United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/rss United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed 2019-10-11 14:50:38 -0500 AMPS en hourly 1 Thousands to Strike against ASARCO’s Unfair Labor Practices https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/thousands-to-strike-against-asarcos-unfair-labor-practices Fri, 11 Oct 2019 14:50:38 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/thousands-to-strike-against-asarcos-unfair-labor-practices Contact: Tony Montana – (412) 562-2592; tmontana@usw.org

Tucson, Ariz. – The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that about 2,000 hourly workers at five ASARCO LLC, locations in Arizona and Texas voted overwhelmingly to strike against unfair labor practices rather than to accept the Grupo México subsidiary’s so-called “last, best and final” offer.

USW District 12 Director Robert LaVenture said that workers who sacrificed to sustain the company during past downturns have earned and deserve a fair contract with better and more secure earnings, benefits and pensions, but ASARCO has proposed the precise opposite. 

ASARCO’s four-year contract proposal insulted union members at all of the facilities by including no wage increase for nearly two-thirds of workers, freezing the existing pension plan, and more than doubling the out-of-pocket contribution individual workers already pay for health care, LaVenture said.

“Working 12-hour shifts in an open-pit mine, smelter or refinery is difficult and dangerous, and ASARCO employees have not had a wage increase in 10 years,” LaVenture said. “These workers deserve a contract that reflects their contributions.”

LaVenture said that the USW is willing to resume bargaining and ready to meet as long as necessary to negotiate a fair contract, and urged his management counterparts to make resolving the labor dispute an urgent priority.

 “We cannot allow ASARCO managers – even when directed by Grupo executives in Mexico City – to pick and choose which U.S. labor laws and standards apply to them, and the company can’t expect to roll back generations of collective bargaining progress without a fight.”

 “Management has tested these employees for years, and we’ve met their challenges each step along the way,” LaVenture said. “When we march together for fairness and justice at ASARCO, we are delivering a unified message that the company’s attacks on our livelihoods must end and that we are standing up for respect and dignity from this employer.”

Late in the evening of Friday, Oct. 11, after the counting of ballots, the USW, on behalf of itself and the nine other unions representing ASARCO workers, provided 48 hours’ notice to terminate the extension agreement under which the parties have worked since December 1, 2018. 

Following the termination of the extension agreement, picketing will begin simultaneously at ASARCO’s Arizona properties at 11:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Sunday, Oct. 13 and at 1:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time on Monday, Oct. 14 at its Amarillo, Texas, facility.

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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USW Members Ratify New Contract at Dow Chemical Plant in Deer Park https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-members-ratify-new-contract-at-dow-chemical-plant-in-deer-park Wed, 09 Oct 2019 08:46:10 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-members-ratify-new-contract-at-dow-chemical-plant-in-deer-park CONTACTBen Lilienfeld: 832-373-9754,  blilienfeld@usw.org

DEER PARK, Texas (October 8) – Members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 13-1 voted today to ratify a new contract with Rohm and Haas Texas, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical, that covers about 235 workers at the company’s facility in Deer Park.

The contract, which runs through March 1, 2023, contains annual wage increases and other improvements.

“This contract is a testament to the strength and solidarity of the members of this local union, their families, and the entire community of Deer Park, who stood beside them throughout this fight,” said USW District 13 Director Ruben Garza, who oversees bargaining for the union in Texas and three neighboring states. “The members of Local 13-1 should be proud of what they have achieved.”

Bargaining on a new agreement began in February. The company imposed a seven-week lockout of the workers that began on April 22 after USW members voted overwhelmingly three times to reject unacceptable proposals.

After a series of public displays of support for the work force from other union members, residents of the community and elected officials, the company agreed to end the lockout, and workers returned to their jobs on Monday, June 10, as negotiations on a new contract continued.

“This agreement brings closure to difficult negotiations and provides our members with improvements that allow them to maintain family sustaining jobs,” said USW Sub-District Director Ben Lilienfeld, who led the union’s bargaining committee. 

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. 

 

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Supreme Court Denies ASARCO’s Petition to Review Copper Bonus Case https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/supreme-court-denies-asarcos-petition-to-review-copper-bonus-case Mon, 07 Oct 2019 11:38:06 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/supreme-court-denies-asarcos-petition-to-review-copper-bonus-case Contact: Tony Montana – (412) 562-2592; tmontana@usw.org

Tucson, Ariz.– The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the U.S. Supreme Court has denied ASARCO, LLC’s petition for a writ of certiorari to review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s decision to enforce an arbitrator’s order for the company to pay millions of dollars to hundreds of employees hired after June 30, 2011. ASARCO has now exhausted all of its appeals, and must comply with the arbitrator’s decision.

The eight international unions which represent more than 2,000 hourly workers at five ASARCO locations in Arizona and Texas have been fighting to collect the award since December 2014, when Arbitrator Michael Rappaport originally determined that the company wrongly withheld from newer employees quarterly bonuses based on the price of copper.

Prior to the company’s request for the Supreme Court to review the case, the Ninth Circuit twice affirmed U.S. District Judge Stephen M. McNamee’s 2016 decision to enforce the arbitrator’s award, as well as his declaration that ASARCO should pay post-judgment interest, which continues to accrue. The total amount wrongly withheld from ASARCO employees exceeds $10 million.

USW District 12 Director Bob LaVenture said that the company’s attempt to divide the union membership by withholding bonus payments from newer hires backfired and has become an issue that united workers in solidarity within and between ASARCO locations.

“Although ASARCO has delayed and postponed paying the millions of dollars it owes for years, we never stopped fighting to ensure justice for these workers and their families,” LaVenture said. “The company’s constant attempts to undermine our contracts have truly united us in solidarity.”

LaVenture said that the USW is gratified with the Supreme Court’s decision, but warned that the struggle for fairness with ASARCO and its corporate parent, Grupo Mexico, will continue.He said that the union will now work to make sure the company pays what it owes to current and former employees and would provide updates when a timetable is available.

“Management has proven that they are willing to go great lengths to avoid paying employees, but the company has finally run out of room to run from this obligation,” he said. “Asarco management now has no choice but to work with the unions representing its workers to determine what is owed and to pay these workers without further delay.”

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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USW Calls On Mexican Government to Locate Disappeared Union Activist https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-calls-on-mexican-government-to-locate-disappeared-union-activist Tue, 01 Oct 2019 05:56:30 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-calls-on-mexican-government-to-locate-disappeared-union-activist CONTACT: Ben Davis, 202-550-3729, bdavis@usw.org (Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers (USW) union today called on the government of Mexico to take immediate action to locate Oscar Hernández Romero, a union leader and community activist from Cócula, Guerrero who has been missing since September 23. 

Hernández is a leader of opposition to Canadian mining company Torex Gold Resources, which fought an organizing campaign by the independent union Los Mineros in 2018.  Los Mineros suspended their organizing after three union supporters were murdered. No one has been arrested for these crimes.

On Friday, Los Mineros filed a lawsuit on behalf of Hernández’s family demanding that the government investigate his disappearance.

“The Mexican government must act immediately to locate Oscar Hernández Romero and to investigate the murders of the workers killed during the organizing campaign,” said USW International President Tom Conway.

“The continued lack of protections for unionists in Mexico highlights the need for enforceable labor standards in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and additional resources in Mexico’s labor budget,” Conway said.

The USW has also demanded that the Canadian government hold Canadian mining companies accountable for human rights violations in other countries. 

“This disappearance underscores why Canada needs an independent human rights ombudsperson with real powers to investigate when there are allegations of human rights violations related to Canadian companies,” said USW Canadian National Director Ken Neumann.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service and public sectors and higher education.

 

 

 

 

 

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Adjunct Faculty Reaches Contract Settlement with Point Park University https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/adjunct-faculty-reaches-contract-settlement-with-point-park-university Fri, 27 Sep 2019 15:08:26 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/adjunct-faculty-reaches-contract-settlement-with-point-park-university CONTACT: R.J. Hufnagel: (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

Adjunct faculty members at Point Park University, who are members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union, have reached a tentative contract settlement with the downtown Pittsburgh school.

The new three-year contract, if ratified by the members of USW Local 1088, would include wage increases each semester through Spring 2022, along with a number of other contractual improvements that the faculty sought. The previous contract expired on Aug. 1.

The agreement, which covers about 340 adjunct faculty members at Point Park, came after several high-profile public events in support of the instructors, including the distribution of educational leaflets to students and family members when they arrived on campus on Aug. 19.

“The faculty owes a debt of gratitude to the wonderful students and families of Point Park, as well as the full-time faculty for their unwavering support,” said Damon Di Cicco, president of Local 1088 and an adjunct faculty member in the university’s journalism department.

Adjunct faculty members teach roughly half of the classes at the university. The university’s full-time faculty is also unionized, represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

The faculty members will hold informational meetings and ratification votes over the next several weeks.

“This contract represents a victory for the faculty, but more importantly for quality education at Point Park,” said Local 1088 Vice President Sharon Brady. “Faculty working conditions have a direct impact on students’ learning conditions, so this agreement represents a step forward for everyone involved.”

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. 

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Workers at Google Contractor HCL Vote to Join USW https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/workers-at-google-contractor-hcl-vote-to-join-usw Tue, 24 Sep 2019 13:56:35 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/workers-at-google-contractor-hcl-vote-to-join-usw CONTACT:  Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org  

The United Steelworkers (USW) union announced today that it is proud to welcome as new members approximately 80 tech workers employed by the Google contractor HCL Technologies.

The workers, who are staffed at the tech giant’s Bakery Square office alongside Google employees, voted today for union representation. They are seeking a voice on the job and the opportunity to bargain over wages and working conditions.

“I’m honored that HCL workers chose to join our union and our fight on behalf of all working people,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway. “They deserve to have their voices heard. Together, we’ll make sure that they are.”

HCL workers voted in favor of unionization despite a company-led anti-union campaign, which included mandatory meetings and the use of a controversial management consultant.

“Over the past few months, management has implied – and in some cases outright told us – that it’s better to just be quiet than fight for what’s right,” said HCL worker Johanne Rokholt. “Today we have proved that we are not willing to do that.”

The organizing effort began earlier this year through the Pittsburgh Association of Technical Professionals (PATP), a project sponsored by the USW.

The PATP’s primary goals include helping Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania workers in high-tech fields connect and communicate with each other about their working conditions, as well as providing support in organizing and collective bargaining.

“We deserve more respect, dignity and democracy in our relationship with our employer,” said HCL worker Joshua Borden. “We fought for a seat at the table, and today we won. We look forward to bargaining a contract that reflects our important contributions to HCL’s continuing success.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service and public sectors and higher education.

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USW Members Ratify New 4-Year Contract with Alcoa https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-members-ratify-new-4-year-contract-with-alcoa Thu, 19 Sep 2019 21:02:22 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-members-ratify-new-4-year-contract-with-alcoa Contact: R.J. Hufnagel: (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

PITTSBURGH (Sept. 19) – Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) voted overwhelmingly this week to ratify a new four-year master agreement that covers about 1,600 production and maintenance workers at five Alcoa facilities in the United States.

The contract includes annual wage increases of more than 12 percent over the term of the agreement and maintains high-quality, affordable health care coverage. The contract covers USW Local 104 at Alcoa’s Warrick, Ind., facility; Local 420A at Massena, N.Y.; Local 5073 at Gum Springs, Ark.; Local 4370 at Point Comfort, Texas; and Local 310A in Wenatchee, Wash. 

“This is a challenging time for these workers, with unfair trade and declining prices taking their toll on the U.S. aluminum industry,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway. “Thanks to their strength and solidarity, they were able to achieve a fair agreement, one that makes sure they can continue to care for their families and also positions the company for future success.”

Bargaining stretched past the previous contract’s expiration date in May. As talks continued, workers voted to authorize the USW bargaining committee to call a strike if necessary, while they stayed on the job under the terms and conditions of the expired collective bargaining agreement.

“These hard-working union members contribute a tremendous amount to the company’s success, and they stood up and demanded a contract that recognized those contributions,” said USW District 7 Director Mike Millsap, who served as the chair of the union’s Alcoa bargaining committee. “This agreement is a victory for the workers and for the company.”

The new contract, which runs through May 15, 2023, is the first since Alcoa split into two companies in November 2016. Alcoa, which dates to 1888, retained its smelting and refining operations while spinning off a downstream products division now known as Arconic. 

USW members ratified a new contract in July that covers about 3,000 workers at four Arconic facilities. 

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: www.usw.org

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PLRB Officer Orders New Vote for Pitt Grad Employee Union https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/plrb-officer-orders-new-vote-for-pitt-grad-employee-union Wed, 18 Sep 2019 17:48:32 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/plrb-officer-orders-new-vote-for-pitt-grad-employee-union Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

A Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) official has ordered a new union election for graduate student employees at the University of Pittsburgh, ruling that the university committed unfair labor practices in its effort to affect the outcome of the graduate students’ vote in April to join the Academic Workers Association of the United Steelworkers (USW).

In his ruling, Hearing Examiner Stephen Helmerich said that Pitt committed “coercive acts” in order to convince graduates to vote against the union, and that those acts “potentially affected a large enough pool of eligible voters for the affect on the election to be manifest due to the extreme narrowness of the result.”

The ruling stated that Pitt’s anti-union actions included intimidation and misinformation, including creating the impression through emails that it was keeping specific track of who voted, and spreading false information about the subjects over which a potential union could bargain. In addition to ordering a new election, Helmerich ruled that the university must publicly share the decision regarding its violations.

“Sadly, the university has done everything it could since day one to stand in the way of its own graduate students having a voice, including engaging in unlawful conduct,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway.

“This time around, Pitt must allow these workers to exercise their rights under the law and allow the democratic process to proceed without obstruction,” he said.

Pitt grad employees filed for a union election in December 2017, seeking a voice in decisions that affect their working conditions, as well as greater transparency and increased protections against discrimination and harassment.

The April 2019 election followed an extensive anti-union campaign by the university, which included paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to Ballard Spahr, a Philadelphia-based law firm that specializes in “union avoidance.” The final tally showed 675 workers voting for the union and 712 no votes.

“Graduate students have known for a long time that we needed to join together in a union,” said Olivia Enders, a graduate student employee in the Department of Instruction and Learning in Pitt’s School of Education. “The recent unexpected increase in the already steep health care costs for our families is just one more example of our need for a collective voice. We hope Pitt learns from this situation and lets us exercise that voice without more illegal interference.”

The Academic Workers Association is part of the USW, which represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil, the service and public sectors and higher education.

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USW Stands in Solidarity with Striking Auto Workers https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-stands-in-solidarity-with-striking-auto-workers Mon, 16 Sep 2019 12:45:36 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-stands-in-solidarity-with-striking-auto-workers Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org   

(Pittsburgh) –United Steelworkers union (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement in support of United Automobile Workers (UAW) members who are on strike with General Motors: 

“The USW stands in total solidarity with striking UAW members, as they undertake this fight with GM. It inevitably falls to workers themselves to protect and advance their interests from runaway corporate greed and the continued abandonment of working-class communities. 

“When it comes to corporate self-interest, management at General Motors has displayed the worst possible behavior, including plant closings and a complete failure to share the rewards UAW members made possible. 

“UAW members had no choice but to stand up for themselves and their families. The USW, at every level of our organization, is prepared to offer assistance and support as they begin this struggle. They have our complete backing and commitment.”

To see Conway’s letter of support to the UAW, 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.

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USW Condemns HCL Technologies for Anti-Union Tactics as NLRB Election Nears https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-condemns-hcl-technologies-for-anti-union-tactics-as-nlrb-election-nears Mon, 16 Sep 2019 12:25:41 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-condemns-hcl-technologies-for-anti-union-tactics-as-nlrb-election-nears Contact: Tony Montana – (412) 562-2592 or tmontana@usw.org

PITTSBURGH–The United Steelworkers (USW) today condemned HCL Technologies, Ltd., for coercing employees into mandatory meetings aimed at defeating the workers’ campaign to organize a union and bargain collectively for better, more secure jobs at Google’s Bakery Square offices.

Last month, more than 66 percent of roughly 80 eligible HCL employeessigned cards indicating their desire to be represented by a union, and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) scheduled a representation electionfor Sept. 24, 2019.

Since then, HCL has enlisted Eric Vanetti of “Vantage Point Alliance,” a controversial management consultant who gained notoriety in March 2018 for playing a role when Fuyao Glass defeated a union organizing campaign at its facility in Moraine, Ohio, as documented in the filmAmerican Factory.

“We have vast experience after decades of negotiating fair contracts for many thousands of members who work for multinational corporations,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway, “but in its drive to avoid bargaining in good faith with its employees in America, HCL, like Fuyao, is resorting to the same tactics employers have used for 100 years.”

Conway said “captive audience” meetings like those HCL coerced employees into attending typically begin with managers talking about how they prefer resolving conflicts “within the family” and without a union to advocate on the workers’ behalf. Generally, the company’s behavior evolves into bullying individuals or groups of workers if support for the union persists.

“We are a modern, international union with strategic partnerships around the world and members in every sector of the economy, including a variety of professional workers, from pharmacy technicians to university professors,” he said. “We are proud of the respectful and productive relationships the USW has established with employers and various industry groups through almost 80 years.”

HCL employees will cast secret ballots at the East Liberty branch of the Carnegie Library between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sept. 24, 2019. The votes will be counted and results available immediately, but the NLRB has its own process for certifying the election.

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, health care, academic, tech and service occupations.

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USW: Dem Debate Should Offer Meaningful Discussion of Trade https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-dem-debate-should-offer-meaningful-discussion-of-trade Thu, 12 Sep 2019 14:38:47 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-dem-debate-should-offer-meaningful-discussion-of-trade CONTACT: Holly Hart, 202-778-4384, hhart@usw.org   

(Pittsburgh) –United Steelworkers (USW) International President Thomas M. Conway issued the following statement in advance of the Democratic debate, calling on the 2020 presidential candidates to discuss the details of their proposed trade policies. 

“Each of the Democratic presidential candidates who will debate tonight offers a vision dramatically different from the current president who has only made America less secure and more divided and has left U.S. workers and communities less safe due to deregulation. On so many issues, the president is taking America in the wrong direction.

“On the issue of trade policy, the candidates tonight must provide more specific answers and identify a clear path forward for America’s manufacturing workers.

“American workers and their employers have faced barriers and predatory practices from bad actors across the globe. More than 3.4 million U.S. workers have lost their jobs as a result of China’s illegal trade. Democratic candidates must offer a realistic plan for containing the Chinese dumping and overcapacity that have devastated so many American industries as well as for ending theft of intellectual property.

“Democratic presidential hopefuls must also detail their plans for reforming NAFTA and fashioning any future trade agreements to include better affordable medicine provisions, while incorporating enforceable labor and environmental standards.

“The candidates owe it to all American workers to identify what they will do to ensure that those who work hard and play by the rules have a chance to succeed in the global economy.”

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Georgia Kumho Tire Workers Vote for USW Representation https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/georgia-kumho-tire-workers-vote-for-usw-representation Sat, 07 Sep 2019 12:48:13 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/georgia-kumho-tire-workers-vote-for-usw-representation CONTACT:   R.J. Hufnagel: (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

MACON, Ga. (Sept. 7) – Workers at the Kumho Tire factory in Macon, Ga., voted this week to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union nearly two years after the initial vote was marred by the company’s numerous violations of workers’ rights.

While some legal challenges remain before the election results are official, the initial vote count showed 141 votes for the union and 137 against, with 13 challenged ballots still to be resolved at an upcoming hearing.

About 325 workers would be in the USW bargaining unit at Kumho.

 “Kumho spent thousands upon thousands of dollars and used every trick in the book to fight its own workers, including suspending a union activist who was eight months pregnant. Still, solidarity prevailed,” said USW District 9 Director Daniel Flippo. “We look forward to resolving these challenges as quickly as possible so that these workers can finally have the chance to sit down with the company and bargaining a fair contract.”

An administrative law judge issued an order in May for a new vote at the Kumho factory after finding that company officials violated workers’ rights during the first election in October 2017.

Following that initial vote, which resulted in a narrow defeat for the union, the USW filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) accusing the company of illegal conduct in its effort to suppress the union.

In his ruling, Administrative Law Judge Arthur J. Amchan wrote that the company’s illegal conduct was “pervasive” and that it warranted not only a new election, but the “extraordinary” remedy of requiring company officials to read a notice to employees outlining all of the violations.

Kumho’s violations, Amchan said, included illegally interrogating employees, threatening to fire union supporters, threatening plant closure, and creating an impression of surveillance, among other threats to workers.

“Too often companies try to bully and intimidate workers who simply want to exercise their right to bargain collectively,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway. “That is simply a losing strategy. Rather than fighting their own workers, employers should work with them to build a better future for everyone.”

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. 

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USW Announces Tentative Agreement with Alcoa https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-announces-tentative-agreement-with-alcoa Fri, 30 Aug 2019 13:57:36 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-announces-tentative-agreement-with-alcoa CONTACT: Tony Montana, (412) 562-2592, tmontana@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) today announced that the union has reached a tentative agreement with Alcoa on a master contract and said that negotiating committee delegates will now return to their local unions to conduct membership information meetings and arrange ratification votes.

“We came to the table months ago prepared to negotiate in good faith for a fair contract, but management made us fight for it every step of the way,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “We are proud of what we have accomplished due to the unity, strength and solidarity of local union leaders, members and Contract Action Teams.”

USW District 7 Director Michael Millsap, who chaired negotiations with Alcoa for the union, said that the committee will be recommending the proposed agreement to the membership for ratification.

“The proposed contract builds on decades of collective bargaining progress with hard-fought economic and non-economic improvements,” Millsap said. “Our members have earned and deserve fair wages, benefits and working conditions.”

The USW will not be discussing the details of the proposed new contract with the public until after members have had the opportunity to review it with their elected union representatives in the coming days and weeks.

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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Pittsburgh Association of Technical Professionals Files for NLRB Representation Election https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/pittsburgh-association-of-technical-professionals-files-for-nlrb-representation-election Thu, 29 Aug 2019 09:41:43 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/pittsburgh-association-of-technical-professionals-files-for-nlrb-representation-election CONTACT: Tony Montana, (412) 562-2592, tmontana@usw.org

The Pittsburgh Association of Technical Professionals (PATP) have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board for a union representation election with HCL, a tech contractor at Google’s Bakery Square offices. HCL’s 90 employees work side-by-side with those of the giant corporation for far less compensation and few, if any, of the perks.

The PATP is a project sponsored by United Steelworkers (USW) union to help Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania workers in high-tech fields organize and bargain collectively with their employers for improved working conditions and standards of living.

With more than 66 percent of eligible employees signing cards seeking union representation, PATP members decided to file for the election today so that they can begin the process of bargaining for fair wages and benefits as quickly as possible.

“HCL, its managers and we employees stand only to gain by seeking an expedient and fair NLRB-supervised election,” said HCL employee Joshua Borden.

“Workers at HCL deserve far more than they have received in terms of compensation, transparency and consideration, and it has gone on like this for much too long,” said HCL employee Renata Nelson. “While on-site management tries to do what they can, where they can, their hands are often tied by arbitrary corporate policy.”

The NLRB now must determine if the cards and signatures collected satisfy its criteria and schedule a representation election, when individual workers will cast ballots for or against organizing a new unit within the PATP and USW.

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, health care, academic, technical and service occupations.

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USW Members Ratify Contract with BF Goodrich https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-members-ratify-contract-with-bf-goodrich Sat, 17 Aug 2019 09:43:45 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-members-ratify-contract-with-bf-goodrich CONTACT: R.J. Hufnagel, (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

PITTSBURGH (Aug. 17) – Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union voted to ratify a new three-year contract with BF Goodrich covering about 2,500 workers at facilities in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Fort Wayne, Ind. 

The agreement, which passed by about a 2-to-1 margin, includes annual wage increases and bonuses, maintains quality, affordable health care coverage, and strengthens retirement benefits.

“These hard-working union members, along with tire workers across the industry, are facing a number of challenges, first and foremost the threats of foreign competition and unfair trade,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway. “They should be proud that they were able to reach an agreement that maintains family-supporting jobs while ensuring the long-term competitiveness of their facilities.”

The USW’s previous three-year agreement with BF Goodrich expired on July 27. The two sides began talks for a new contract this spring. The new agreement runs through July 30, 2022.

Kevin Johnsen, chair of the USW’s Rubber/Plastic Industry Council, said the agreement was a testament to the strength and solidarity of the union’s membership.

“It was only by standing up with one voice and confronting these challenges together that we could reach a fair and equitable agreement,” Johnsen said.

Overall, the USW represents more than 18,000 workers in the tire industry at companies including BF Goodrich, Goodyear, Bridgestone-Firestone, Titan, Cooper, Sumitomo and Uniroyal.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service, public and health care sectors. 

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Carnegie Library Workers Vote to Join United Steelworkers https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/carnegie-library-workers-vote-to-join-united-steelworkers Wed, 14 Aug 2019 19:31:57 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/carnegie-library-workers-vote-to-join-united-steelworkers Contact: Chelsey Engel, cengel@usw.org, (412) 562-2446

(Pittsburgh) – Workers at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh voted overwhelmingly to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union today after launching their organizing campaign in June. They are seeking a collective bargaining agreement that would cover employees across 19 branches and the library support center. 

“We are honored to welcome these vital community builders into our growing union,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway. “This is a big step toward making the library more fair and equitable for the workers that keep it thriving.”

The United Library Workers began discussing unionization last summer in hopes of gaining a voice when it comes to making decisions that affect the library, the people they serve, and their own working environment.

“I am so excited for us to start this next chapter and look forward to working toward a contract that we deserve,” said Isabelle Toomey, a children’s librarian at the Downtown and Business branch. “And I am proud of my fellow co-workers for coming together and utilizing our right to organize.”

The Teamsters and SEIU currently represent the Carnegie Library’s drivers and environmental service workers. This new effort includes all 321 remaining eligible staff who will join a growing number of white-collar Steelworkers in Allegheny County.

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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USW Announces New Leadership for its Legislative, Policy and Rapid Response Programs https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-announces-new-leadership-for-its-legislative-policy-and-rapid-response-programs Tue, 13 Aug 2019 12:18:12 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-announces-new-leadership-for-its-legislative-policy-and-rapid-response-programs CONTACT: Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) union today announced a series of promotions impacting its legislative and policy work in Washington, D.C., and statehouses across the country.

“Our union’s legislative arm gives workers a much needed voice. Whether it’s about reforming our nation’s broken trade system or keeping workers safe on the job, ordinary people deserve to have their elected officials listen to their priorities,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway.

“Each of our new leaders is highly qualified and committed to making sure the laws and policies that are enacted at all levels of government benefit working people.”

Roy Houseman will serve as USW legislative director, overseeing the union’s national agenda, while Anna Fendley is assuming the newly created position of director of regulatory and state policy.

Houseman has been a part of the union’s legislative and policy department since 2011, previously serving as associate legislative director and working on a broad array of issues including trade and pensions. Before coming to Washington, D.C., Houseman worked at the former Smurfit-Stone paper mill in Missoula, Mont., serving as president of USW Local 885. As legislative director, Roy will oversee Congressional affairs for the union, working to improve wages, hours and conditions for USW members and their families.

Fendley has worked in various positions at the USW for a decade, most recently as associate legislative director in the union’s Washington, D.C., office. In her new role, she will further the union’s goal to proactively influence state-level policies to keep USW members working and to create high-quality jobs in their communities. She will also continue her work on federal policy impacting safety and health, as well as building and maintaining coalitions with other policy-oriented organizations such as the BlueGreen Alliance.

There is also new leadership of USW Rapid Response program, the union’s nonpartisan, grassroots effort that empowers USW members to participate in the legislative process.

Kim Miller, who was appointed director of Rapid Response in 2010, has been promoted to Assistant to the USW President. For more than two decades, Miller has fought to advance workers’ rights, first as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill and later for the USW.  Now, she will advise USW leaders on political, legislative and policy issues, working with the USW’s Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. offices.

Amber Miller is the new USW Rapid Response director. Miller began her career at Chase Brass and Copper Co. in Montpelier, Ohio, where she served in a variety of leadership roles, including local union president. When she came to Pittsburgh in 2012, Miller joined the Rapid Response staff. As director, she will help USW members to use their collective voice to engage with legislative issues that impact their workplaces and labor contracts.

“The laws and policies enacted at both the national and state level have a huge impact on nearly all of the diverse sectors where our members work,” said USW International Vice President Roxanne Brown, who oversees the union’s public policy, legislative and political agendas. “Our union is lucky to have this new team leading these fights.”

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.

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USW Mourns Loss of Life in Dayton and El Paso, Calls for Unity, Action https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-mourns-loss-of-life-in-dayton-and-el-paso-calls-for-unity-action Wed, 07 Aug 2019 16:00:38 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-mourns-loss-of-life-in-dayton-and-el-paso-calls-for-unity-action CONTACT: Fred Redmond, fredmond@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Thomas M. Conway released the following statement regarding the mass shootings that took place this past weekend:

“We are all brokenhearted at the acts of senseless violence that have taken the lives of at least 31 people in Dayton and El Paso. This includes a daughter and a niece of two separate USW members in Ohio. We send our condolences to all the loved ones left mourning, and we grieve with them.

“Unions and moral people everywhere must work to combat the surge of hate and divisiveness plaguing our nation. Politicians and public figures must also better acknowledge that their words have power and that we can only heal when we come together to stand as one.

“Beyond that work, though, America needs to come to terms with the destructive killing power and nature of the weapons available to nearly anyone with the resources to purchase them. These weapons are turned against both law enforcement and innocent civilians far too often, and that should be intolerable to us as citizens.  

“The Trump administration has the means to make real change by implementing stronger, common-sense regulations, which the vast majority of Americans support. It also has a duty to denounce hatred and bigotry instead of giving them a platform.

“Americans are calling on their elected leaders to finally stand up and do something. They need to listen.”

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.

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USW Joins Filing Seeking Anti-Circumvention Inquiry in Uncoated Paper Orders on Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia and Portugal https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-joins-filing-seeking-anti-circumvention-inquiry-in-uncoated-paper-orders-on-australia-brazil-china-indonesia-and-portugal Fri, 02 Aug 2019 15:18:09 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-joins-filing-seeking-anti-circumvention-inquiry-in-uncoated-paper-orders-on-australia-brazil-china-indonesia-and-portugal CONTACT:  Holly Hart (202) 778-4384, hhart@usw.org                                                                         

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers (USW) union today joined with several domestic paper producers in filing a request with the U.S. Department of Commerce to address the circumvention of existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on uncoated paper imports.

The original case covered uncoated paper in sheets, largely copy paper.  Foreign producers have shifted to flooding the United States with essentially the same product but doing so in rolls which are then converted into sheets. This is now having the same devastating impact on domestic producers and workers.   

“The domestic paper sector has been under attack for more than twenty years as foreign producers seek to take advantage of our market, putting our members’ jobs in jeopardy.  Thousands have been lost to foreign unfair trade practices,” said USW International Vice President Leeann Foster, who oversees bargaining in the union’s paper sector. “Our trade laws are supposed to defend American workers and industries by addressing foreign unfair and predatory trade practices. We need our government to stand up for domestic jobs and stop the assaults on our workers.”

The domestic producers joining today’s effort are Domtar Corporation, Packaging Corporation of America, North Pacific Paper Company and Finch Paper. The products undermining U.S. producers and workers come from Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia and Portugal. 

“We were forced to fight to get trade relief against dumping and subsidies of uncoated paper in sheet form only to now see our competitors circumventing the law by sending it into our market in rolls, then having it cut here,” said Foster. “The USW will continue that fight against unfair trade until every last domestic job is safe.”

“Too many foreign companies and governments seek to avoid playing by the rules and will do whatever they can to undermine our producers and steal our jobs,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway. “The USW has fought for decades to see that our laws provide a level playing field for our members, but despite promises of a new approach to trade, workers continue to have to fight for their own jobs and for the enforcement of our trade laws.  

“Handling circumvention promptly is an important part of effective enforcement. Hopefully, the Administration will act quickly.” 

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, mining, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service, public and health care sectors and higher education. 

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District 1 Director Names New Assistant https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/district-1-director-names-new-assistant Fri, 26 Jul 2019 15:46:04 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/district-1-director-names-new-assistant CONTACT: R.J. Hufnagel: (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) District 1 Director Donnie Blatt, who took office on July 15, this week named staff representative Teresa Hartley as the new assistant to the district director.

Before becoming director on July 15, Blatt served as the assistant to his predecessor, David McCall, who last week left that post to become the USW’s International Vice President (Administration).

Hartley began her USW career in 1995 when she went to work for InterMetro Industries in Fostoria, Ohio. There, she became a member of USW Local 1915 and attended her first USW Women of Steel (WOS) conference, which gave Hartley her first exposure to the union’s culture of activism.

In 2000, Hartley began working at the Cooper Tire factory in Findlay, Ohio, where she became a member of USW Local 207L. She quickly became active in the local, serving as the chair of the local union’s Women of Steel Committee. 

Hartley attended five years of WOS leadership courses, learning about all aspects of the union and how to advocate on behalf of all workers. Hartley went on to serve as the district’s civil rights coordinator and Women of Steel coordinator.

“This union gave me a voice. I have been afforded the opportunity to work closely with the sisters, brothers and siblings in our district and to provide the same opportunities and education to them that I have had for myself,” Hartley said. “As times have changed, so has the union, and I feel we have made great progress in District 1 the last several years under the leadership of then-Director McCall and Assistant to the Director Blatt. I look forward to working with Director Blatt and continuing to move our district forward.”

District 1 represents about 60,000 USW members at workplaces across the state of Ohio.

“Through the years, I have watched Teresa grow into her current leadership role in the district,” Blatt said of Hartley. “As Women of Steel coordinator, civil rights coordinator and a Building Power trainer, Teresa has earned the respect of our members in District 1. She will fill a great leadership role in the district, and I look forward to working with her as my assistant.”

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.

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