USW Statement on Grand Jury Verdict in Ferguson, Mo.

ContactWayne Ranick (412) 562-2444, wranick@usw.org

(Pittsburgh) – This statement was released today by United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard:

“The grand jury verdict in Ferguson, Mo., has brought a lot of pain, anger and sadness in Ferguson and across this country.  The tragedy there exposed the evil that inequality inflicts on our communities in the form of poverty, segregation, poor education and police brutality. 

“In labor communities, we fight every day to make sure everyone is treated with the dignity and respect on the job and in society. Many of our members are at home over this holiday season holding their kids a little tighter, fearful of a system that does not value and protect all young people regardless of skin color.

“There are too many Michael Browns in America needlessly having their lives cut short and all of us in labor communities have a responsibility to take action. We must be a force for good jobs, safe streets, and justice under the law. In the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’

“We must also heed to the words of AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka, who stated that, ‘Our criminal justice system is not yet color blind.’

“Not only must we continue to intensify our efforts to work within our union and our communities to address the issues of structural racism, but we need to work together to make our criminal justice system truly just.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.  For more information: http://www.usw.org/.

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