Union Leaders Call on DuPont to Improve Safety

Letter cites recent accidents in push for safer working conditions

Contacts:  Michael Wright, USW, 412-562-2580; 412-370-0105
                John Morawetz, ICWUC, 513-621-8882; 859-816-0755

(Pittsburgh) – Two unions representing DuPont workers today released an open letter offering to help the company address recent serious safety problems that have taken lives and threatened communities. The letter was also addressed to Chemours, a July 1 spin-off of a number of DuPont facilities. The letter is attached.

The letter was signed by Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW), and Frank Cyphers, President of the International Chemical Workers Union Council (ICWUC). The USW represents more than a thousand workers in DuPont and Chemours plants in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, N.Y.; Edgemoor. Del.; and Deepwater, N.J. The ICWUC represents 400 DuPont and Chemours employees in Parlin, N.J., and LaPorte, Texas. The LaPorte plant was the site of a Nov. 15, 2014 toxic gas release that killed four workers.

“It’s clear that there are very serious safety problems at DuPont and Chemours,” Mr. Cyphers said. “It’s critical that the two companies work in good faith with their employees and the unions representing them.”

“We have close relationships on safety and health with many employers,” Mr. Gerard added. “But in the past DuPont has rejected any involvement by union safety and health professionals. We have the right to represent our members on safety and health. We can do that through OSHA complaints and Labor Board charges, but we would greatly prefer to do that by working together on the basis of mutual respect.”     

For the full text of the letter: click here.

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/.

The ICWUC represents 25,000 workers in North America primarily employed in chemical industry and gas delivery.  The ICWUC is a Council of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. For more information: http://www.icwuc.org/.

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