United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/rss United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed 2017-12-18 12:58:04 -0600 AMPS en hourly 1 Steelworkers Look Forward to Liberty’s Georgetown Restart http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/steelworkers-look-forward-to-libertys-georgetown-restart Mon, 18 Dec 2017 12:58:04 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/steelworkers-look-forward-to-libertys-georgetown-restart CONTACT: Tony Montana (412) 562-2592

PITTSBURGH The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the union and members of Local 7898 at the rod and wire mill in Georgetown, S.C., are looking forward to restarting production now that Liberty Steel has completed its acquisition of the facility from ArcelorMittal.

USW District 1 Director David McCall, who chairs negotiations with ArcelorMittal, said that workers at the mill, which ArcelorMittal idled in 2015 when the company announced its decision to exit the rod and wire business, should begin returning to their jobs in early 2018.

“Our track record of operating the Georgetown steelworks productively and profitably for generations under different employers speaks for itself,” McCall said. “Given a level playing field, there’s no question that American steelworkers can compete with anyone, anywhere.”

USW District 9 Director Daniel Flippo said that the union established a good relationship with Liberty management during successful negotiations on a collective bargaining agreement to facilitate the restart.

“We are very proud that USW members have this opportunity to go back to work with a fair contract that provides wages, pensions and benefits in line with the industry pattern,” Flippo said. “Liberty’s commitment to operate and invest in Georgetown shows great faith in our members, and we are dedicated to ensure that trust is rewarded.”

Local 7898 President James Sanderson said that workers, their families and the community will all benefit from the mill’s restart.

“I cannot overstate what an important, positive development it is that Liberty Steel has chosen Georgetown as the starting point for its strategic expansion into North America,” Sanderson said. “The mill has provided good jobs for decades, and we hope that successfully restoring production will enable future generations of steelworkers to support their families and sustain the growth of our community.”

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in manufacturing, 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.

]]>
USW Lauds Appointment of Tina Smith to U.S. Senate http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-lauds-appointment-of-tina-smith-to-u-s-senate Thu, 14 Dec 2017 09:51:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-lauds-appointment-of-tina-smith-to-u-s-senate Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Named to Fill Al Franken’s Seat 

CONTACT: Emil Ramirez (612) 623-8045

(Minneapolis) - The United Steelworkers (USW) today praised the appointment of Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Al Franken. Last week, Franken announced his intention to resign. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton this morning stated that Smith will replace Franken in the Senate.

“This is an outstanding selection,” said USW District 11 Director Emil Ramirez. “The lieutenant governor is a great advocate for working families no matter the sector: steel, mining, health care, you name it.

“She supports health care workers’ efforts to establish safe staffing levels in long term care facilities as well as in clinics and hospitals.

“In addition, Smith has worked hard to support fair trade policies in the steel industry and for safer conditions in the mining industry. She has also been at the front lines in supporting workers’ retraining initiatives to meet the future needs of advanced manufacturing in our state.”

Smith has indicated that she will also run in the November 2018 election to fill the remaining two years of the term, and the USW has promised to provide strong support to her campaign.

USW District 11 represents thousands of workers in Minnesota as well as Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Overall, the USW represents 850,000 workers in North America and the Caribbean employed in the industries of metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service sector. 

]]>
USW Members Ratify First Contract with B&H Photo Video http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-members-ratify-first-contract-with-bh-photo-video Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:27:45 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-members-ratify-first-contract-with-bh-photo-video Contact: Del Vitale, USW, 732-287-4011 

New York The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that about 80 members of its bargaining unit at B&H Photo Video’s midtown Manhattan store have ratified their first contract with the electronics retailer.

USW District 4 Director John Shinn said that the three-year collective bargaining agreement increases wages, enhances job security and includes other provisions designed to improve working conditions for the company’s hourly employees.

“After a long, difficult struggle, we are proud to say that our brothers and sisters finally have the fair contract that they have earned and deserve,” Shinn said. “On top of the economic gains, the agreement gives B&H workers a stronger voice on the job than ever before.”

USW international staff representative Joe Arico, who chaired negotiations for the USW, said that the contract also includes innovative language to protect the company’s immigrant workers from unfair discrimination, which was one of the issues that spurred B&H employees to seek union representation in the first place.

“During the initial stages of their organizing drive, management ran a very aggressive anti-union campaign to intimidate employees,” Shinn said. “Rather than turning workers against each other, the company united the workforce in solidarity with a common goal.”

B&H workers at the Manhattan retail location voted in favor of USW representation in an election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board in February 2016. The agreement took effect when it was ratified Dec. 9, 2017, and is set to expire on Dec. 8, 2020.

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in manufacturing, 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.

 

]]>
USW Lauds WTO Panel Affirmation of U.S. Orders on Coated Paper from Indonesia http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-lauds-wto-panel-affirmation-of-u-s-orders-on-coated-paper-from-indonesia Thu, 07 Dec 2017 11:10:25 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-lauds-wto-panel-affirmation-of-u-s-orders-on-coated-paper-from-indonesia CONTACT: Holly Hart, (202) 778-4384

(Pittsburgh) -- The World Trade Organization (WTO) yesterday rebuffed Indonesia’s challenge to the U.S. countervailing duty determination by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) on coated paper imports. In addition it upheld the injury determination by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in the same case. In fact, every challenge to both determinations was rejected by the panel. 

“This is long overdue good news for the workers whose jobs were hanging in the balance in this challenge,” said United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard. “The panel’s decision is consistent with the WTO agreements as written and negotiated. But in far too many cases, U.S. workers and their employers have seen frivolous suits upheld by WTO panels and its Appellate Body. This has undermined confidence in the WTO and its dispute settlement system.

“It is critical that our laws be faithfully enforced. When trade is fair, U.S. workers can compete with anyone. Challenges in the WTO need to respect the limitations built into the dispute settlement system; too frequently they are overlooked by panels or the Appellate Body,” said Gerard.

“The U.S. coated paper industry and our members have suffered mightily over recent years with unfair trade practices compounding the challenges of declining overall demand,” said Jon Geenen, the USW’s International Vice President who oversees the paper sector.

“Both the DOC and the ITC conducted thorough investigations. Their determinations were consistent with U.S. law, regulations and practice, and consistent with our international obligations. 

“We thank the team at the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Commerce and the ITC for their hard and effective work on this WTO challenge.”

 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.

 

 

]]>
Global Forum Report Documents Excess Steel Capacity as Attacks on U.S. Steel Sector Continue http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/global-forum-report-documents-excess-steel-capacity-as-attacks-on-u-s-steel-sector-continue Thu, 30 Nov 2017 11:53:19 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/global-forum-report-documents-excess-steel-capacity-as-attacks-on-u-s-steel-sector-continue Contact: Holly Hart, 202-778-4384

Pittsburgh -- The United Steelworkers (USW) issued the following statement after the release of a report by the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity. The forum, created through the action of the G20 leaders, has met to discuss overcapacity in the global steel sector, its implications and what policy measures might be implemented to address the issue.

Two years of dialogue and meetings resulted in a 52-page report and a set of principles that acknowledges there is global steel overcapacity which is continuing to grow. For the participants in the Global Forum, this may be viewed as a victory, but for workers in the steel sector in the United States, it is just another sign that political leaders are fiddling while Rome burns.

The USW appreciates the hard work that U.S. negotiators put into this process and the strong stances they took on key principles. Yet as attacks on the U.S. steel sector continue, only further dialogue is scheduled. The new report fails to identify specific disciplines, timelines or targets for resolving the problem. A real plan for action is the only thing that will work.

Last year during the election, then-candidate Trump promised action to revitalize domestic steel-making capacity and job creation. In April, as President, he initiated an investigation on the impact of steel imports on our national security. The deadline for action has long passed, and steel workers, their families and communities across the country are still waiting for action. The Global Forum’s report makes clear that the U.S. must unilaterally act to protect our national security.

Protecting our national security and the jobs of those in the steel sector should not be held hostage to a tax cut for the rich. It is time for the Administration to do what it promised.

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/.

 

 


]]>
United Steelworkers and Mexican Mineworkers Demand Justice for Protesters Killed in Mexico http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/united-steelworkers-and-mexican-mineworkers-demand-justice-for-protesters-killed-in-mexico Mon, 27 Nov 2017 09:55:23 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/united-steelworkers-and-mexican-mineworkers-demand-justice-for-protesters-killed-in-mexico CONTACTS: Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada, 416-544-5951; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966 or 416-434-2221

Toronto, Nov. 27, 2017 – The United Steelworkers (USW) in Canada and the United States join the Mexican National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Related Workers (“Los Mineros”) in demanding justice for the families of two protesters against the Media Luna mining operations in Guerrero, Mexico, owned by the Canadian company Torex Gold Resources, who were killed on Nov. 18. 

In a letter to Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and chief NAFTA negotiator Cynthia Freeland, USW International President Leo W. Gerard and Canadian National Director Ken Neumann called on the Canadian government to meet with Mexican authorities, the employer and Los Mineros to reach a solution to the conflict that avoids further violence. 

Workers at the mine have been on strike since Nov. 3, protesting working conditions and demanding the right to join Los Mineros. The workers have been supported by residents of local communities. Members of the company-supported protection union, the CTM, have been accused of responsibility for the attacks.

According to the USW leaders, the conflict at Media Luna underscores the need for enforceable labor rights protections that must be implemented prior to the launch of a new NAFTA. Without such measures, they argue, “there is little possibility for improving freedom of association and closing the wage gap that has driven the relocation of Canadian jobs.”

In addition, they state, the conflict “underscores the need for an extractive industries Ombudsperson to ensure transparency and accountability in overseas operations” of Canadian mining companies.

The USW will be sending a delegation to Guerrero to investigate the attacks on the striking miners and their communities. The USW and Los Mineros have had a strategic alliance since 2005 and have worked closely on cross-national organizing, bargaining and human rights issues.

]]>
USW Seeks Labor Secretary’s Help in Dispute with Korean Tire Company http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-seeks-labor-secretarys-help-in-dispute-with-korean-tire-company Wed, 08 Nov 2017 15:13:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-seeks-labor-secretarys-help-in-dispute-with-korean-tire-company Kumho’s Illegal Tactics Violated Georgia Workers’ Rights

CONTACT: Ben Davis (412) 562-2501

PITTSBURGH (Nov. 8) – The United Steelworkers (USW) union is calling on the U.S. Secretary of Labor to use the labor chapter of the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement in a dispute with Kumho Tire, a Korean company.

In a letter to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, USW International President Leo W. Gerard said that “illegal tactics by the company have effectively limited the freedom of association and effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining for the U.S. workers at the Kumho facility” in Macon, Ga.  

The union wrote to Acosta to request a formal consultation with the Korean government under the labor chapter of the trade agreement.

The USW narrowly lost an election at Kumho Tire in Macon in October. The union filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board accusing the company of illegal conduct during the election, including the firing of a union supporter. The union representing Kumho Tire’s three plants in Korea sent messages of support to the workers at the Georgia facility.

Kumho Tire’s $450 million plant in Georgia, which supplies nearby Hyundai, Kia and Chrysler auto plants, opened in 2016.  The company, which has experienced economic difficulties, is currently controlled by a committee of creditors led by the Korean Development Bank, a Korean government entity.

An online copy of the letter can be found 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.  

]]>
Steelworkers Endorse Mark MacKenzie for Congress http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/steelworkers-endorse-mark-mackenzie-for-congress Fri, 03 Nov 2017 14:19:26 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/steelworkers-endorse-mark-mackenzie-for-congress Contact:  Dave Wasiura, (716) 565-1720

Manchester, N.H. – The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the union has endorsed State Representative and former New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie for Congress to fight on behalf of working families in the First Congressional District.

USW District 4 Director John Shinn credited MacKenzie for serving working families for more than 40 years, as a firefighter and a leader within the labor movement each for 25 years and now in the state legislature.

“Mark has been a tireless, visible and vocal champion of working families for decades,” Shinn said. “His leadership was instrumental in building a bipartisan coalition to defeat the so-called ‘Right to Work’ legislation brought before the New Hampshire House early this year.”

Shinn said that MacKenzie’s record of unashamed, outspoken and ultimately effective advocacy for American workers, their families and communities is too rare in Washington, D.C., and that the USW is proud to be the first major union to endorse the campaign to put him there.

“As a nation, if we want to create good jobs, a modern energy policy, address our crumbling infrastructure and expand the middle class,” he said, “then we need to elect representatives who know how to make it happen.”

“When we stand together in solidarity and fight together in unity for policies based on fairness and justice, we cannot be defeated,” Shinn said. “Nobody running for Congress understands that better than Mark MacKenzie.”

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

-

]]>
USW: Congressional Democrats’ Better Deal Proposal Would Help Working Families by Strengthening Unions http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-congressional-democrats-better-deal-proposal-would-help-working-families-by-strengthening-unions Thu, 02 Nov 2017 09:17:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-congressional-democrats-better-deal-proposal-would-help-working-families-by-strengthening-unions Contact: Holly Hart (202) 778-4384; hhart@usw.org

(Pittsburgh) – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued this statement today following yesterday’s release of a white paper by Congressional Democrats outlining measures for working families to utilize collective bargaining to improve their lives. In anticipation of the release of the Republican tax plan, which would provide massive tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of American workers, these measures have even greater significance.

Working families across America should support the latest phase of the Congressional Democrats’ “A Better Deal” as it provides a blueprint for workers to build better lives by organizing and bargaining collectively. It calls for workers to have the freedom to negotiate.

For more than three decades now, wages have been stagnant while profits and executive compensation have skyrocketed. During this time, incomes for the top 1 percent rose by 204 percent while incomes for the bottom 50 percent rose by just 1 percent.

To add further insult, the tax plan now being proposed by Republicans would provide major cuts for the wealthy at the expense of working families. These cuts will greatly increase the deficit and could lead to future cuts in essential programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

The Democratic proposal would ban state laws that undermine worker freedoms to join together and bargain. While federal law requires unions to provide equal representation to all workers in a unionized workplace, regardless of membership, 28 states have passed laws that strip workers of the resources they need to bargain for higher wages, better benefits and improved working conditions. These so-called right-to-work laws do not give anyone the right to a job. They result in lower wages and decreased access to health care and pensions for union and nonunion workers alike.

The proposal calling for the freedom to negotiate would strengthen penalties on predatory corporations that violate workers’ rights. While a growing number of workers would join a union if given a free choice, many fear retaliation for supporting one. Companies threaten to close shop in 57 percent of union elections, fire union supporters in 34 percent of elections, threaten to cut wages in 47 percent of elections, and use one-on-one supervisory meetings to threaten union supporters in 54 percent of organizing campaigns.

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/.

###

]]>
Steelworkers Ratify Three-Year Agreement at Eramet Marietta http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/steelworkers-ratify-three-year-agreement-at-eramet-marietta Wed, 01 Nov 2017 09:02:30 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/steelworkers-ratify-three-year-agreement-at-eramet-marietta CONTACT: Tony Montana (412) 562-2592

PITTSBURGH – The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that members of Local 0639 at Eramet’s manganese plant in Marietta, Ohio, have ratified a new, three-year contract that covers about 110 workers.

The agreement improves wages and benefits and demonstrates both parties’ commitment to the long-term future of the plant without concessions from the hourly workforce. Notably, the contract strengthens seniority language and protects jobs by maintaining limits on the company’s use of outside contractors.

USW District 1 Director David McCall praised the members of Local 0639 for standing together during the process, as well as the USW negotiating committee and their management counterparts for their work at the bargaining table.

“The solidarity of our membership gives us the strength we need to negotiate fair contracts and ensure that we are treated with respect and dignity on the job,” McCall said. “When we work in partnership with management to achieve our common goals, we can accomplish truly great results.”

USW District 1 Staff Representative John Saunders, who chairs negotiations with Eramet, said that the union and management will work together to improve productivity in Marietta as well as to address trade and environmental issues.

“Ratifying this agreement with Eramet is important to our union because the company supplies high quality manganese for many American steel producers,” Saunders said. “Even more importantly, at a time when good jobs with fair pay and benefits are disappearing at an astonishing rate, this contract provides much needed economic security and stability for our members, their families and community.”

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.

]]>
USW Statement on Need to Reform Renewable Fuels Standard http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-statement-on-need-to-reform-renewable-fuels-standard Fri, 27 Oct 2017 10:33:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-statement-on-need-to-reform-renewable-fuels-standard More information, contact: Roy Houseman – (202) 288-3573 or rhouseman@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) today issued this statement from National Oil Bargaining Chairman Kim Nibarger after nine senators this week requested a meeting with the administration via letter to discuss imbalances created by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) current Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and the use of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINS) as its compliance mechanism:

“Inconsistent administration policy on the RFS threatens thousands of refinery jobs across the country. Independent refineries that provide good jobs for highly skilled workers cannot afford to keep pace as RINS have become commodities to be hoarded by the largest companies or bought and sold to the highest bidders on Wall Street.

The price of RINS spiked last week when the White House caved to pressure from the ethanol industry and other beneficiaries of the current system to reverse course on the point of obligation in the RFS.

Wild fluctuations in the market cost of RINS caused by whatever wind pushes the administration and the EPA from day to day severely hinder investment in domestic oil refining and are threatening our jobs and the communities where we live and work.

While our union often disagrees with some of the senators who signed the letter on policies that impact workers, we absolutely agree that the RFS must be reformed to reflect changes in the modern refining industry and account for the terrible health and safety record in the ethanol industry.”

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.

- 30 -

]]>
USW Affirms Devastating Consequences of Unfair Trade, Urges White House to Fight for American Workers, Communities http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-affirms-devastating-consequences-of-unfair-trade-urges-white-house-to-fight-for-american-workers-communities Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:16:15 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-affirms-devastating-consequences-of-unfair-trade-urges-white-house-to-fight-for-american-workers-communities Contacts: Roy Houseman, (202) 288-3573 or rhouseman@usw.org
Tony Montana, (412) 562-2592 or tmontana@usw.org

PITTSBURGH – The United Steelworkers (USW) today affirmed the disastrous effects that more than two decades of so-called “free” trade have had on American workers, their families and communities, as reported in documents leaked from the White House.

USW International President Leo W. Gerard called on the administration to put workers first in the ongoing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and to follow through on the Department of Commerce’s Section 232 investigations into how steel and aluminum imports have damaged industries essential to national defense.

“In all of the major industrial sectors in which our union represents workers, the catastrophic social, economic and health consequences of unfair foreign trade hit our members first and hardest,” Gerard said. “We have lost millions of family supporting, community sustaining manufacturing jobs in thousands of factories that have permanently closed, and the results are predictably devastating and well documented.”

“It should be no secret that when good jobs disappear, crime rates, alcoholism, drug use, home foreclosures, divorces, suicides and depression increase, and families become less stable,” he said. “Likewise, when people lose their health insurance, they become dependent on programs like Medicaid, Social Security disability, food stamps and other types of government assistance.”

“Deindustrialization due to unfair trade means fewer families being able to afford the always-increasing cost of higher education and fewer opportunities for individuals to improve their standard of living,” Gerard said. “Now more than ever, the White House needs to act with urgency to level the playing field for American workers, invest in our country’s decaying infrastructure and create good, sustainable manufacturing jobs.”

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.

]]>
Joint Press Statement Leo W. Gerard, United Steelworkers (USW) International President Ken Neumann, USW Canadian National Director http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/joint-press-statement-leo-w-gerard-united-steelworkers-usw-international-president-ken-neumann-usw-canadian-national-director Thu, 12 Oct 2017 10:26:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/joint-press-statement-leo-w-gerard-united-steelworkers-usw-international-president-ken-neumann-usw-canadian-national-director CONTACTS: Roxanne Brown (202) 778-4384, rbrown@usw.org
                      Bob Gallagher (416) 544-5966, bgallagher@usw.ca

We have come together today as the NAFTA renegotiations reach a critical point. Labor leaders from Mexico, Canada and the United States were joined by progressive leaders from the U.S.  Congress and discussed the challenges and opportunities that workers face in the three countries.

The United Steelworkers (USW) is the largest industrial union in North America. We know firsthand the impact of failed trade policies. That impact has been devastating. Since NAFTA, wage inequality has worsened and wage growth has stagnated in both Canada and the United States. Workers’ economic security has been eroded. In Mexico, wages and working conditions have fallen further behind and workers’ rights are suppressed on a regular basis.

USW members in Canada and the United States and our free and independent brothers and sisters with the Los Mineros union in Mexico all fought for broad, effective and enforceable labor rights provisions in the existing NAFTA. Our calls were rejected, and the ruinous impact of NAFTA on working people has been clear.

We all want a renegotiated agreement if it will raise standards, ensure that they are enforced, and provide growth and opportunity for workers in all three countries. NAFTA has concentrated income, wealth and power in the hands of wealthy investors and corporations instead of creating good jobs and protecting the environment.  

Rules of origin, investor-state dispute settlement, currency issues, and many others need to be addressed in any renegotiated agreement. But, without significant improvements in workers’ rights provisions, there will be little progress in any updated agreement. Working people will not share in any of the benefits their work helps to create.

Last year, voters here in the United States made trade a core issue in the campaign. Our brothers and sisters in Mexico and Canada have the same aspirations. It is time for our political leaders to keep the promises that were made and not bow to the special interests and free trade ideologues.    We intend to work together. We intend to fight. And, we intend to win.

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 and http://www.usw.ca

]]>
USW: NAFTA Renegotiations Must Protect Workers’ Rights, Not Just Corporations http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-nafta-renegotiations-must-protect-workers-rights-not-just-corporations Fri, 06 Oct 2017 14:30:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-nafta-renegotiations-must-protect-workers-rights-not-just-corporations CONTACT: Roxanne Brown (202) 778-4384

(Pittsburgh) -- The United Steelworkers issued the following statement after the business community criticized the current direction of NAFTA negotiations.

Since the day NAFTA was signed into law, workers in the United States, Mexico and Canada have suffered from its impact and have hoped for its reform or repeal. 

Next week, negotiators will meet for the fourth round of talks to update its provisions and attempt to reverse the significant economic damage the agreement has caused. 

It's no surprise that business groups are concerned that NAFTA's outsourcing provisions may be dramatically altered, and that provisions might be included to develop an agreement that is fairer to workers.  

Organized labor is working with the Administration to advance proposals that will promote growth and opportunity for workers in all three countries. A deal that achieves those goals would be worthy of our support.  

Businesses have set the agenda for far too long and the result has been rising trade deficits, lost jobs, devastated communities and rising income inequality.

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. 

]]>
USW Asks South Korean Government to Stand Up for U.S. Workers’ Rights http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-asks-south-korean-government-to-stand-up-for-u-s-workers-rights Thu, 05 Oct 2017 09:36:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-asks-south-korean-government-to-stand-up-for-u-s-workers-rights CONTACT: Maria Somma: (412) 562-1992, msomma@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) union has sent a letter from USW International President Leo W. Gerard to South Korean President Moon Jae-in raising concerns about Korean-based tire maker Kumho’s union-busting actions toward its workers in the United States and asking the South Korean government to intervene and ensure that the workers are free to exercise their democratic rights.

The USW filed a petition last month with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to conduct a union election for more than 300 workers at Kumho’s plant in Macon, Ga. The election is scheduled to take place next week.

Kumho Tire responded to the unionization effort in Macon by requiring workers to attend meetings in which managers have attempted to dissuade workers from joining the union. The company also has spent tens of thousands of dollars on union-busting consultants who have shared misleading and inaccurate information on an anti-union website.

“As we understand that Kumho Tire is currently under effective control of a creditors’ committee headed by the Korean Development Bank, it appears that the Government of the Republic of Korea may bear direct responsibility for the behavior of the company’s management,” Gerard wrote. “Our union is also concerned about the potential impact the actions of Kumho Tire management in the U.S. may have on the relationship between our countries in the context of current discussions over the possible renegotiation of the KORUS free trade agreement.

“We request that you communicate with Kumho Tire as soon as possible to request that their management at the Macon, Georgia plant immediately desist from all anti-union activities.”

A copy of the USW’s letter is available at: http://usw.to/2c2

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/.

# # #

]]>
International Labor Delegations Share Common Concerns at DowDuPont North American Labor Council Meeting http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/international-labor-delegations-share-common-concerns-at-dowdupont-north-american-labor-council-meeting Mon, 02 Oct 2017 11:17:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/international-labor-delegations-share-common-concerns-at-dowdupont-north-american-labor-council-meeting CONTACT: Kent Holsing (989) 615-3901

(Elizabethtown, Ky.) – Union leaders representing thousands of workers employed at DowDuPont companies from the United States and around the globe recently met in Kentucky to discuss issues common across their worksites. 

Union members spent four days sharing collective bargaining data, identifying mutual obstacles, discussing the future and brainstorming potential solutions.

Delegates discussed a number of issues, primarily the DowDuPont merger, the subsequent split between the company’s new divisions and the potential effect on the employees, their families and communities. Other topics included workplace safety, organizing and the need for proactive communications between the corporations and the respective unions.

“The workers of DowDuPont are facing many changes and challenges in the coming months, and the unionized sites of DowDuPont around the globe will be working together to ensure the members’ best interests are represented,” said Kent Holsing, chairperson of the DowDuPont North American Labor Council and president of USW Local 12075 in Midland, Mich.

“We are speaking not only for the unionized employees of DowDuPont but also for the non-union employees who don’t have that voice. We are preparing action items to address these concerns.”

The meeting also served to strengthen international connections and increase mutual respect and understanding across DowDuPont’s unionized worksites.

Representatives from the United Steelworkers (USW); the International Union of Operating Engineers; Texas City Metal Trades; the International Chemical Workers Union Council/UFCW; National Conference of Firemen and Oilers; the Ampthill Rayon Workers Incorporated (ARWI);  the Dow Chemical-Stade Works Council (Germany); UNITE the Union (United Kingdom, Ireland); the Global Union Federation IndustriALL (Geneva, Switzerland); the Union of Workers and Employees Petrochemicals States-SOEPU (Argentina), the CUT and Forca Sindical (Brazil) participated in this year’s event.

The USW is the largest industrial union in North America, representing workers in a range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, chemicals, oil refining, health care, security, hotels, and municipal governments and agencies

]]>
Another Plant Closes as Administration Delays Action http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/another-plant-closes-as-administration-delays-action Mon, 25 Sep 2017 12:52:40 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/another-plant-closes-as-administration-delays-action CONTACT: Roxanne Brown (202) 778-4384, rbrown@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) union released the following statement today that includes its letter to the Secretaries of Commerce and Defense. The correspondence highlights another steel plant closure and additional risks to U.S. security interest: the idling of the ArcelorMittal steel facility in Conshohocken, Pa., and the layoff of more than 200 steel workers. This further undermines the manufacturing of products critical to defense applications. The letter calls upon the Administration to complete its Section 232 investigation on the national security impact of steel imports. In April, the President called upon the Department of Commerce to act expeditiously, but five months have passed without any action taking place.  

“The idling of this steel facility and layoff of more than 200 highly skilled steel workers is another direct blow to our national security,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.  “Our soldiers deployed in harm’s way depend on products made in this facility in building Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles, Bradley land systems and all Navy Seapower systems. This steel closure is on the Administration’s watch.  At what point will they conclude their investigation and act?”

“Originally we were told that the steel investigation would be done by June,” said USW International Vice President Thomas M. Conway. “Now, press reports indicate the work is essentially done, but the White House wants to wait until Congress finishes tax reform.

“Steelworkers are angry that their jobs and national security interests are treated as secondary to tax cuts for the rich and powerful. Our national security should always come first. Many steel workers being laid off at this facility proudly wore the uniform and are dedicated to making vital equipment for our troops. The Administration’s refusal to act is just another sign that the Washington swamp has not been drained; it is business as usual. The White House needs to get its priorities straight.”

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/.

###

]]>
USW Calls on Administration to Complete Steel Investigation; Protect National Security http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-calls-on-administration-to-complete-steel-investigation-protect-national-security Mon, 18 Sep 2017 11:43:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-calls-on-administration-to-complete-steel-investigation-protect-national-security CONTACT: Wayne Ranick: (412) 562-2444, wranick@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) union issued the following release as dozens of steelworkers from around the country come to Washington D.C., to ask their legislators to press the Trump Administration to move forward on their Section 232 Investigation on the impact of steel imports on U.S. national security interests. In April, the administration initiated an investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Act of 1962. Despite reports that the investigation has been completed, the public release of the document has not occurred, and no relief has been provided.

Steelworkers from across the country are in Washington this week asking their elected representatives to press the Trump Administration to take action to protect national security. Since April, when the President called for the initiation of an investigation on the impact of imports of steel on our national security interests, imports have surged almost 21 percent. The delay in acting is further undermining our national security and critical infrastructure interests.

“The time to act is now, and workers are telling politicians their first-hand stories of the devastation in the industry and the critical importance of providing relief,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.

“The delay in acting is devastating,” said USW International Vice President Tom Conway. “Plants are closing, jobs are lost and communities are injured while politicians delay. Now there are rumors that action is being delayed so Congress can focus on tax reform. That’s an insult to the hardworking men and women whose jobs depend on the industry. Steelworker jobs and our national security should not be held hostage to tax cuts for the rich and powerful as America’s future is at risk.”

Steelworkers from multiple U.S.-based steel-making operations in eight states, including plants in  Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Alabama, Minnesota, Kentucky and  Michigan, are arranging visits with a bipartisan array of House and Senate offices this week to discuss the need to act quickly. In recent weeks, an increasing number of congressional members have contacted the administration requesting action. Just last week, Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman jointly made such a request.

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/.

 

###  

 

]]>
USW: Rules of Origin Provision “Critical” in NAFTA Renegotiations http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-rules-of-origin-provision-critical-in-nafta-renegotiations Fri, 15 Sep 2017 13:00:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-rules-of-origin-provision-critical-in-nafta-renegotiations CONTACT: Wayne Ranick: (412) 562-2444, wranick@usw.org

The United Steelworkers union (USW) released the attached document today identifying its position on rules of origin in the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations.  

Rules of origin are a critical part of the renegotiations and identify the percentage of content that must be included in products to be eligible for trade benefits. 

News reports indicate that NAFTA negotiators will begin addressing this topic at the next round of negotiations which takes place Sept. 23-27.

The existing NAFTA rules of origin were negotiated more than a quarter century ago and do not reflect current economic reality and sourcing patterns.

The current rules allow for significant amounts of content from outside of North America to be included in a product but still be eligible for the trade agreements’ benefits. Other countries, like China, have been able to ship increasing amounts of products into North America to the detriment of production and employment in North America.

The attached proposal would strengthen the rules and ensure that a new agreement promote growth and opportunity for those covered by the agreement.

To read the USW’s proposal, 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/.

 

###  

]]>
USW Statement on DACA Termination http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-statement-on-daca-termination Wed, 06 Sep 2017 06:01:00 -0500 http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2017/usw-statement-on-daca-termination CONTACT: Wayne Ranick: (412) 562-2444, wranick@usw.org

(Pittsburgh) --The following statement was issued today by United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that the administration would terminate in six months the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that suspended deportation of young people brought to the United States by parents who did not have documentation.

“Deporting young people brought to the United States by parents lacking proper documentation to immigrate is punishing the child for the dreams of the parents. The vast majority contribute positively to our economy, our national defense and respond to natural disasters such as Harvey.

“A huge proportion of the 800,000 young people who qualified for DACA status were transported to the United States by parents who were desperate for work after losing family farms because of NAFTA or who were terrorized by drug gangs and other violence in their home countries. DACA protected these young people from being deported for decisions made by their parents, decisions that were utterly out of the children’s control.

“To spare from deportation these 800,000 young people who trusted the government enough to provide their names, addresses and other identifying information, Congress now must quickly act to enshrine in law the protections DACA provided.

“Like the AFL-CIO, the USW supports comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship for these youngsters and their hard-working parents, some of whom are USW members. If a comprehensive agreement is impossible, Congress must quickly find a way to adopt a narrower measure to protect the DACA recipients.”

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/.

 

###

 

 

]]>