United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/rss United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed 2018-07-25 10:48:00 -0500 AMPS en hourly 1 USW: Deal Must Address All KC Jobs https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-deal-must-address-all-kc-jobs Wed, 25 Jul 2018 10:48:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-deal-must-address-all-kc-jobs CONTACT: Michael Bolton, (920) 722-1288, mbolton@usw.org

Members of Local 2-482 of the United Steelworkers (USW) ratified a tentative agreement with Kimberly-Clark (KC) with the goal of preserving and expanding employment at the company’s Fox Crossing plant.

Earlier this year, the governor and State Assembly committed as much as $115 million in taxpayer money to entice Kimberly-Clark to remain in Wisconsin. KC indicated that it would not ask elected officials to vote on the enormous subsidy package until it was able to renegotiate a contract with its workers. 

Following the passage of a massive federal tax cut, the multinational personal hygiene and paper product giant announced plans in January to shut down up to 10 plants around the world and eliminate 5,500 jobs. Those cuts included the company’s plants in Neenah and Fox Crossing, Wis. Last week, Kimberly-Clark was said to be considering selling its tissue business in Europe, while other financial publications have speculated that the company was contemplating much broader asset sales as well. The handling of the announcement by KC has sparked outrage in the global labor community leaving workers on five continents wondering about their future.

Since KC’s January announcement, the USW has been meeting with company officials in an effort to negotiate a deal that would preserve good jobs.

“While our local leaders have done what needed to be done to preserve the jobs for workers and the community, we are extremely disappointed by the way Kimberly-Clark approached this matter,” said Michael Bolton, director of USW District 2, which includes Wisconsin and Michigan. “The company’s behavior throughout this process underscores why it is having global labor relations issues.”

Kimberly-Clark, founded in Neenah, Wis., in 1872, considers the Fox Crossing facility one of its “flagships.”

“The company’s handling of the announcement of its intention to shutter up to 10 plants has created enormous anxiety for communities and workers across the globe,” said USW International Vice President Jon Geenen, who oversees the union’s paper bargaining. “We are proud of local union leaders for the work that they have done to keep jobs in the community. Now it is time for the state Senate to move a package forward that is conditioned on long-term preservation of all KC jobs in Wisconsin, including the economically critical mill in Marinette. Any deal that fails to meet that objective would be a massive abuse of taxpayer trust.”

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 Argues for Transparency in Section 232 Exclusion Process, Urges Focus on Domestic Steel and Aluminum Production https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-argues-for-transparency-in-section-232-exclusion-process-urges-focus-on-domestic-steel-and-aluminum-production Tue, 24 Jul 2018 16:17:52 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-argues-for-transparency-in-section-232-exclusion-process-urges-focus-on-domestic-steel-and-aluminum-production Contact: Roxanne Brown, 202-778-4384                                 

PITTSBURGH -- The United Steelworkers (USW) union released the following statement after today's House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee hearing on “Product Exclusion Process for Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum.” Roy Houseman, a representative from the USW, testified at the hearing. To read his full testimony, click here.

“The steel and aluminum Section 232 tariffs are necessary to ensure that the United States can supply our defense and critical infrastructure needs. 

“So far, these measures are working as intended. They are providing our domestic industries with needed relief, allowing U.S. companies to expand production and create thousands of jobs.

“However, if the domestic steel and aluminum industries are going to remain viable, it is critical that the Department of Commerce have a clear, focused process in considering exclusions to the Section 232 tariffs.

“Exclusions should be limited in time and scope, and Commerce should be diligent in uncovering inaccurate or misleading requests. The exclusion process should also allow for public comment.

“Tariffs alone cannot be the solution to illegal dumping and global excess capacity. However, until we can devise a comprehensive plan to address these problems, we must not undermine the benefits that these tariffs are already providing.

“Rather than granting unnecessary exclusions, the government should encourage domestic production so that the United States truly can meet its own needs in these vital sectors.”

The USW is the largest private sector union in North America, representing workers in a wide range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, oil refining, plus office, technical and service workers in health care, security, hotels and municipal governments and agencies.

New Kids singer rallies with USW members locked out by National Grid https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/new-kids-singer-rallies-with-usw-members-locked-out-by-national-grid Wed, 18 Jul 2018 22:13:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/new-kids-singer-rallies-with-usw-members-locked-out-by-national-grid Contact: Michael Sherry, 617-646-1026 

Boston, Mass. (July 18, 2018) – Gas workers from United Steelworkers (USW) Locals 12003 and 12012, who have been locked out of job sites across Massachusetts by National Grid, were joined by hundreds of supporters across the Greater Boston Labor Council today for a rally and march from City Hall Plaza to the State House. In all, workers from more than 40 allied labor unions gathered to highlight the reckless and unfair negotiating tactics of National Grid, which has cut off health care to locked out employees and has accumulated a host of potential safety violations by replacement contractors.

“The massive turnout for today’s rally should send a loud and clear signal to National Grid: Massachusetts is watching right now,” said Steve Tolman, President of the MA AFL-CIO. “Using the health of your employees and the safety of your customers as bargaining chips to cut an unfair deal is wrong, and workers are standing up to say so.”

Many leaders and workers in the labor movement spoke at the rally, and one highlight was a rendition of the National Anthem and remarks by Joey McIntyre, a Massachusetts resident and singer from the iconic pop group New Kids on the Block. McIntyre’s father, Thomas McIntyre, is a legendary figure in the labor movement.

“I’m proud to stand with these hardworking men and women who provide safe and reliable gas service to communities across Massachusetts,” said Joey McIntyre. “My father is a member of the bricklayers union and we’re a strong union family. It’s disgraceful that National Grid is locking out these gas workers and we’ll continue to stand with them as they fight for a fair contract.”

The gas workers are fighting to preserve health, pension, and wage protections that keep their members within the ranks of the middle class. Workers have been without pay since the lockout began on June 24th, and their health insurance was cut off several weeks ago, forcing many employees to make extremely tough decisions about how to pay bills and cover the cost of healthcare for sick children and families, some of whom are battling cancer and other serious illnesses. 

“It’s unconscionable that National Grid has thrown over 1,000 of its most experienced employees off the job and withdrew their health care benefits,” said Richard Rogers, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Greater Boston Labor Council. “National Grid is jeopardizing public safety and peoples’ lives to maximize profits and line the pockets of their already obscenely well-compensated executives.” 

Since the lockout, public safety has been a major concern of elected officials in Boston and around the Commonwealth, with moratoriums or additional reviews of National Grid projects issued in Boston, Somerville, Lowell, Medford, Malden, Braintree, and Haverhill. National Grid replacement workers have less training and experience, and the lockout has prevented the most knowledgeable and skilled gas workers from working on potentially dangerous job sites. 

“We are grateful to the leaders in these communities and to all of our labor allies for standing up for our workers and for the safety of residents,” said USW Local 12003 President Joe Kirylo. “National Grid is using public safety as a bargaining chip in a dangerous attempt to force concessions at the negotiating table, and we are glad that residents of these municipalities will no longer be a part of their efforts.” 

Leaders from USW Locals 12003 and 12012 have repeatedly offered to extend their current contract while bargaining continues, but National Grid has refused in an attempt to pressure workers to give in and accept the company’s final offer.

 “It’s completely reckless and irresponsible that National Grid continues to use this lockout as a negotiating tactic,” said John Buonopane, president of USW Local 12012. “Our members work incredibly hard for this company, and it’s sad to see how little National Grid cares for its employees, their families and public safety.”

National Grid’s profits soared 24 percent last year. The company also received a massive tax cut from the Trump Administration and is seeking tens of millions of additional dollars from Massachusetts consumers as part of its upcoming rate case. 

The unions participating in today’s march included: AFT-MA, APWU Boston Local 100, Boston Climate Action Network, Boston Building Trades Council, Boston Carmen’s Union, Boston Firefighters Local 718, Boston Teachers Union, Bricklayers Local 3, Community Labor United, Green Justice Coalition, IATSE Local 11, IBEW Local 103, IBEW Local 1505, IBEW Local 2222, Ironworkers Local 7, Laborers International Union, Machinists District 15, Machinists Local 100, Mail Handlers Local 301, MassCOSH/USW 9358, Mass Nurses Assoc, Massachusetts Teachers Assoc, NAGE/SEIU 5000, NE Regional Council of Carpenters, Operating Engineers Local 877, Painters DC 35, Pipefitters Local 537, Plumbers Local 12, 1199 SEIU, SEIU 32BJ, SEIU Local 509, SEIU Local 888, Sheetmetal Workers Local 17, Teamsters Local 25, Teamsters Local 122, UFCW Local 1445, UNITE/HERE NE Joint Board, UNITE/HERE Local 26, Utility Workers 369.

USW Locals 12003 and Local 12012 represent about 1,250 gas workers in more than 85 Massachusetts cities and towns. For more information, please visit www.lockoutatnationalgrid.com

Lockout at National Grid

USW: Congress Must Consider National Security When It Comes to Trade https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-congress-must-consider-national-security-when-it-comes-to-trade Wed, 11 Jul 2018 12:30:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-congress-must-consider-national-security-when-it-comes-to-trade CONTACT: Roxanne Brown, (202) 778-4384, rbrown@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) released the following statement today in anticipation of a vote in Congress to reassert its authority in trade matters:

Today's expected vote is a marker that Congress wants a role in evaluating relief under Section 232 of U.S. trade laws. It is without question that Congress has oversight authority. 

But, it's a bit ironic that the Republican-led Congress wants to exercise that authority now after it essentially sat on its hands for years during which unfair trade and surging imports of steel and aluminum devastated the American industries and destroyed jobs.

Now, action is underway to ensure that the United States sustains sufficient steel and aluminum production to protect national security. Billions of dollars in new investment and tens of thousands of jobs have already been put in motion since the Section 232 investigations began. Congress must be careful not to jeopardize national security, scuttle that investment and throw thousands of workers into the unemployment lines.

In addition, opponents of the tariffs must stop deliberately misleading the public about national security. What does pose a threat to national security is continual diminishment of U.S. steel and aluminum-making capacity caused by unfair trade practices, mostly by China. The tariffs are intended to shore up U.S. capacity to ensure its availability for defense and our critical infrastructure.

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 Urges U.S. Senate to Deny Confirmation to Anti-Worker Kavanaugh for Supreme Court https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-urges-u-s-senate-to-deny-confirmation-to-anti-worker-kavanaugh-for-supreme-court Tue, 10 Jul 2018 07:03:26 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-urges-u-s-senate-to-deny-confirmation-to-anti-worker-kavanaugh-for-supreme-court CONTACT: Wayne Ranick, (412) 562-2444, wranick@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement today opposing confirmation of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court:

“Working families cannot tolerate another corporate apologist on the U.S. Supreme Court, fawning over CEOs and stomping on the rights of workers. The decisions of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit demonstrate that he deliberately elevates corporations over working people.

“It’s crucial to working families that the vacancy on the court be filled by a mainstream jurist, not one who will support Supreme Court sessions like the last one in which the right-wing majority repeatedly subjugated workers’ rights. In just two cases this year, the court’s radical conservatives limited the ability of workers to join together to file class actions lawsuits to redress workplace grievances such as wage theft and forbid members of labor unions from collecting fair share fees from public sector workers who choose not to join but who the union is required to represent.

“Kavanaugh’s opinions show him to be a rogue jurist far to the right of the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. An illustration of Kavanaugh’s extremism is that he has participated in the highest number of dissents per year of any judge on the D.C. Circuit.

“In too many of those dissents, Kavanaugh has argued against workers’ right to be represented by labor unions, their right not to be killed by unsafe employer practices, and their right not to be fired for their age or race. In contrast, Kavanaugh twice wrote that a corporation should not be held accountable for misconduct overseas.

“Kavanaugh also has sided with powerful cable companies and big banks over consumers. And it’s clear he would deny women their right to abortion after he tried – ultimately unsuccessfully – to prevent an undocumented minor who was in government custody from obtaining the procedure.

“Activist jurists like Kavanaugh, who contort the law and U.S. Constitution to conform to their political and religious positions, should return to the private practice of law and not be promoted to the Supreme Court.”

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 Applauds Renaming of Pitt’s Parran Hall https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-applauds-renaming-of-pitts-parran-hall Fri, 29 Jun 2018 14:27:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-applauds-renaming-of-pitts-parran-hall CONTACT: R.J. Hufnagel (412) 562-2450

PITTSBURGH – Members of the University of Pittsburgh Grad Union and the Pitt Latin American Graduate Organization of Students (LAGOS) commended today’s decision by the university’s board of trustees to rename the school’s Parran Hall.

Pitt Grad Union organizers collected more than 1,300 petition signatures from community members demonstrating broad support for the name change. In April, they submitted the petitions to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion committee. Earlier this week, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher recommended that the trustees vote to rename the building.

“This shows how much can be achieved when graduate students come together and organize all across the campus,” said Rahul Amruthapuri, a doctoral student in behavioral and community health sciences.

Parran Hall, which partially houses the university’s Graduate School of Public Health, had been named for former U.S. Surgeon General Thomas Parran, who presided over the infamous Tuskegee experiments, in which treatment for syphilis was withheld from African-American men in Alabama long after penicillin was proven effective.

While Grad Union members applauded today’s vote, they said in the future the university must make such decisions with greater transparency and more consideration of student voices.

“To be an institution that serves the entire Pittsburgh community requires transparency,” said Casey Madden, a student in Pitt’s Masters of Public Health program. “We can all agree that the name should be changed, but we must be transparent in how we do it.”

Grad Union members and LAGOS members said they hoped Pitt would consider community input when deciding on a new name for the building. The union petition suggested two possible honorees, Dr. Herbert Needleman, who did foundational research into lead poisoning, and Maud Menten, a pioneering researcher in enzyme kinetics and histochemistry.

“We believe this will truly make a difference for Latinx students on campus by creating a more welcoming environment,” said Daniel Jacobson, president and founder of LAGOS. “This decision reflects the concerns of Latinx students on campus and that of the Pitt Grad Union.”

Pitt graduate students filed for a union election to join the USW in December 2017.

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 refining, the service and public sectors and higher education.

USW Endorses Scott Wallace in Pennsylvania 1st Congressional District Race https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-endorses-scott-wallace-in-pennsylvania-1st-congressional-district-race Thu, 28 Jun 2018 12:49:01 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-endorses-scott-wallace-in-pennsylvania-1st-congressional-district-race CONTACT: Tim Waters, (412) 999-3587, twaters@usw.org  

The United Steelworkers (USW) District 10 (Pennsylvania) Director Bob McAuliffe issued the following statement today:

“The USW is proud to endorse Scott Wallace for Congress. He has pledged to fight against unfair trade, strengthen and expand Social Security and Medicare and stand up against attacks on our union’s right to bargain collectively.”

“Scott Wallace’s no-nonsense history of fighting for fairness for veterans in his position at Veterans Affairs included overcoming constant obstacles to secure job training, housing loans and health care for veterans.  This is exactly the kind of congressman we need in Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District, which is now Bucks County.

“Scott’s opponent has basically been a rubber stamp for U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, voting with him more than 80% of the time. With so much at stake and so much division in our country, we need leaders like Scott Wallace who will not blindly follow other politicians, but rather will stand up and be a voice for working families back home.

“USW members understand the value of a thoughtful independent voice in Washington, D.C. and we expect Wallace to be that voice.  We will be talking to voters in every corner of this congressional district between now and Election Day to highlight the differences between these two candidates. We anticipate that voters will recognize the clear choice and elect Wallace to Congress.”

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 Cares: Retiree from Pennsylvania wins top Jefferson Award honor for community service https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-cares-retiree-from-pennsylvania-wins-top-jefferson-award-honor-for-community-service Thu, 28 Jun 2018 08:18:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-cares-retiree-from-pennsylvania-wins-top-jefferson-award-honor-for-community-service Contact: Connie Mabin, 412-562-2616, cmabin@usw.org

A retired United Steelworkers member from Pennsylvania who channeled his grief into good after his teenaged daughter died from liver cancer has won top honors from the Jefferson Awards Foundation, marking the third–straight year the union has taken a national prize for its community service work.

Marc Scott, a member of Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) Chapter 15-20 and former member of USW Local 7139 in Washington, Pa., Thursday night was among grassroots heroes honored with national Jefferson Awards Foundation awards.

Scott channeled his grief into good after his only daughter, Olivia, died from liver cancer at age 17. He wanted to honor her memory and pay forward the generosity and compassion his family received in some of their darkest days.

Nine years later, the Olivia Scott Foundation has donated over $250,000, provided assistance to youth in life-altering situations, given scholarships, promoted sportsmanship, supported community service events and given back to Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital – where you can find Olivia’s Coffee cart, Olivia’s Stockings filled with toys at holiday time, and Olivia’s Books for patients and their families. The Foundation also hosts holiday parties for hospital staff and provides prom and formal wear to students in need.

“Marc’s strength and compassion, especially after such personal tragedy, represent the resilience of our union and the amazing people in it so well,” said Leo W. Gerard, USW’s International President. “We are humbled that USW has taken the Jefferson Awards’ top award for the third-straight year, but the recognition isn’t why we’re so active in our communities. It’s because it’s the right thing to do.”

“Olivia’s courage, hope and grace is the reason we give,” Scott said. “I’m humbled by this award and grateful for my union for helping shine a spotlight on the Olivia Scott Foundation so that we can continue to do the work of helping others.”

The USW is a Champion with the Jefferson Awards Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to building a culture of service through a variety of programs and awards. As a Champion, the union was able to create a formal structure to allow members and retirees to be nominated for Jefferson Awards and put a spotlight on USW Cares efforts in communities across North America. The program includes training to help build leadership and other skills through effective community service.

The National Ceremony, now in its 46th year, took place June 28, 2018 at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. and was sponsored by the NFL, Vodafone, Clearsight Advisors, Deloitte, The Glover Park Group and USW.

Scott was selected as the USW’s overall Jefferson Awards Foundation Champion volunteer for 2018. The union had over 150 nominations from each of its districts in the United States and Canada and from among its Steelworker Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR). The 2018 USW regional Jefferson Award winners are:

District 1 (Ohio): Katrina Fitzgerald, Local Union 1123, Canton, Ohio for coordinating an annual car wash to benefit the domestic violence shelter, an annual golf tournament to benefit veterans and serving her community and union in various other ways.

District 2 (Michigan, Wisconsin): Women of Steel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This regional council of Women of Steel (WOS) activists from the southern Wisconsin area help year round in various ways, from fundraising for Special Olympics and other causes to helping veterans and the homeless. WOS in District 2 also volunteer at schools to teach kids about the union.

District 3 (British Columbia, Canada): Julie Charbonneau, Local 1944, Burnaby, B.C. for her decades of service as a shop steward and getting others involved through community service. She organizes several events to help the homeless, the addicted and the mentally ill. 

District 4 (New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Puerto Rico): USW Local 135L, Tonawanda, N.Y., for raising more than $170,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation, helping the homeless, raising tens of thousands of dollars to help USW sisters and brothers affected by hurricanes, and supporting in-need families in various other ways.

District 5 (Quebec, Canada): Daniel Mallette, USW Local 919, Montreal, for his 25-year commitment to supporting workers, including raising $5,000 a year for community organizations that help workers on strike. He also raises money for the United Way and volunteers to support youth, women, homeless and others in need.

District 6 (Ontario, Canada): Phillip Stewart-Bourgoyne, USW Local 8327, Ottawa, for his time volunteering at area food banks, a rehab center and raising money for the homeless. Phil leads several volunteer activities at his local, including adopting families during the holidays, and he is known for promoting the union wherever he goes.

District 7 (Indiana, Illinois): Markael Watkins, USW Local 1014, Gary, Indiana, for his tireless dedication to building the Community Services committee at his local. He has lead actions to provide veterans with hot meals, honor American’s first black mayor, Richard Hatcher, and give bicycles to under-privileged children.

District 8 (West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky): Robert Stoots, USW Local 8495, Parrott, Va., for his decades’ long service at the local volunteer fire department, political activism and time coaching youth sports. As a first responder, Stoots has earned a reputation for helping countless USW members who work at the ammunition facility who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

District 9 (Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee): Carla Leslie, USW Local 15120, Chattanooga, Tenn., for her endless commitment to service work; Carla helps the homeless, organizes coat drives, reads to children and volunteers wherever possible. She is also credited with helping build her local’s Women of Steel program.

District 10 (Pennsylvania):  Robin Drace, USW Local 10-0086, Harleysville, Pa., for her program that provides care packages to deployed soldiers serving in the U.S. military. With the help of her union sisters and brothers, she’s sent more than 3,000 care packages abroad.

District 11 (Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa):  Lana Hiltbrunner, USW Local 9460, Ely, Minnesota, for her work planning an annual fishing tournament that benefits Cystic Fibrosis and working for over a decade to provide Cystic Fibrosis education and help find a cure.

District 12 (California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Idaho):  USW Local 7600 Civil and Human Rights Committee, Fontana, Calif., for their tireless commitment to not only fighting for social justice but also leading their local’s community service efforts, which include annual toy drives, monthly food drives and volunteerism.

District 13 (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas):  Juan Almanza, USW Local 227, Pasadena, Texas, for his work with other USW members providing necessities and supplies to Steelworkers impacted by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, including sending a massive shipping container full of supplies to Puerto Rico. Jennifer Penner of USW Local 241 in Kansas, District 11, co-led this project.

Staff: Marcos Velez, District 13, for his commitment to helping USW members become active in their union and communities, including assisting with hurricane relief efforts and thinking outside-the-box with ideas such as bargaining scholarship programs to help domestic violence survivors earn employment at USW-represented facilities

About the USW: The USW is North America’s largest industrial union, representing 1.2 million active and retired workers in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply, and the energy-producing industries. For more information: @Steelworkers on social networks and www.usw.org/uswcares.

About the Jefferson Awards Foundation: The Jefferson Awards Foundation is committed to tapping into the incredible capacity and spirit of Americans. Its Youth programs, Students In Action, LEAD360, and GlobeChangers, support, train and empower youth to be leaders and changemakers. Its vast network of Media Partners honors local unsung heroes who are the best of their communities. Its Champions and National Partners are engaging, activating and celebrating their millions of constituents and employees. All together, working to build a culture of service in the country. For more information: www.jeffersonawards.org, @JeffersonAwards.

USW Condemns Supreme Court Janus Decision https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-condemns-supreme-court-janus-decision Wed, 27 Jun 2018 09:43:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-condemns-supreme-court-janus-decision CONTACT: Wayne Ranick, (412) 562-2444, wranick@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement in response to the June 27, 2018, U.S. Supreme Court decision on the case of Janus v. AFSCME Council 31.

“The United Steelworkers (USW) strongly condemns today’s split decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to side with big-money interests and harm the ability of public sector workers to collectively bargain for their members’ futures.

“The 5-4 vote in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 drastically curtails the rights of public sector workers under the law and could trigger a downward spiral in union membership and finances, which is exactly what Janus’ backers hope will happen.

“Make no mistake, this case was an attack on unions, working people and the causes that the labor movement fights for every day. But no court case will stop unions and their supporters from fighting back against efforts to weaken and divide us.

“This assault on workers was financed by conservative, right-wing billionaires and the organizations they support, including the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, to undermine the labor movement and the quality family-sustaining jobs that have developed over decades of collective bargaining.

“At issue was the ability of unions in the public sector to collect agency or fair share fees from non-members who benefit from the higher negotiated wages, benefits and working conditions in unionized workplaces.

“No worker was required to join a union under this system, and both union members and non-members could opt out of political and other costs not directly associated with bargaining.

“Yet unions are required to represent those non-member free riders in bargaining and settling work-related problems with employers. If this sounds like an attack to defund unions, that’s because it is.

“The ruling overturned precedent established in a 1977 case known as Abood v. the Detroit Board of Education, which basically affirmed that a union shop, then legal in much of the private sector, was legal in the public sector.

“For more than forty years, through Republican and Democratic administrations, the law has recognized that unions and employers have the freedom to negotiate agreements under which everybody contributes his or her fair share.

“This attack on public sector workers, including teachers and emergency service personnel, must be a wakeup call for all union members and their supporters to stand with our brothers and sisters.

“Now that the anti-union movement has gotten its way in the Janus case, the next likely step for Republicans and the conservative rich is to propose a national right-to-work (for less) law.

“Unions have proven to be one of the most effective ways to move people from poverty into the middle class, especially for women and minorities. They sustain families and make communities stronger.

“We must organize and demand that our elected leaders and political candidates enact public policies that will make it easier, not harder, for people to join unions.”

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.

Locked-Out Mass. Gas Workers to Picket Outside National Grid Facilities https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/locked-out-massachusetts-gas-workers-to-picket-outside-national-grid-facilities-in-braintree-dorchester-lowell-malden-waltham Tue, 26 Jun 2018 20:36:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/locked-out-massachusetts-gas-workers-to-picket-outside-national-grid-facilities-in-braintree-dorchester-lowell-malden-waltham Contact: Michael Sherry, 617-646-1026 

WHAT:  Boston Gas workers with United Steelworkers Locals 12003 and 12012, who have been locked out of job sites by National Grid following its failure to negotiate fairly with union representatives, will convene outside of National Grid locations in Braintree, Dorchester, Lowell, Malden, and Waltham to highlight the unfair and reckless negotiating tactics of the company.
The gas workers’ current contract expired June 24th, after National Grid refused to compromise on a contract that respected both public safety and economic justice. Though Locals 12003 and 12012 offered to continue working while bargaining continued, ensuring that critical gas work was conducted by trained and experienced employees, National Grid chose to lock its employees out of their facilities and rely on a combination of contractors and management staff, neither of whom have the experience with live gas lines required to ensure public safety.
Workers will also stand up against National Grid’s proposals to reduce healthcare benefits, eliminate pensions for new hires, and cut wage protections that thousands of middle-class families rely on. The proposed cuts come at a time when National Grid is seeking tens of millions of additional dollars from Massachusetts consumers in its upcoming rate case, and as the company has received a major tax cut from the Trump Administration.
USW Locals 12003 and Local 12012 represent about 1,250 gas workers in more than 85 Massachusetts cities and towns.

WHO:      Joe Kirylo, president of USW Local 12003

               John Buonopane, president of USW Local 12012

               National Grid employees that are members of USW Locals 12003 and 12012

WHEN:    7:30 a.m. – 7:00 pm Tuesday, June 26, 2018

WHERE:  220 Victory Road

               Boston, MA


               39 Quincy Ave

               Braintree, MA


               775 King St

               Lowell, MA


               100 Commercial St

               Malden, MA


               100 Medford St

               Malden, MA


               160 Newton St

               Waltham, MA


               40 Sylvan Road

               Waltham MA



USW Gas Workers in Mass. blast National Grid for 'reckless and irresponsible' lockout that jeopardizes public safety https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-gas-workers-in-mass-blast-national-grid-for-reckless-and-irresponsible-lockout-that-jeopardizes-public-safety Tue, 26 Jun 2018 20:23:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-gas-workers-in-mass-blast-national-grid-for-reckless-and-irresponsible-lockout-that-jeopardizes-public-safety Boston, Mass. (June 25, 2018) – The following is a joint statement from United Steelworkers (USW) Local 12003 President Joe Kirylo and USW Local 12012 President John Buonopane, whose two unions represent about 1,100 gas workers employed by National Grid in more than 85 Massachusetts cities and towns:

“National Grid is jeopardizing the safety of our communities by locking out 1,100 of its most experienced employees who are critical to ensuring safe and quality gas work in Massachusetts. These workers not only protect and maintain key infrastructure, they repair dangerous gas leaks in dozens of cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth.

Rather than negotiate a fair contract that recognizes the crucial services these workers provide across Massachusetts, National Grid continues to push proposals that threaten public safety and drive down wages. The proposed cuts come as National Grid seeks tens of millions of dollars from Massachusetts consumers in its upcoming rate case, and as the company received a major tax cut from the Trump Administration.

Despite our request to allow members to work while we continue to bargain, National Grid has refused.

We’re grateful for the support of residents, elected officials, labor leaders and all those who are standing with us during this reckless and irresponsible National Grid lockout. We’ll continue to fight for a contract that protects quality, middle class jobs for current and future employees, and that ensures the safety of our communities.”

Pitt Moves Toward Renaming Parran Hall, a Victory for Graduate Employee Union https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/pitt-moves-toward-renaming-parran-hall-a-victory-for-graduate-employee-union Tue, 26 Jun 2018 11:04:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/pitt-moves-toward-renaming-parran-hall-a-victory-for-graduate-employee-union CONTACT: R.J. Hufnagel, (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

Members of the Graduate Student Organizing Committee working to build a union of grad student employees at the University of Pittsburgh today applauded the recommendation by Pitt’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion Review Committee on Parran Hall to rename the building.

“Being a student and employee of the Graduate School of Public Health, I am overjoyed to hear the news,” said India Hunter, a graduate student in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences in the Graduate School of Public Health, which is partially housed in Parran Hall. “For the black community, the name change shows us that Pitt is making efforts to truly become an inclusive university for us all.”

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher is recommending the university’s board of trustees approve a name change for the building named for Thomas Parran Jr., former U.S. surgeon general who oversaw the notorious Tuskegee syphilis experiment and Guatemala syphilis experiment and who later served as dean of the university’s School of Public Health.

The Pitt grad union organizers’ delivery of over 1,300 petitions calling for a name change was cited in the committee’s report on how they came to the conclusion that the building should be renamed.

“We’re overwhelmed with joy at the committee’s report. This is verification of the belief that when communities come together in search of justice, and when we organize, that our voices will be heard,” said Theresa Gmelin, a graduate student employee in the Epidemiology Department in the Graduate School of Public Health.

In April, Pitt grad union organizers submitted the petitions to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion committee as well as to Chancellor Gallagher via Pamela Connelly, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion, and Dean Donald Burke of the Graduate School of Public Health.

“Our petitions also called on the University to use a democratic and transparent process in the renaming of the building, and we will continue to urge the administration to include students, faculty, and staff in the conversation,” said Abby Cartus, also a graduate student employee in the Epidemiology Department. “Ultimately, the decision to rename the building will be made by the Board of Trustees, and we will continue organizing in the community to ensure that this positive change is made.”

Graduate student employees at Pitt are organizing as a union with the Academic Workers Association of the United Steelworkers.  They’ve collected cards showing support and submitted them to the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) to start the union election process.  A PLRB hearing in October will determine the union’s legal right to organize.

“This win couldn't have come at  better time. Our community is going through a lot of pain grappling with the murder of Antwon Rose. The message this decision sends will resonate across our region -the lives of communities of color matter,” said Helen Ann Lawless, MPH student and Evans Fellow in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. “Delivered side by side, the evidence and pressure we brought to this issue undoubtedly led to our success. This win was only made possible thorough collective action. Although this is an uplifting moment, now is no time to settle. We must continue to hold racist systems and institutions accountable.”

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 refining, the service and public sectors and higher education.

USW: Canada Must be Exempt from Tariffs https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-canada-must-be-exempt-from-tariffs Thu, 31 May 2018 13:09:15 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-canada-must-be-exempt-from-tariffs CONTACT: Holly Hart, (202) 778-4384, hhart@usw.org 

Today the United Steelworkers union (USW) expressed its profound disappointment in the Trump Administration’s decision to remove Canada’s exemption from Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum products.

This decision is unacceptable and calls into serious question the design and direction of the Administration’s trade policy. Section 232 relief is founded on national security interests and U.S. law. Our history shows that there is no stronger ally and partner on national security than Canada. 

The decision not to exempt Canada ignores the fact that Canada’s steel and aluminum exports to the United States are fairly traded and that Canada has shown its willingness to strengthen its laws as well as its cooperation with the United States to fight unfair trade. 

From the early days of the Administration, the USW has worked with trade officials to develop, design and deploy trade policies that will strengthen our manufacturing base, increase employment and enhance our national security. 

But, in recent days, it has become increasingly difficult to understand the reasoning behind certain decisions and policies. The regular chaos surrounding our flawed trade policies is undermining the ability to project a reasoned course and ensure that we can improve domestic production and employment. 

Today’s decision is wrongheaded and erodes the certainty companies need to conduct operations and invest in the future. 

Early results showed the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs were having the intended impact: Thousands of jobs were created or saved as relief was put in place. Trading partners were finally beginning to take action against the root cause of all of these problems, China. 

The goal must continue to be strengthening our national security by eliminating unfair competition and global overcapacity. But, that’s at risk now. 

In the coming days, we hope the Administration will reassess its decision so we can resume a path toward correcting the trade violations of the past. 

So far, the Administration’s trade policies have led to confusion, higher trade deficits and no real success in changing the practices of our trading partners. Ultimately, the goal is not a tariff barrier, but a stronger America. It’s time to ensure that we’re on the right path.

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 Supports Section 232 Investigation on Imports of Autos and Auto Parts https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-supports-section-232-investigation-on-imports-of-autos-and-auto-parts Tue, 29 May 2018 16:13:32 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-supports-section-232-investigation-on-imports-of-autos-and-auto-parts CONTACT:  Wayne Ranick (412) 562-2444

(Pittsburgh) – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard made the following statement supporting the recent initiation of a Section 232 investigation into imports of autos and auto parts to determine their impact on national security and calling for a focused approach that addresses imports from countries undermining U.S. national defense.

“The USW has thousands of members making products that contribute to the auto sector. From steel and aluminum, to glass and rubber, to plastics and petrochemicals, the USW is the primary union. Unquestionably, every vehicle made in America includes products made by our members.

“The automotive sector is a critical component of our defense industrial base.

“Any student of history knows that it was the automotive sector that helped make America the ‘arsenal of democracy’ in World War II.  The automotive companies had the tools and engineering, and the workers had the skills and experience to make the weapons our men and women in uniform needed to fight for freedom around the globe.

“Today, many of the critical innovations that can contribute to our defense needs emanate from the automotive sector including basic industrial and manufacturing capabilities, new autonomous capabilities, sensor technology, advanced batteries and other technologies.  

“The auto and auto parts sector will be critical to our nation's continued defense and the weaponry of the future which will help preserve democracy and freedom.

“The predatory and protectionist policies of major auto-producing countries like Japan, South Korea, Germany and Mexico have undermined the development of our industrial capabilities.  

“A Section 232 investigation in the auto and auto parts sector should focus on imports from countries that have advanced their interests at the expense of U.S. industrial capacity, our work force and, in turn, our defense industrial base.  

“China, Japan, South Korea and Germany have targeted our market for their exports and limited access to their own markets. Mexico has pursued industrial and labor policies that attack our auto and auto parts sector by suppressing wages and workers’ rights.

“Canada stands with the U.S. as a trusted partner in securing our defense industrial base, just as they did in World War II. 

“The U.S. and Canada have a unique relationship that is synergistic in terms of industrial might and support. Canada, by any measure, should be exempted from any 232 actions on autos and auto parts, just as we have argued must be the case for steel and aluminum.

“As the investigation takes shape, the USW will work closely with the Administration and leaders in the automotive and auto parts sector to ensure that we can meet our security needs in the future.”

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: NAFTA Approach Must Be Comprehensive; “Skinny Deal” is Unacceptable https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-nafta-approach-must-be-comprehensive-skinny-deal-is-unacceptable Tue, 22 May 2018 12:37:20 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-nafta-approach-must-be-comprehensive-skinny-deal-is-unacceptable CONTACT: Holly Hart (202) 778-4384

(Pittsburgh) -- United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement regarding discussions in Washington, D.C. about possibly approving limited portions of the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), while leaving important provisions for later consideration.

In addition to serving as International President for the USW, President Gerard chairs the official Labor Advisory Committee that advises the United States Trade Representative and Secretary of Labor on trade negotiations and policy.

“In Washington, business leaders are talking about approving portions of the NAFTA renegotiations, while leaving the most important provisions for possible later action. They want changes that benefit business while denying workers any relief from outsourcing and reducing our unacceptably high NAFTA trade deficit. For far too long, multinational companies have profited at the expense of workers in all three countries. Allowing corporations to harvest new benefits while continuing to ship more jobs out of the country is unacceptable.

“The special interest lobbyists have called this a ‘skinny deal’ containing limited provisions. There can be no mistake that they are trying to grab more benefits while continuing to oppose actions that would help workers. These include advancing labor rights, improving rules of origin, eliminating the investor state dispute settlement and adopting a sunset review. It is classic Washington bait and switch that is unacceptable.”

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 Endorses Laura Kelly for Kansas Governor https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-endorses-laura-kelly-for-kansas-governor Tue, 22 May 2018 11:26:13 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-endorses-laura-kelly-for-kansas-governor CONTACT: Emil Ramirez (816) 836-1400

Topeka, Kan. -- The United Steelworkers (USW) today announced its endorsement of state Senator Laura Kelly for governor in the Kansas Democratic primary.

USW District 11 Director Emil Ramirez praised Kelly as a powerful advocate for working families. “As a four-term state senator, Laura has never flinched in fighting for working men and women and their families, on the job and in the community.”

Elected to the Kansas Senate in 2004, Kelly quickly became known for her leadership and ability to reach across the political aisle, advocating for fiscally responsible, balanced budgets that still prioritized quality schools, health care and public safety.

Kelly was also key to building the bipartisan coalition to reverse then Gov. Brownback’s tax plan, putting Kansas on the road to fiscal recovery.

“Sen. Kelly knows the importance of service and integrity,” said USW Local 307L President Jody Juarez. “She stands with working people and understands how important it is that everyone pay their fair share in order for us to drive on safe roads and send our children to good schools.”

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 Condemns EPA Chief’s Proposal to Revoke Chemical Disaster Regulations https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-condemns-epa-chiefs-proposal-to-revoke-chemical-disaster-regulations Fri, 18 May 2018 10:07:31 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-condemns-epa-chiefs-proposal-to-revoke-chemical-disaster-regulations CONTACT: Anna Fendley, (202) 778-3306

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 17) – The United Steelworkers (USW) released the following statement today in response to the proposal by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to rescind regulations — commonly called the “RMP Amendments” or the “Chemical Disaster Rule” — designed to prevent and respond to chemical-related disasters.

“Today, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt did the bidding of powerful industry lobbyists by rescinding important requirements to prevent and respond to catastrophic chemical incidents at industrial facilities.

“The EPA Risk Management Program is a crucial tool that the Obama administration rightly decided to modernize after numerous incidents, including the April 2013 explosion in West, Texas, that killed 15 and injured 150, and earlier incidents at USW-represented facilities in Anacortes, Wash., and Richmond, Calif.

“The Obama-era rules contained important worker safety provisions to prevent accidents and save lives. These rules included root cause accident investigation, safer technology assessments and third-party audits. The regulations also required increased coordination and sharing of information with first responders, who are inevitably called in to assist during and after a chemical release or explosion.

“Administrator Pruitt’s deregulatory agenda has led to this proposal to cancel major portions of the Obama-era regulation including all accident prevention program provisions. The proposal also further postpones compliance dates so the remaining requirements will not be fully in place for five years.

“Further delay in protecting workers and communities is unacceptable. Last summer, the EPA delayed implementation of the rule until February 2019. The USW joined community groups and 12 states in a lawsuit challenging that delay, arguing that the court should require the EPA to implement the rule immediately.

“USW members work in dangerous facilities that house huge quantities of hazardous chemicals. We are strongly opposed to this deregulation that endangers workers and their communities. Our union intends to fully participate in the rulemaking process and advocate against these unjustified rollbacks.”

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.  

Judgment against Los Mineros Abuses Democracy to Serve a Billionaire’s Vendetta https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/judgment-against-los-mineros-abuses-democracy-to-serve-a-billionaires-vendetta Wed, 16 May 2018 13:45:44 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/judgment-against-los-mineros-abuses-democracy-to-serve-a-billionaires-vendetta Contact: Ben Davis, 202-550-3729

The United Steelworkers (USW) today condemned the judgement issued by Mexico’s Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Board (CAB) on May 10 against the National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Related Workers of the Mexican Republic – “Los Mineros” and issued the following statement: 

"This charge is part of a concerted effort by Grupo Mexico and its owner, Germán Larrea (Mexico’s second-richest individual with a net wealth of over $15 billion), to prevent Napoleón Gómez, who is currently a candidate for the Mexican Senate in the July 1 elections on the ticket headed by presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, from being elected. 

Gómez has strongly criticized the abuses of labor, human and environmental rights by Grupo Mexico and other large mining companies – including the massive spill of toxic waste from a Grupo Mexico mine in 2014 which is now being litigated in the Mexican Supreme Court. Recently López Obrador accused Larrea of leading a campaign to defeat his ticket.[1]

The judgment from the Federal CAB, ordering the union to pay $55 million allegedly owed to former employees of Grupo Mexico, repeats the unfounded accusations in the criminal charges against the union’s President and General Secretary, Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, filed by Grupo Mexico’s lawyers in eleven separate courts – all of which were dismissed.[2] We have no doubt that it too will be dismissed on appeal.

What is especially disturbing is the use of the Federal CAB, an agency whose head reports directly to the President of Mexico, as an instrument to interfere directly with the election campaigns of López Obrador and Gómez Urrutia.  The tripartite CAB system has long been criticized for corruption, and in 2017 the Mexican Constitution was amended to abolish the Federal and state CABs and establish a new system of independent labor tribunals, along with other labor reforms.  Unfortunately, the Congress failed to pass implementing legislation that would set up and fund the labor tribunals, so the CABs are still in place.

Mexico’s abuse of a state agency to serve a billionaire’s vendetta against his workers clearly demonstrates why there can be no renegotiated NAFTA without tough and enforceable labor rights, starting with the abolition of the corrupt CABs."

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 Opposes PRINT Act, Calls on Congress to Protect Trade Enforcement Laws https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-opposes-print-act-calls-on-congress-to-protect-trade-enforcement-laws Tue, 15 May 2018 13:50:15 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-opposes-print-act-calls-on-congress-to-protect-trade-enforcement-laws CONTACT: Holly Hart, (202) 778-4384, hhart@usw.org

The United Steelworkers union (USW) issued the following statement today in response to the introduction of the PRINT Act into the U.S. Senate. The USW also sent a letter calling on senators to protect U.S. jobs by opposing the proposed legislation.

The USW strenuously opposes the PRINT Act, a piece of legislation which, if enacted, would seriously weaken U.S. trade enforcement by undermining current anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws.   

Workers and companies currently rely on the Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission (ITC) to review cases and protect them from illegal dumping and subsidies, which hurt American industry and imperil U.S. jobs. The PRINT Act would inject partisan Congressional politics into this process.

“The PRINT Act sets a dangerous precedent where workers or companies who are victims of unfair trade could have their rights taken away by powerful special interests,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.

Under the proposed legislation, foreign lobbyists and other special interest groups could circumvent current U.S. trade enforcement by petitioning Congress directly to nullify the results of the ITC’s or the Commerce Department’s investigations.

“Senators who agree to support the PRINT Act are giving a green light to special interest lobbyists and foreign governments to undermine trade enforcement by dismantling our nation’s carefully crafted trade laws,” said Gerard.

The USW has participated in more than 80 trade enforcement cases to combat foreign unfair trade. Adding more unnecessary delays and more opportunities for circumvention will only further hurt American workers.

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: NAFTA Negotiators Need Time to Get it Right https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-nafta-negotiators-need-time-to-get-it-right Mon, 14 May 2018 07:52:31 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-nafta-negotiators-need-time-to-get-it-right CONTACT: Holly Hart, (202) 778-4384, hhart@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement today after negotiators for the countries covered by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) announced that talks to update and reform the agreement would continue over the coming weeks.

“We welcome today’s announcement that negotiations will continue. Several substantive hurdles still need to be cleared. Working families have been living through the NAFTA nightmare for more than 25 years. Taking more time to revise the agreement so that it promotes, rather than undermines, the interests of workers in all three countries is worth it.

“NAFTA negotiators should take the time to hammer out a good deal rather than causing further damage through the additional outsourcing of jobs and production.

“Negotiations are at a critical phase on a number of issues that will determine the competitive landscape. Key is whether Mexico will change its labor laws and enforcement, and ensure that workers are paid family-supportive wages. The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has made clear its priorities, many of which could improve NAFTA if effectively negotiated and fully enforced. Rushing to conclude an agreement and lowering the standards will only make things worse.

“There’s no question that NAFTA has been an utter failure. It’s time to fix it, but negotiators need time to get it right. We will continue to work with the USTR to try and achieve an agreement that meets the needs of working families in the United States, Canada and Mexico.”

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.