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 Workers Are Dying Because OSHA Can’t Do Its Job: Barab on MSNBC This Morning http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/workers-are-dying-because-osha-cant-do-its-job-barab-on-msnbc-this-morning Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:25:54 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/workers-are-dying-because-osha-cant-do-its-job-barab-on-msnbc-this-morning JordanConfined Space, a newsletter of workplace safety and labor issues

OSHA’s budget and staffing are worse now than ever in the almost 50 year history of the agency: This is an agency that hasn’t had a budget increase since 2010, that is tasked with ensuring the safety and health of workers in 8 million workplaces. OSHA inspectors are at their lowest level in the history of the agency. In 1980 – almost 40 years ago when Ronald Reagan became president, had almost twice as many inspectors than it has today in an economy that was half the size of the current economy. ... watch the video and read the full post here

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Spotlight on Health Care Coordinators http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/spotlight-on-health-care-coordinators Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:07:55 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/spotlight-on-health-care-coordinators The Health Care Workers Council is expanding its reach, with newly appointed health care coordinators now serving as the steering committee.
Coordinators will facilitate communication between health care locals in their districts, including regular calls with local union presidents. Appointed by their district directors, coordinators will also help set the agenda for the Health Care Workers Conference, which will take place April 23-25.

There are currently twelve members serving as coordinators:

District 1: Tim O’Daniel is president of Local 1014L, which represents 850 clerical, technical and support staff at Cleveland Clinic Akron General in Akron, Ohio. He’s been at the medical center for 37 years and a full-time union officer since 1995.

District 2: Jackie Anklam is president of Local 9899 in Saginaw, Mich. Local 9899 represents workers at St. Mary’s Hospital and Touch Point Support Services. An environmental services technician, Jackie has been with the hospital 22 years.

District 3: Ray White is president of Local 1-207, a large and diverse local that encompasses nearly the entire province of Alberta. Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Ray’s local represents health care workers at South Country Village, the Good Samaritan Society, River Ridge Seniors Village, Salem Manor, Citadel Care Centre, Calgary Society for Persons with Disabilities, Vegreville Association for Living in Dignity, Youville Home, and Rivercrest Care Centre.

District 4: Judy Danella is president of local 4-200 in New Brunswick, N.J. She has been a registered nurse at Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health for 23 years.

District 6: Audra Nixon is a member of Local 9211 in Maxville, Ontario. She’s worked some 30 years at Maxville Manor, a long-term care facility. She is a trustee on her local executive board and also serves as president of the District 6 Health Care Council, a position she’s held the past four years.

District 7: Nicole Greene serves as financial secretary of local 1014 in Gary, Ind. She works as a full-time officer at U.S. Steel’s Gary Works and has been a steelworker for 17 years.

District 8: Danny Coghill is vice president of Local 14637 in Hazard, Ky., which represents health care workers at Hazard Appalachian Reginal Medical Center. He’s been a union member for more than 27 years.

District 10: Debbie Yakscoe is a full-time grievance committee member for local 10-00086 in West Point, Pa. Local 10-00086 represents workers at Merck, Sharpe and Dohme, Inc. Debbie also serves as the worker’s compensation committee co-chair and is an at-large member of the local’s executive board.

Cheryl Ream is unit chair of Local 1940 in Lewistown, Pa. Local 1940 represents some 150 members at Geisinger Lewistown Hospital. She’s worked as a radiographer and mammographer for 25 years.

District 11: Heather Hill is a grievance officer, union steward and trustee for Local 9349 in Hibbing, Minn. She works as a lead licensed practical nurse at Fairview Range Mesaba Clinics, where she’s worked for nearly 13 years.

Louise Curnow is a physician assistant practicing at Lake Superior Community Health Center in Duluth, Minn., who serves as unit chair for the professional unit of Local 9460. A staunch believer that health care is a human right, Louise has been a physician assistant – certified (PA-C) for more than 25 years, working primarily in family practice.  

District 12: Alma Garzon is president of Local 183 in Apple Valley, Calif., where she’s been an ED Financial Counselor for 17 years. Local 183 represents some 750 workers at St. Mary Medical Center.

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District 9 Locals Focus on Internal Organizing http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/district-9-locals-focus-on-internal-organizing Tue, 09 Jan 2018 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/district-9-locals-focus-on-internal-organizing D9 Internal Organizing

Internal Organizing is very important. It's Wrong Not To Belong is more than a slogan, in District 9 IT IS A WAY OF LIFE!!

Locals 9-738 and 9-428 in Riegelwood, NC representing the IP workers, working to increase member density, solidarity and strength!!

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Local 1-689 on its Way to Becoming Regional Training Center for Atomic Workers http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/local-1-689-on-its-way-to-becoming-regional-training-center-for-atomic-workers Mon, 08 Jan 2018 11:58:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/local-1-689-on-its-way-to-becoming-regional-training-center-for-atomic-workers Local Union (LU) 1-689 President Herman Potter’s dream has always been to have an East Coast training center at the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant cleanup site in Piketon, Ohio, that is similar to the Hazardous Materials Management and Emergency Response (HAMMER) Training Center at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington State.

“Twenty years ago the local union discussed moving into doing training and it grew from there,” Herman said. “Through the years we gained a support system.”

This support includes the USWTMC, which obtains federal government grants to fund the local union’s health and safety training for its members, the community, DOE sites and other USW DOE sites; community leaders; vocational schools; the City of Piketon; contractors; DOE and federal legislators. Herman and Local 1-689 worked hard over the years to establish relationships with each of these groups.

“Ten or more years ago, me and one of the Pike County council members, Jennifer Chandler, had the idea of establishing a regional training center in order to encourage reindustrialization and bring companies into the site,” Herman said. “If DOE releases clean land on the site and there is infrastructure for re-industrialization, that puts us in a position to grow.”

The gaseous diffusion plant ceased operations in May 2001, and since then, workers at the former plant have been engaged in extensive environmental cleanup of the site.

Building Training Credentials

Herman said the local union began doing Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training in 1989, and in the last seven years has conducted OSHA, safety representative and industrial hygiene training with the help of the USWTMC and contractors.

Marybeth Potter, a LU 1-689 member and training coordinator with the USW Tony Mazzocchi Center (USWTMC), said many of the LU 1-689 worker-trainers provide training for other USW-represented industrial and nuclear sites, DOE sites, as well as the community training. They also are considered OSHA trainers for the USWTMC and train other trainers.

In addition, the site has a robotics initiative and the local union is in the process of partnering with DOE, TMC and Sandia National Labs to conduct robotic safety training.

“I think we have a progressive local union. We push every opportunity we have to ensure work at this site by maintaining the quality and skills of our membership,” Herman said.

PICTURED: USW Local Union 1-689 President Herman Potter. Photo by Mike Hancock, USW Local Union 9-562 retiree.

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Paducah Local Hosts Fall Atomic Council Meeting http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/paducah-local-hosts-fall-atomic-council-meeting Mon, 08 Jan 2018 11:27:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/paducah-local-hosts-fall-atomic-council-meeting Members of USW’s Atomic Energy Workers Council (AEWC) held their fall meeting at Local 550’s union hall in Paducah, Ky., which included a tour of the cleanup work being done at the former gaseous diffusion plant.

Besides discussion over the Department of Energy (DOE), local union issues, robotics and the Worker Health Protection Program (WHPP), members heard a presentation by attorney, Julie Ford, regarding arbitration awards and fitness for duty.

At the suggestion of Local Union (LU) 12-369 member Bill Collins from the Hanford plant, the council decided to form an AEWC caucus for the Energy Communities Alliance (ECA) meetings in Washington, DC.

Besides being a vehicle to get the council’s voice heard in DC, it enables the group to create one-on-one relationships with DOE staffers, DOE appointees by the administration, Congress and congressional staffers involved in the nuclear sector.

AEWC decided to hold the caucus meeting/reception this spring in conjunction with the ECA meeting in DC, and proposed to fund the caucus with a 50-cent per capita increase.

Robotics

AEWC President Jim Key and Rod Rimando, DOE environmental management director of the Office of Technology, discussed the opportunities to use robotics for assisting—not replacing—workers in areas of high radioactive contamination.

“In some sectors, robotics is a job-killer, but that is not true in the nuclear sector,” Rimando said. “A robotic device will always require a human because of the nature of change in our work. Robotics in the nuclear sector is for doing our work safer and better.”

Workers would control the robots’ movements with I-pads, enabling them to be at an increased distance from a radiation source and not receive exposure.

The aging nuclear work force is prompting DOE to have workers wear exoskeletal suits to protect them from repetitive motion disorders, fatigue, muscle atrophy and the effects of aging.   

USW Assistant Legislative Director Roxanne Brown said it is critical for the union to control the automation happening within the nuclear sector before it develops further without USW input.

“We are working on the next phase of nuclear operations; it is key we control this automation,” Brown said. “Maybe we can attract young people to work in the nuclear sector because they think it is cool.”

PICTURED: (L-R) Herman Potter, AEWC vice president; Jim Key, AEWC president, and USW International Vice President Carol Landry. Photo BY Mike Hancock, USW Local Union 9-562 retiree.

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2018 USW District 9 Education Conference http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/2018-usw-district-9-education-conference Mon, 08 Jan 2018 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/2018-usw-district-9-education-conference 2018 D9 EDU Conf Call ltr

2018 D9 EDU Conf RegistrationForm

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Dist. 7 SOAR Chapter Collects Food, Gifts for Laid Off Steelworkers http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/dist-7-soar-chapter-collects-food-gifts-for-laid-off-steelworkers Thu, 04 Jan 2018 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2018/dist-7-soar-chapter-collects-food-gifts-for-laid-off-steelworkers We all experience the good feelings of joy that come with the Christmas season. The spontaneous wishes expressed to friends and strangers alike to have a happy Christmas as we smile and walk away. We experience the joyful, personal rewards during the season that become second nature when you hear the clanging of the bell outside the stores, knowing that those in need will be offered a little extra help as people stop and drop money into the ringer’s bucket.

So much of that conditioned joy can change when confronted with the harsh reality of a recognizable face, not an unknown person living in a local shelter. The reality when we become painfully aware that it’s our friends, your former co-workers, and maybe a relative who have, by no fault of their own,  have now become recipients of these donations . What formerly was a faceless person in need is now that guy I worked with for years. You know, the one who shared his family stories as his children grew. The man who was so self-reliant he resisted the offer for help when you knew he was building an addition to his home to house his growing family. He has now become one of the many struggling parents who could use a little extra help this Christmas season.

Working in partnership, SOAR, USW Locals 1899, 50, 1063, 68, the United Way our friends from local law firms combined efforts with many Madison and St. Clair County elected officials in the shared desire to give back to those in need during the Holiday Food Basket Giveaway for laid off steelworkers in Granite City, Il.

A mindful volunteer would find the scene of displayed generosity and brotherhood uplifting.  After all, ‘tis the season for giving. So many personal stories of hardship and completely unanticipated life-altering decisions were revealed, listening to the many proud but hurting steelworkers who were lined up, waiting to gather the filled baskets as they still struggle to come to terms with the surreal reality of being so unexpectedly placed in this position of an extraordinary long layoff.

The distribution of 26,500 pounds of food from the St. Louis area Food Bank, gift cards, clothing donations organized by Katie Stuart were moved with the goal of helping many of the 2,000 steelworkers that are on layoff from Granite City manufacturers. 

A longtime steelworker shared his forced-into-retirement story in order to receive retiree medical coverage as his wife has chronic medical needs and his active member medical coverage has expired. Other tough life decisions were shared while the crowd lined up; home foreclosures; downsizing everything from autos to Christmas gifts for the worker’s children; completing school but finding no family supporting employment.

Steelworkers, SOAR and their many friends who helped out don’t just drive in for a quick tarmac tap of seasonal goodwill. We don’t forget our laid off friends and families in our communities. Let’s hope the countless expressions of gratitude inspire us all to approach benevolence with the same attitude throughout the year. May the New Year bring steelworkers, and all of those wishing for a better life, happiness, good health and sustainable employment that will offer them and their family’s real opportunities.

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Two Unique Triangle of Prevention Sites, Two Different Awards http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/two-unique-triangle-of-prevention-sites-two-different-awards Wed, 20 Dec 2017 14:31:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/two-unique-triangle-of-prevention-sites-two-different-awards Both winners of the 2017 Triangle of Prevention (TOP) awards are unique.

Local Union (LU) 912 from PBF’s Toledo Refining Complex in Oregon, Ohio, received the 2017 Fallen Workers Memorial Award for building solidarity and exhibiting collective involvement within the TOP program. The local was one of the charter TOP facilities in the 1990s to see how the program would work.

Local Union 9-675 from the 3M plant in Guin, Ala., received the 2017 Glenn Erwin Award for completing an investigation that resulted in significant improvement. More than 14 years ago, 3M almost shut the facility because of its poor safety record.

LU 912 embedded the TOP program into every union function, from working with the negotiations committee to push forward safety initiatives to bringing TOP issues to the health and safety committee, process safety management and grievances.

The local also earned the award because it successfully secured management’s acceptance of TOP—which ensured the TOP representative’s ability to perform investigations and conduct TOP steering meetings—and the rank-and-file’s trust and participation in the program.

“Our story is one of success brought on by the tireless commitment of generations of union brothers and sisters fighting to improve the working conditions at our facility,” said LU 912 TOP Representative Matt Velker.

Video Sparked Hazard Recognition

At the 3M plant, LU 9-675 TOP Coordinator Milton Simmons showed a Chemical Safety Board (CSB) video during a TOP hazard awareness refresher training. After watching the video, a local union member realized that the hazard shown was present in his plant, too.

The TOP investigation team, composed of trained workers and staff, conducted a near miss investigation, and followed the CSB’s recommendation in the video to correct the design and engineering system of safety failure.

Simmons said the TOP program involves everyone in the plant.

“Our safety culture is throughout our site and goes from the shop floor to the manager’s door,” he said. “Even managers—including our plant manager—will turn in near misses because they know TOP works and that what is turned in will get fixed.”

Union and member-created and –driven, the TOP program focuses on incident prevention through application of the seven systems of safety—design and engineering (most effective), mitigation devices, maintenance and inspection, warning devices, training, procedures and personal protective equipment.

Incidents are investigated; near misses and incidents are measured and tracked; and recommendations are made and followed through.

The USW Tony Mazzocchi Center (USWTMC) administers TOP, provides training and creates the training materials. More information can be obtained by contacting TOP Program Coordinator Steve Doherty, sdoherty@uswtmc.org, 412-562-2561 OR USWTMC Program Administrator John Scardella, jscardella@uswtmc.org, 412-562-2582.

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From the NOBP Chair: A Time to Remember and Look Ahead to Our Future http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/from-the-nobp-chair-a-time-to-remember-and-look-ahead-to-our-future Wed, 20 Dec 2017 14:27:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/from-the-nobp-chair-a-time-to-remember-and-look-ahead-to-our-future Brothers and Sisters,

Well, we have made another revolution around the sun and it has been an eventful year.

Our sisters and brothers in the south—Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico—suffered tremendous loss due to flooding and hurricanes. Numerous destructive wildfires continue to plague our members in the Northwest and West Coast. Throughout the union we have workers who have been on strike a long time this year. As we move through the holiday season and into next year, please remember these people and try to help them in any way you can.

Our National Oil Bargaining Program (NOBP) contract expires Feb. 1, 2019 at midnight. As soon as we lock in the dates and location for our NOBP policy setting conference, we will send out a notice to the locals, staff, and policy committee members.

We held a meeting December 12-13 in Pittsburgh with the policy committee and alternates, so expect to hear from them soon. Begin thinking about what proposals you want to see presented at the NOBP policy conference in the fall for the next round of negotiations.

Improved Communication and Unity

For the councils that have 2018 meetings, please send a meeting notice to both Julie and I so I can make plans to attend. I have tried to attend the council meetings since I moved into this role, and I know it improved communication between me and the councils. It also helps me with presenting urgent issues to the corporate folks when we meet, and a number of the companies and I talk even if we don’t have a problem.

Communication between me and the industry improved because of the council involvement and the willingness of the locals to work together as a council. This strengthened our oil program, and I appreciate the councils’ effort to stand together and work through companywide proposals these past two years.

As we look forward, we must remember that our strength is in our unity. We are stronger together than individually. Getting agreement on an issue is half the battle, demanding the agreement actually be implemented and acted on is the harder part. Constant vigilance over contract language and a demand to bargain changes must become second nature. We need to know and understand our rights, then stand up for them.

Thank you all for your willingness to work together to maintain the strength we have in the oil sector. We are a proud piece of this union, and accomplish many benefits for our members dealing with the most powerful industry in the world.

I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa or best wishes for however you celebrate the holiday season. This is a time to spend with family and friends to celebrate new beginnings and remember those who passed during the year. Think of those hurting now and through the coming year, and practice some empathy for your fellow human beings. Best wishes for a wonderful 2018.

In Solidarity,

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

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USW Celebrates Partnership with Variety - the Children’s Charity http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/usw-celebrates-partnership-with-variety-the-childrens-charity Tue, 19 Dec 2017 15:59:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/usw-celebrates-partnership-with-variety-the-childrens-charity About a half-dozen Western Pennsylvania children and their families joined USW members on Tuesday, Dec. 19, to celebrate the growing partnership between the union and Variety - the Children’s Charity.

Variety, an international nonprofit organization that has its roots in Pittsburgh, provides equipment, services and health care meant to increase mobility, independence and inclusion for children with special needs.

International Vice President Fred Redmond announced on Tuesday during a ceremony at the union’s international headquarters that the USW has helped to raise more than $500,000 for the organization.

“We’re proud to partner with Variety to do this life-changing work,” Redmond said. “We’re committed to helping children – our own children as well as children throughout our communities.”

Among the items that Variety provides are specially designed bicycles and strollers as well as electronic devices for children who have difficulty communicating.

Charles LaVallee, chief executive of Variety’s Pittsburgh chapter, said he hoped more organizations would follow the USW’s example.

“This symbolizes how the USW cares for its own and cares for the community,” LaVallee said.

Kindergartener Tyler Winfield, who struggles to speak, received an electronic device six months ago that has allowed him to communicate with family members, teachers and classmates.

Tyler’s mother, Jennifer, said that using the device has allowed Tyler to begin learning to speak on his own.

“It has been a true blessing,” she said.

Tyler is just one of dozens of children who have been helped through Variety’s partnership with the USW. Another, Troy Robinson, who was born with Down syndrome, showed off his new tricycle as he led a parade of smiling children through the USW lobby.

“He deserves to be as active as any other kid in the community,” said his father, also named Troy.

The USW’s work with Variety thus far has been limited to Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, but the union’s goal is to take the partnership to an international level, Redmond said.

“Our commitment is to go out and tell the Variety story,” Redmond said. “We’re just beginning.”

The organization’s story began in Pittsburgh in 1927 and has since expanded to 42 offices in 13 countries that have raised more than $2 billion.

The Variety Club, as it was known 90 years ago, began its charitable work when its 11 founders, who were local theater owners and showmen, discovered an abandoned baby along with a desperate note from her mother saying she could not care for the child.

The club’s founders decided to act as “godfathers” and to underwrite the child’s support and education. They named her Catherine Variety Sheridan, her middle name for the club and her last name for the Sheridan Square Theater where they found her.

Today, the organization presents supporters with an annual award in that child’s honor. In November, International President Leo W. Gerard was the recipient of the 2017 Catherine Variety Sheridan Humanitarian Award in recognition of the USW’s fundraising efforts.

“I didn’t do this by myself. What motivated me and our union were the kids,” Gerard said at Variety’s 90th annual anniversary gala in Pittsburgh. “When given the opportunity to show these families that they are not alone and to change a child’s life for the better, we must act on it every time.”

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Thanking those who stand with us http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/thanking-those-who-stand-with-us Tue, 19 Dec 2017 15:48:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/thanking-those-who-stand-with-us American-made steel and aluminum plays a vital role in our economic and national security. Everything from ships and tanks to bridges, railways, and our electrical grid are built with steel and aluminum.

But unfair foreign competition from countries like China and Russia has forced American producers to close operations and lay off tens of thousands of workers, including many USW members. This is also creating a dangerous dependency on these nations for our steel and aluminum needs – making America less prepared to equip our military and respond to emergencies like earthquakes, hurricanes, or terrorist attacks. 
 
Back in April 2017, President Trump took a big step forward toward resolving this crisis by initiating a Section 232 national security investigation into steel and aluminum imports. But the administration has yet to release the results. Meanwhile, steel imports alone are up nearly 22 percent in 2017 compared to the same period last year. (If you haven't yet, sign our petition urging action here!)
 
We're pushing the administation and all elected officials use all available tools, including the Section 232 remedies, to protect America’s economic and national security and safeguard American steel and aluminum. Many have said they're with us -- some even have sent letters to the Commerce Department urging action -- and for that, we say thank you:
 

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-CO

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-MO

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-WA

Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-MD

Sen. Bob Casey, D-PA

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-IN

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-IL

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-VA

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-MN

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV

Sen. Ed Markey, D-MA

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-MO

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-OR

Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA

Sen. Gary Peters, D-MI

Sen. Rob Portman, R-OH

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D- NY

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-MI

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR

Sen. Todd Young, R-IN

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-MD

Sen. Mark Warner, D-VA

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA

Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-AL

Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-OH

Rep. Jack Bergman, R-MI

Rep. Rob Bishop, R-UT

Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-GA

Rep. Mike Bost, R-IL

Rep. Robert Brady, D-PA

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-AL

Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-IN

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-IL

Rep. Brad Byrne, R-AL

Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-CA

Rep. Andre Carson. D-IN

Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-PA

Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-TN

Rep. Tom Cole, R-OK

Rep. James Clyburn, D-SC

Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-NY

Rep. Rick Crawford, R-AK

Rep. Warren Davidson, R-OH

Rep. Danny Davis, D-IL

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-IL

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT

Rep. Susan DelBene, D-WA

Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-MI

Rep. Mike Doyle, D-PA

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-MN

Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.

Rep. Ryan Fitzpatrick, R-PA

Rep. Bill Flores, R-TX

Rep. Bill Foster, D-IL

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-OH

Rep. John Garamendi, D-CA

Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-OH

Rep. Gene Green, D-TX

Rep. Greg Harper, R-MS

Rep. Brian Higgins, D- NY

Rep. Richard Hudson, R-NC

Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-WV

Rep. Bill Johnson, R-OH

Rep. Henry Johnson Jr., D-GA

Rep. Walter Jones, R-NC

Rep. David Joyce, R-OH

Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-OH

Rep. John Katko, R-NY

Rep. Mike Kelly, R-PA

Rep. Robin Kelly, D-IL

Rep. Dan Kildee, D-MI

Rep. Ron Kind, D-WI

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-IL 

Rep. John Larson, D-CT

Rep. John Lewis, D-GA

Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-IA

Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-IL

Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-MA

Rep. Tom Marino, R-PA

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-MN

Rep. Donald McEachin, D-VA

Rep. James McGovern, D-MA

Rep. David McKinley, R-WV

Rep. Gwen Moore, D-WI

Rep. Richard Neal, D-MA

Rep. Rick Nolan, D-MN

Rep. Donald Norcross, D-NJ

Rep. Bil Pascrell, D-NJ

Rep. Scott Perry, R-PA

Rep. Collin Peterson, D-MN

Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-NC 

Rep. Mark Pocan, D-WI

Rep. Dave Reichert, R-WA

Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-PA

Rep. John Rutherford, R-FL

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio

Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-CA

Rep. Bobby Scott, D-VA

Rep. Steve Stivers, R-OH

Rep. Terri Sewell, D-AL

Rep. John Shimkus, R-IL

Rep. Jason Smith, R-MO

Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter, D-NY

Rep. Christopher Smith, R-NJ

Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-NY

Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-NY

Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-PA 

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-CA

Rep. Paul Tonko, D-NY

Rep. Michael Turner, R-OH

Rep. Peter Visclosky, D-IN

Rep. Tim Walz, D-MN

And members of the Congressional Steel Caucus who sent this letter and this letter of support.

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Local 9899 Participates in Saginaw Holiday Parade http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/local-9899-participates-in-saginaw-holiday-parade Fri, 15 Dec 2017 13:27:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/local-9899-participates-in-saginaw-holiday-parade

Members of Local 9899 and their families last month participated in their community’s holiday parade. They decorated a float and handed out candy in bags decorated with the USW logo. Local 9899 staffs St. Mary’s Hospital in Saginaw, Mich.

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A Fighting Tradition: District 8 SOAR Attend 13th Annual Convention of the West Virginia Alliance for Retired Americans. http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/a-fighting-tradition-district-8-soar-attend13th-annual-convention-of-the-west-virginia-alliance-for-retired-americans Fri, 15 Dec 2017 09:18:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/a-fighting-tradition-district-8-soar-attend13th-annual-convention-of-the-west-virginia-alliance-for-retired-americans Since the state was admitted to the Union in 1863, West Virginians have always embraced the idea that hard work and liberty go hand in hand.

In fact, the Great Seal of West Virginia displays the image of a boulder with a farmer and a miner on each side. In the foreground lie two rifles and a liberty cap which signifies the state’s history of fighting for liberty. Inscribed below the image is West Virginia’s motto, “Montani Semper Liberi,” which is Latin for “Mountaineers are Always Free.”

These themes of hard work and liberty were also central to the 13th Annual Convention of the West Virginia Alliance for Retired Americans (WV ARA), which was held on November 16 and 17, 2017. This year’s convention was the WV ARA’s largest to date, thanks to the significant contributions of the state chapter’s 12-member Executive Board on which six SOAR members serve elected offices.

The SOAR members currently serving on the WV ARA’s Executive Board include: SOAR Chapter 23-4 Recording Secretary, Robert Adkins; SOAR Chapter 23-16 Recording Secretary, Betty Totten; SOAR Chapter 23-16 President, Les Shockey; SOAR Chapter 23-16 Member, Larry LaCorte; SOAR Chapter 23-4 President, Rick Lewis and SOAR Chapter 23-16 Member, Floyd Sayre.

With the support of several other unions that are heavily involved in coordinating and planning – including AFSCME, CWA, AFT and the IBEW – this convention focused on training members and allies in ways to use social media and technology to better communicate the work of the West Virginia Alliance for Retired Americans.

Robert Adkins explains that improved communications online by members and allies will help the ARA be more affective in their efforts to repeal the state’s so-called “Right to Work” law, protect workers’ right to prevailing wage and improve workers’ rights overall.

Adkins, District 8 SOAR Executive Board member and outgoing WV ARA Treasurer, explained to us several ways that the WV ARA is working to establish itself as one of the most progressive and active chapters in the nation.

Adkins describes how last year the chapter went through the very complicated process of changing the organization’s tax status – a move that will “give our members greater influence over what type of laws are passed at the state and federal levels.” Specifically, this change will enable the WV ARA to lobby elected officials, make political endorsements and even give financial backing to candidates who have pledged support to the values and mission of the ARA.

The chapter has also successfully lobbied the national AFL-CIO in an effort to have a voice at the Federation’s annual constitutional convention, to which the WV ARA is now able to send two credentialed delegates. To Adkins’ knowledge, theirs is the only state chapter of the ARA that sends credentialed delegates to the AFL-CIO’s constitutional convention.

Though Adkins is not continuing on as the WV ARA Treasurer, he made it clear that he plans on maintaining involvement in the chapter; given the incredible amount of work being done by its members and board to advance the right of retirees. 

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Steelworkers Deliver Message of Solidarity to Mexican Miners http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/steelworkers-deliver-message-of-solidarity-to-mexican-miners Tue, 12 Dec 2017 16:04:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/steelworkers-deliver-message-of-solidarity-to-mexican-miners A USW delegation brought a message of solidarity on Dec. 11 to Mexican mineworkers who have been on strike for more than five weeks against Torex Gold, a Canadian mining company.

“Steelworkers in the United States and Canada and workers around the world support your fight,” District 12 Director Bob LaVenture told the striking workers assembled outside Gate #3 of the mine, in Cocula in the state of Guerrero. 

LaVenture and Sub-District 2 Director Manny Armenta also met with  workers and community leaders in the nearby town of Nuevo Balsas, where many of the workers live. Residents of local communities have supported the workers, who went on strike Nov. 3 to demand that the company cancel its contract with the CTM union and recognize Los Mineros.  

Torex signed a contract in 2013 with the CTM, an employer-dominated union, before any workers had been hired. On Nov. 18, members of a “community police” group linked to the CTM killed two workers, Víctor and Marcelino Sahuanitla Peña, who were employed by a Torex contractor and supported the strike.

“All the gold in this mine is not worth the life of one worker,” LaVenture said at the site of a monument erected by the community to honor the Sahuanitla Peña bothers.

“These tragic events underscore the need for a forceful approach by the Canadian government to the issue of labour rights in Mexico in the current NAFTA negotiations” said a letter sent yesterday to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from USW President Leo W. Gerard, National Director for Canada Ken Neumann, and Los Mineros President and General Secretary Napoleón Gómez

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District 13 Members Help Raise Money for USW Charitable and Educational Organization http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/district-13-members-help-raise-money-for-usw-charitable-and-educational-organization Tue, 12 Dec 2017 13:37:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/district-13-members-help-raise-money-for-usw-charitable-and-educational-organization Brother Emir Hinojosa from Local Union 13-1 wanted to help raise money for hurricane victims so he organized a T-shirt sale at his local. Local members got a new shirt and at the same time helped raise almost $1600 that was donated to the USW Charitable and Education Organization. Great work Emir!

Our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Island still need our support -- many have lost their homes and are still living without power, most of their workplaces have been destroyed, as well, leaving them with no job. Every penny donated to the fund goes directly to USW members in need, make a donation today by visiting www.usw.org/relief.

Pictured: Emir Hinojosa and Cory Gallow

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Health Care Coordinators Hold Inaugural Meeting http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/health-care-coordinators-hold-inaugural-meeting Fri, 08 Dec 2017 14:16:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/health-care-coordinators-hold-inaugural-meeting Seventeen newly appointed health care coordinators met in Pittsburgh this week to establish their goals and chart the future of the Health Care Council.

Health care is one of the union’s fastest growing sectors, with close to 50,000 members. In recognition of health care’s vital place within the union, delegates at the Constitutional Convention in April unanimously passed a resolution to help serve and grow membership in the industry.

“Health care is an important part of who we are as a union,” said International Vice President Fred Redmond, who oversees bargaining in the health care sector. “And it’s an important part of who we want to continue to be as we look to the future of this ever-evolving organization.”

One of the primary outcomes of the resolution was the creation of the positon of health care coordinator. Each coordinator was selected by his or her district director and will be responsible for facilitating communication between health care locals in their districts.

Together, the coordinators will also form the steering committee of the Health Care Workers Council.

The health care sector faces unique challenges, including geographically disparate locals, amalgamated locals in which the majority of members are not health care workers, and diverse job classifications within units.

“All these years I thought I was alone,” said Cheryl Rheam, a radiographer/mammographer from Local 1940 in Lewistown, Pa. “I was always told there were other health care workers in the union but was never actually introduced to them.”

Debbie Yakscoe, a grievance committee member from Local 10-00086 in Lansdale, Pa., echoed this sentiment. “This committee means there is hope on the horizon that we’re not on an island,” she said.

The coordinators crafted a mission statement, made a strategic plan for fostering communication between locals, and discussed the upcoming Health Care Workers’ Conference, which will take place in the spring.

“My main goal is to get our members involved,” said Daniel Coghill, Vice President of Local 14637 in Hazard, Ky. “And I know there is support if we need help.”

Health Care Coordinators: Tim O’Daniel (D1), Jackie Anklam (D2), Ray White (D3), Judy Danella (D4), Audra Nixon (D6), Nicole Greene (D7), Daniel Coghill (D8), Cheryl Rheam (D10), Debbie Yakscoe (D10), Heather Hill (D11), Louise Curnow (D11)

Designated Staff: Michelle Laurie (D3), Del Vitale (D4), Richard Leblanc (D6), Kim Smith (D9), Cathy Drummond (D11), Dianne Kanish (D12)

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SOAR Chapter 34-2 Supports Our Troops in Afghanistan http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/soar-chapter-34-2-supports-our-troops-in-afghanistan Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/soar-chapter-34-2-supports-our-troops-in-afghanistan Like many SOAR chapter presidents, Jeff Rains (President of Chapter 34-2 in Granite City, Illinois) seldom runs out of stories about the activism of his chapter’s members.

Recently he called to tell us about Shirley Luffman, a retiree who worked for 30 years at the Granite City Engineer Depot and current member of Rains’ SOAR chapter. Shirley’s son, Capt. Jeff Luffman, was first stationed in Kosovo in 1997, at which time she took it upon herself to begin sending “holiday gift boxes” to the men and women he served with. Shirley has not missed a year since then, and five years ago she approached her SOAR chapter with the idea of making this something they should consider building upon.

With support from the chapter’s membership, the collection has grown every year since. On November 27, the chapter mailed out 24 large postal boxes of supplies to U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. In 2017 alone, the chapter has sent more than 200 pounds of supplies including everything from batteries, snack bars, raisins, coffee, and more that has been donated by their nearly 500 members.

While the annual holiday gift drive was something President Rains’ chapter financed and organized, support has also come from Associate Judge Sarah Smith. According to Rains, Smith has at times offered to pay for the postage and shipment of the supplies and has gone out of her way to help get them in the hands of our men and women overseas. 

“All of this could not be done without Shirley and with the members of our SOAR chapter who so generously donated to our annual drive,” says President Rains. “Associate Judge Smith has been a great friend, and we greatly appreciate the support she’s given to see these shipments through.  I know it really matters to folks like Shirley’s son and others who give so much.” Associate Judge Smith is running for Circuit Judge in 2018.

In addition to the annual drive for our soldiers, the chapter also provides academic scholarships to the children and grandchildren of its members through a fund that was established in the honor of Jane Becker, who played a vital role in founding the Steelworker Organization of Active Retirees. Jane passed away in 2007, and was the wife of former USW President George Becker. Last year the fund awarded three scholarships in the amount of $3,000 each.

Chapter 34-2, recently donated $1,000 to the United Steelworkers Charitable and Educational Organization which benefits USW members impacted by hurricanes and other natural disasters. They are also in the midst of planning their second drive of support for USW members and families who were affected by layoffs at Granite City.

The USW coordinated the first drive of support last year in partnership with the United Way, the Greater St. Louis Area Food Bank, the City of Granite City, TWIGS and a number of community organizations. Both drives were made possible with more than $65,000 that was raised in the summer of 2016 by the USW and this growing number of community organizations and allies.

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2018 USW District 9 President's Meetings Announced http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/2018-usw-district-9-presidents-meetings-announced Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:29:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/2018-usw-district-9-presidents-meetings-announced 2018 DISTRICT 9 PRESIDENTS’ MEETINGS

 

(ALL MEETINGS WILL BEGIN AT 9:30 a.m.)

.

JANUARY 17               LOCAL 12L UNION HALL

                                    GADSDEN, AL

JANUARY 18               LOCAL 351L UNION HALL

                                    TUSCALOOSA, AL

JANUARY 22               HAMPTON INN MIAMI

                                     MIAMI, FL

JANUARY 24              LOCAL 395 UNION HALL

                                    FERNANDINA BEACH, FL

JANUARY 26               LOCAL 572 UNION HALL

                                    MACON, GA

FEBRUARY 5               HOLIDAY INN  EXPRESS/SARALAND

                                    MOBILE, AL

FEBRUARY 7               HILTON GARDEN INN JACKSON

                                    JACKSON, MS

FEBRUARY 9               LOCAL 7655 UNION HALL

                                    MEMPHIS, TN

FEBRUARY 13             LOCAL 1055L UNION HALL

                                   LAVERGNE, TN

FEBRUARY 15             LOCAL 309 UNION HALL

                                    KNOXVILLE, TN

FEBRUARY 20             LOCAL 9-925/9-1924 UNION HALL

                                    ROCK HILL, SC

FEBRUARY 22             LOCAL 959L UNION HALL

                                    FAYETTEVILLE, NC

March 21-22               ST. CROIX/ST. THOMAS

                                   LOCATION TBD

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2018 District 9 LM3/ LM4 Class Schedule Announced http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/2018-district-9-lm3-lm4-class-schedule-announced Wed, 06 Dec 2017 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/2018-district-9-lm3-lm4-class-schedule-announced

2018 DISTRICT 9 LM CLASSES

 

(ALL CLASSES WILL BEGIN AT 8:30 a.m.)

 

   JANUARY 22            LOCAL 1013 UNION HALL, FAIRFIELD, AL

 

   JANUARY 24            LOCAL 1421 HALL. CHICKASAW, AL

 

   JANUARY 26            LOCAL 415 UNION HALL, FERNANDINA BEACH, FL

 

   JANUARY 29            LOCAL 461 UNION HALL, MACON, GA

 

   JANUARY 31            LOCAL 9-925/9-1924 HALL, ROCK HILL, SC

 

   FEBRUARY 2           LOCAL 309 UNION HALL, ALCOA, TN

 

   FEBRUARY 13         LOCAL 7655 UNION HALL, MEMPHIS, TN

 

   FEBRUARY 14         LOCAL 1055L UNION HALL, NASHVILLE, TN

 

   TBD                          LOCATION TBD, ST. CROIX, USVI

 

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Local Union 5429 and Cutco: USW Made for 68 Years http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/local-union-5429-and-cutco-usw-made-for-68-years Fri, 01 Dec 2017 09:02:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2017/local-union-5429-and-cutco-usw-made-for-68-years Pride in craftsmanship takes on an entirely new meaning when it comes to knives, blades and other products manufactured by members of USW Local Union 5429 at Cutco.

For more than 600 hourly employees at Cutco’s Olean, N.Y., factory, one thing is clear: there is no divide between our members and management.

That way of working is even part of the company's mission, “Above all else, we’re a family at Cutco. Family members, friends and neighbors work side-by-side at our factory, taking great pride in what they do. Our American workers are the heart of our company. Their experience and passion for making the best knives around is what keeps us going.” 

In order to make it a worker-friendly environment, Cutco and our members meet regularly to come up with new, innovative ways to ensure safety and quality. In fact, quality over quantity is always the priority.

Nothing leaves the factory unless it lives up to their high-quality standards. Members inspect and perform quality checks throughout the manufacturing process to ensure every knife meets their stringent requirements. It’s that attention to detail that makes the product and the work members of Local 5429 do so special.

Since 1949, the company has been one of the largest and best kitchen cutlery manufacturers -- Its product line includes kitchen knives, utensils, shears, flat wear, cookware and sporting knives. There is not a single knife shipped out of their facility, that is not physically touched by a Local 5429 member. Each product, from beginning to end, is crafted with American-made products by union workers, making Cutco the perfect example of an American tradition. 

Cutco's administrative headquarters are also located in Olean, Cutco and their products are only sold through in-home demonstrations, local events, online or at Cutco retail locations. One of the last of its kind, Cutco makes sure that the values the company established years ago are still represented today. To hear from some of our members and learn more about their pride in their work, visit usw.to/USWMadeCutco. 

To see the full line of Cutco products, or to place your holiday order today, visit usw.to/USWMadeCutco.

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