hazards," Hill said.

“There are so many hazards in our workplaces. If we can make ourselves aware of them, we can make the places safer."

He cited one example of this awareness:  One employee said he had not realized that there were many potential hazards when he walked between his work area and the lunch area or break room.

“The plant manager told us our hazard mapping class was the best received and had the best feedback,” Hill said. “The company thought Ashlee did well, and it asked her if she would consider returning to the site to do more training at some point.”

Local 7-2011 President Michael Spicknall said the hazard mapping class was well received by the members.

He said that usually management would have everyone sit in a room and offer ideas for root causes at one time, with one person struggling to write it all down.

“They think what they have is as good as the USW’s ‘Looking for Trouble’ training. It’s good, but I don’t think they always dive as deep as ‘Looking for Trouble’ does,” he said.

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Minnesota Gov. Dayton receives USW Wellstone Award for commitment to working families https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/minnesota-gov-dayton-receives-usw-wellstone-award-for-commitment-to-working-families Fri, 25 May 2018 09:05:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/minnesota-gov-dayton-receives-usw-wellstone-award-for-commitment-to-working-families Flanked by Steelworkers members from his home state, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton received the USW Wellstone Award this week at the 2018 Rapid Response and Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

District 11 Director Emil Ramirez and International President Leo W. Gerard presented the award to Dayton for his commitment to public service and the well-being of USW members and their families. Governor Dayton receives Wellstone Award

The award is named for the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, who along with his wife, daughter and three campaign aides were killed in a plane crash prior to the election in 2002. Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis of Georgia was this year's other recipient.

Click here for more on his story.

In 12 years, Wellstone proved to be the most reliable, tenacious, and inspiring senator on behalf of Steelworkers and all workers. He loved our union and its members from Minnesota’s Iron Range.  He fought tirelessly to save Steelworkers’ jobs, and even after jobs were lost, he continued fighting for Steelworkers’ pensions and for our retirees’ health care.  From the Iron Range of Minnesota, to the “Battle of Seattle” at the WTO, to the corridors of power here in Washington, Paul Wellstone was always there for us, always leading the way forward. 

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Rep. John Lewis Receives USW Wellstone Award https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/rep-john-lewis-receives-usw-wellstone-award Thu, 24 May 2018 13:16:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/rep-john-lewis-receives-usw-wellstone-award Rep. John Lewis, the Congressman from Georgia and iconic civil and workers' rights icon, is the 2018 recipient of the USW Wellstone Award.

Lewis was presented with the award by District 9 Director Daniel Flippo, USW members and staff during the 2018 Rapid Response and Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton also received the Wellstone Award this year. Click here for more on his story. 

The USW gives the award annually to public figures who show commitment to public service and the well-being of USW members and their families. 

John Lewis Wellstone Award

The award is named for the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, who along with his wife, daughter and three campaign aides were killed in a plane crash prior to the election in 2002.

In 12 years, Wellstone proved to be the most reliable, tenacious, and inspiring senator on behalf of Steelworkers and all workers. He loved our union and its members from Minnesota’s Iron Range.  He fought tirelessly to save Steelworkers’ jobs, and even after jobs were lost, he continued fighting for Steelworkers’ pensions and for our retirees’ health care.  From the Iron Range of Minnesota, to the “Battle of Seattle” at the WTO, to the corridors of power here in Washington, Paul Wellstone was always there for us, always leading the way forward. 

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Kalamazoo Local Approves Three-Year Contract https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/kalamazoo-local-approves-three-year-contract Thu, 24 May 2018 11:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/kalamazoo-local-approves-three-year-contract This article originally appeared in Standing Strong at Solvay: May 2018.

Local 220 production and maintenance workers at Solvay’s Kalamazoo, Mich., site ratified last February a three-year agreement that ends Feb. 26, 2021.

The contract covers 10 workers and contains general wage increases of 3 percent each year. This 9 percent wage hike over three years increases an employee’s benefits, while a signing bonus is a one-time shot and does not add to benefits over the long run. That is why it is better to have a wage increase than a bonus.

Under the agreement, bargaining unit employees can participate in the same health, welfare and 401(k) plans that salaried, non-union employees have, except for benefits regarding vacation, buying and selling of vacation, and severance. The cost per program or option is the same for each employee, with variations dependent upon which option is selected, the worker’s age and the number of dependents covered.

There are some minor contract language changes on items like overtime and the absentee and shift switching policies. Language concerning the lead operator position is changed.

The contract also provides for increases in the safety shoe allowance, gift card amount for perfect attendance and reimbursement for educational assistance.

Contract addendums include a Memorandum of Agreement regarding the 12-hour fixed shift schedule and Letters of Understanding regarding the KM Polymer department and posting of job openings.

Cytec owned the site until 2015 when Solvay acquired the property. Originally used as an alum plant, the site is now part of Solvay’s composite materials global business unit. The main product is KM polymers that are key toughening elements in resin systems. The aerospace industry uses the resin systems to produce composite components for the commercial and military aviation sectors.

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