Unions Team-up to Benefit Workers, Build Solidarity

Contact: Tim Waters (412) 562-2295

PITTSBURGH, -- The United Steelworkers (USW) and the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) today jointly announced a new partnership between the organizations as they seek to build union-to-union relationships and as the NFLPA prepares for the possibility of a lockout next year.

The unions announced their collaboration aimed at building power for workers and cooperating on legislative and political projects along with other activities on the eve of the beginning of the 2009 NFL football season at the USW's international headquarters in the first of a series of discussions aimed at building solidarity between the players' union and blue collar workers across the country.

"I'm proud to welcome some of the world's finest professional athletes and their union to Pittsburgh as they kick-off this series of solidarity events," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "It doesn't matter whether you work on the shop floor or in a stadium filled with 80 thousand screaming fans, we must fight together for fairness and dignity for all workers."

NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said that he looks forward to working with the USW and other labor unions across the country as his members take the field for their first action of the regular season.

"President Gerard has been an inspiration to so many workers in so many different locations," he said, "so working with the Steelworkers in Pittsburgh seemed like the only logical choice to begin our campaign."

The USW represents about 1.2 million active and retired members in the United States and Canada in a wide variety of industries, ranging from paper, steel, tire and rubber and other manufacturing environments to the public sector, service and health care industries.

Established in 1956, the NFLPA serves as the exclusive bargaining agent for all NFL players in collective bargaining and has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players' interests. The NFLPA is governed by a Board of Player Representatives, acting in accordance with the NFLPA Constitution and federal labor laws.

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