·  USW

Steelworkers to Welcome President Obama in Cleveland

Contact: Mark Granakis, Pres. USW LU 979, (216) 441-2658 

PITTSBURGH – The United Steelworkers (USW) will welcome President Barack Obama tomorrow to ArcelorMittal Cleveland, a 100 year-old integrated steel facility that nearly closed in 2002 as a result of LTV Steel’s bankruptcy and yet survives as the most efficient steelmaking operation in North America and one of the most efficient in the world.

USW International President Leo W. Gerard called the example of ArcelorMittal Cleveland proof that American workers, and Steelworkers in particular, can excel in global competition when the rules of trade are fair and enforced.

“Unchecked free trade cost millions of American manufacturing jobs over the past 20 years, including tens of thousands in the steel industry,” Gerard said. “Good-paying manufacturing jobs are necessary to a healthy American economy.”

USW District 1 Director David McCall said that in Cleveland, workers fought to keep the plant viable in the face of bankruptcy court liquidation and their hard work and solidarity are the keys to the plant’s turnaround.

“At ArcelorMittal and elsewhere, Steelworkers throughout North America are better trained and working more safely and efficiently than ever before,” McCall said. “Given a level playing field, there’s no question that American workers can outperform their foreign competition.”

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.

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