United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/rss United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed 2021-04-09 17:30:07 -0500 AMPS en hourly 1 USW Welcomes West Virginia House Passage of H.R. 24, Calls on Governor to Help Save Former Mylan Facility https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-welcomes-west-virginia-house-passage-of-h-r-24-calls-on-governor-to-help-save-former-mylan-facility Fri, 09 Apr 2021 17:30:07 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-welcomes-west-virginia-house-passage-of-h-r-24-calls-on-governor-to-help-save-former-mylan-facility Contact: J.D. Wilson, 304-489-3961, jwilson@usw.org; Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

The United Steelworkers union (USW) today applauded the West Virginia House of Delegates passage of House Resolution 24, urging Gov. Jim Justice to help save the Viatris generic pharmaceutical facility in Morgantown, W. Va.

The plant, formerly owned by Mylan, is slated to close July 31. The current owner, Viatris, was established on Nov. 16, 2020, when Mylan combined with Upjohn, a business spun off from Pfizer. Viatris announced on Dec. 11 that it would permanently close the Morgantown facility and lay off approximately 1,500 workers, including some 850 members of USW Local 8-957.

The resolution that passed the West Virginia House today urges the governor to form a task force with congressional representatives, labor organizations, and other industry leaders to call on the president to invoke the Defense Production Act and save jobs at the plant. The resolution passed in the state Senate on March 19.

“We’re proud of what we do and remain committed to using our skill, dedication and hard work to help supply our country’s critical needs,” said USW Local 8-975 President Joseph G. Gouzd. “We are grateful to our representatives in both chambers for recognizing how vital this plant is for our community. We now call on Gov. Justice to intervene to help save our jobs.”

Echoing the union’s national security concerns over losing a major domestic source of generic pharmaceuticals, the resolution also recognizes how essential it is to make medical supplies in the United States, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Our country has pressing needs that we are well equipped to help meet,” said Gouzd. “We just have to have the chance.”

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

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United Steelworkers Union: Build Back Better Through Infrastructure Spending on Both Sides of the Border https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/united-steelworkers-union-build-back-better-through-infrastructure-spending-on-both-sides-of-the-border Thu, 01 Apr 2021 12:01:24 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/united-steelworkers-union-build-back-better-through-infrastructure-spending-on-both-sides-of-the-border Contacts: Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada, 416-544-5951; or Shannon Devine, USW Communications, 416-894-7118 (cell), sdevine@usw.ca

PITTSBURGH, PA / TORONTO, CANADA, April 1, 2021 – As the largest private-sector union in North America, representing more than 850,000 members on both sides of the border, the United Steelworkers union (USW) sees U.S. President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan as an opportunity to maintain and create jobs, bolster manufacturing and make our communities safer.  

It is clear that a massive investment to rebuild, upgrade and repair critical infrastructure systems has long been necessary. President Biden’s bold plan to invest in transportation, broadband, water and other systems will draw on the products, components and services USW members make and supply each day, making workers and their communities the direct beneficiaries of this spending. 

This plan represents a massive opportunity to harness and revitalize the critical supply chains that decades of unbalanced trade policies and the unfair trading practices of bad actors severely damaged.

Like the United States, Canada needs aggressive investment in infrastructure, and both countries must strive to ensure procurement policies that reflect the unique trading relationship between the two countries. 

Previous efforts by the U.S. and Canadian governments to ensure suppliers on both sides of the border benefit are models which can be replicated again today. The USW will encourage leaders of both countries to review the mutually beneficial agreement signed after the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and urge them to adopt this government procurement approach.

“A decade ago, the USW worked with the Obama administration and the Canadian government to create a North American strategy that benefited workers in the United States and Canada,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “Canada is not the problem facing U.S. manufacturing and workers. Co-operation between Canada and U.S. will build on our longstanding and productive trading relationship.” 

USW National Director for Canada Ken Neumann pointed to the need to improve Canadian infrastructure and the benefits of a mutual procurement strategy between Canada and the United States. 

“Canada’s bridges, buildings and public transportation systems are all in need of upgrades and development. With a clear procurement strategy, Canada must prioritize the use of environmentally sustainable, low-carbon materials that will create and maintain jobs,” said Neumann.

“On top of enforcing better procurement protections in our own country, the Canadian government must also employ stronger tools to address the trans-shipment of illegally dumped imports, and take pride in the products that Canadians harvest, mine, manufacture and produce,” added Neumann. 

USW members in both the U.S. and Canada are ready to supply the infrastructure needs of their respective countries and to promote co-operative and co-ordinated trade enforcement strategies.

The United Steelworkers union represents workers in nearly every economic sector, with 850,000 members strong in Canada and the United States, with close ties to unions around the world. 

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USW Applauds Biden Infrastructure Plan https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-applauds-biden-infrastructure-plan Wed, 31 Mar 2021 14:52:01 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-applauds-biden-infrastructure-plan Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

Members Ready to Supply Goods, Services Needed to Rebuild Nation

The United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway released the following statement welcoming President Joe Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar jobs and infrastructure package:

“It’s fitting that President Biden chose Pittsburgh to announce his ambitious, far-reaching jobs and infrastructure plan. This city and so many like it across our nation are the homes of not only the industries that will fuel this initiative but also the union members who stand ready to do the work.

“A large-scale investment is certainly long overdue, but more importantly President Biden has made it clear that he, like our union, takes an expansive view of infrastructure.

“This is one that, in addition to repairing our crumbling roads, bridges, waterways and other transportation networks, also ensures that we have state-of-the-art schools, reliable communication systems, robust public health and much more.

“The USW launched a union-wide infrastructure initiative earlier this year called We Supply America to identify and advocate for all our members who contribute to meeting America’s infrastructure needs, from pouring steel used in bridges to maintaining municipal water systems, from making cement to driving school buses.

“Aggressive investment coupled with strong Buy American provisions will create long-term economic resiliency, strengthening our domestic supply chains and providing a secure economic base for generations to come.

“We welcome President Biden’s infrastructure plan and look forward to working with him as it becomes a reality.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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USW on Strike against ATI’s Unfair Labor Practices https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-on-strike-against-atis-unfair-labor-practices Mon, 29 Mar 2021 20:15:43 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-on-strike-against-atis-unfair-labor-practices Contact: Tony Montana, tmontana@usw.org or 412-562-2592

The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the union engaged in a strike against ATI (NYSE: ATI) over unfair labor practices at 7 a.m. (EDT) at nine facilities.

In negotiations that started in early January 2021, the company sought major economic and contract language concessions from roughly 1,300 union members who have not had a wage increase since 2014.

USW International Vice President (Administration) David McCall, who chairs the union's negotiations with ATI, called on the company to stop breaking the law and bargain in good faith for a fair contract.

“We are willing to meet with management all day, every day, but ATI needs to engage with us to resolve the outstanding issues,” McCall said. “We will continue to bargain in good faith, and we strongly urge ATI to do start doing the same.

“Through generations of hard work and dedication, Steelworkers at ATI have earned and deserve the security of a union contract,” McCall said. “We cannot allow the company to use the global pandemic as an excuse to reverse decades of collective bargaining progress.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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Steelworkers Intend to Strike ATI over Unfair Labor Practices https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/steelworkers-intend-to-strike-ati-over-unfair-labor-practices Fri, 26 Mar 2021 15:10:54 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/steelworkers-intend-to-strike-ati-over-unfair-labor-practices The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the union has given ATI (NYSE: ATI) management a notice of the union's intent to strike over unfair labor practices beginning at 7 a.m. (EDT) on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.

The USW and ATI are negotiating over a labor agreement that will cover roughly 1,300 union members at nine facilities, and the company has persistently tried to force workers to accept contract concessions.

USW International Vice President (Administration) David McCall, who chairs the union's negotiations with ATI, said that the company has no excuse for committing unfair labor practices in its drive to force workers into accepting unnecessary concessions.

“In addition to protesting the company’s serious unfair labor practices, it is the utmost desire of the union to achieve a fair and equitable contract, and we are prepared to meet with management all day, every day if it helps us reach a fair agreement,” McCall said. “We will continue to bargain in good faith, and we strongly urge ATI to do start doing the same.

“We've stood together to survive during hard times in the past and know that we can accomplish great things through solidarity and collective action,” McCall said. “After years of loyalty, hard work and sacrifice, workers deserve more respect and consideration than ATI has shown at the table.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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USW Lauds Ohio House Passage of H.R. 13, Calls for Continued Operation of Enbridge Line 5 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-lauds-ohio-house-passage-of-h-r-13-calls-for-continued-operation-of-enbridge-line-5 Thu, 25 Mar 2021 15:49:14 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-lauds-ohio-house-passage-of-h-r-13-calls-for-continued-operation-of-enbridge-line-5 Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

(Toledo, Ohio) – The United Steelworkers (USW) union today commended the Ohio House of Representatives’ passage of H.R. 13, urging Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to help maintain economic stability across the Midwest by allowing Enbridge Line 5 to continue operating. 

In November, Whitmer and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed suit to revoke and terminate the 1953 easement that allows Enbridge to operate its dual pipelines through the Straits of Mackinac. H.R. 13 calls for Whitmer to reconsider this decision until the planned tunnel and replacement line can be permitted and completed. 

“The futures of hundreds of USW members and their communities hang in the balance in this decision,” said USW District 1 Director Donnie Blatt. “H.R. 13 recognizes that ending access to Line 5 jeopardizes these workers’ ability to safely and efficiently provide energy to our communities, and that losing these good-paying jobs will have a ripple effect that will stifle economic recovery across the region.”

The impact would be particularly stark on the roughly 350 USW members at PBF Energy’s Toledo Refining Company, which relies heavily on Line 5 for its crude oil. There are currently no viable alternatives to supply the refinery, which the union estimates adds $5 billion of economic activity to the surrounding areas. 

“While we understand the concerns about the existing line, the fact is that it is not only safe to operate but a necessary part of the fabric of our industry,” said USW Local 912 President Justin Donley. “And the replacement project is a common-sense solution that will protect and create jobs, keep a steady energy supply, ensure a secure future, and maintain the economic viability of the region.”

Four USW members, including Donley, testified in support of H.R. 13, which the union intends to keep backing as it heads to the Ohio Senate.

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

 

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USW Affirms Pennsylvania AFL-CIO endorsement of Amanda Green Hawkins for Commonwealth Court https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-affirms-pennsylvania-afl-cio-endorsement-of-amanda-green-hawkins-for-commonwealth-court Thu, 25 Mar 2021 15:09:26 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-affirms-pennsylvania-afl-cio-endorsement-of-amanda-green-hawkins-for-commonwealth-court Contact: Chelsey Engel, cengel@usw.org, 412-212-8173 

The United Steelworkers (USW) union International President Tom Conway released the following statement in support of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Executive Council’s endorsement of Amanda Green Hawkins for Commonwealth Court Judge:

“The USW welcomes the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Executive Council endorsement of the union’s own civil and human rights director Amanda Green Hawkins for Commonwealth Court Judge.

“We know Amanda’s experience as a union lawyer and advocacy for everyday people will serve our communities well, and that she will bring a balanced, empathetic approach to her work.

“The Commonwealth Court engages with a number of vital issues impacting working people including unemployment and occupational safety and health. It’s imperative that the court reflect workers’ values and voices.

“Amanda is the right person for this role.

“Each of us has a role to play in our democracy, and we encourage all Pennsylvanians to exercise their hard-earned rights to vote this spring and beyond.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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USW Welcomes EPI Report Highlighting Need for Continuing Section 232 Relief https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-welcomes-epi-report-highlighting-need-for-continuing-section-232-relief Wed, 24 Mar 2021 12:09:25 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-welcomes-epi-report-highlighting-need-for-continuing-section-232-relief Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

Trade Remedies Remain Vital to National Security, Economic Recovery

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement in response to today’s Economic Policy Institute (EPI) report on the continuing need for Section 232 relief:

“The USW welcomes the EPI’s rigorous research into the impacts of the steel 232 measures and the dire consequences of lifting them prematurely.

“Tens of thousands of USW members depend on a robust U.S. steel industry for good, family-sustaining jobs, doing vital work that helps ensure our national security.

“Our members take pride that our steel is used in military vehicles such as tanks, ships and airplanes, as well as supplying the components that make up our nation’s critical infrastructure.

“The Sec. 232 measures helped significantly curb imports, allowing domestic producers a chance to expand production, employment and capital investment. It is especially important that they are able to continue this work, given the fragile economic recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Excess global steel capacity also remains a significant problem, as it was before the Sec. 232 measures were enacted.

“It is imperative that these protections remain in place until the administration is able to find a permanent, multilateral, enforceable solution to address steel overcapacity and unfair trade.” 

The full report can be found here.

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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USW Applauds Confirmation of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-applauds-confirmation-of-labor-secretary-marty-walsh Mon, 22 Mar 2021 18:57:14 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-applauds-confirmation-of-labor-secretary-marty-walsh Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

USW Welcomes Opportunity to Work with Biden Cabinet

The United Steelworkers (USW) union today applauded the confirmation of Marty Walsh as secretary of labor, hailing his appointment as yet another victory for working people.

“As a longtime member of the labor movement, Marty Walsh understands what’s at stake for working families as we seek to rebuild our economy in the wake of the pandemic,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “He’s proven that he’s willing to fight to ensure workers’ needs and rights are always top priorities.” 

With Walsh’s confirmation, President Joe Biden’s cabinet is now nearly full, and the union also said that it looked forward to working with all of President Biden’s recently confirmed cabinet members: Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary, Jennifer Granholm as energy secretary, Gina Raimondo as commerce secretary, Michael Regan as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Katherine Tai as United States Trade Representative, Janet Yellen as treasury secretary, and many others. 

“This is an experienced and extremely capable team. Individually, each of these members of the new administration have proven their commitment to advancing the interests of workers and their families,” said Conway, “but collectively they will be a formidable force as we work to rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, revitalize our long-neglected supply chains, revive our country’s manufacturing muscle, and ensure widespread, shared prosperity for all Americans.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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USW Condemns Atlanta Attacks, Calls for Unity with AAPI Community https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-condemns-atlanta-attacks-calls-for-unity-with-aapi-community Thu, 18 Mar 2021 08:53:12 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-condemns-atlanta-attacks-calls-for-unity-with-aapi-community Contact: Chelsey Engel, cengel@usw.org, 412-562-1178

The United Steelworkers (USW) union released the following statement mourning the deaths of eight in the March 16 shootings in Atlanta:

“We are appalled and heartbroken by the recent murders of eight people, including six Asian women, in Atlanta.

“Regardless of the motives of this killer, it’s clear that there has been an alarming increase in violence and discrimination against Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) people in recent months and years.

“This is sadly unsurprising. The previous administration espoused xenophobia at every turn and specifically scapegoated Asian Americans to cover for its own inaction and ineptitude that led to widespread misery and loss of life over the past year.

“Words, like actions, have consequences.

“We must all do our part to combat this hatred, an American epidemic of its own for more than a century, and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our AAPI siblings.

“An attack on one of us is an attack on us all.”

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

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USW Applauds COVID Rescue Plan as ‘Once-in-a-Generation’ Achievement https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-applauds-covid-rescue-plan-as-once-in-a-generation-achievement Thu, 11 Mar 2021 14:23:06 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-applauds-covid-rescue-plan-as-once-in-a-generation-achievement Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, 412-562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) today praised the passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which President Joe Biden signed into law today, as one of the most significant legislative initiatives of the 21st century.  

“This rescue plan is a groundbreaking set of much-needed relief efforts and significant improvements to our social contract, which will quickly put American workers, families and communities on the road to recovery,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “This is truly a once-in-a-generation accomplishment for President Biden and Democrats in Congress.”

The plan includes a long list of efforts to provide direct relief to working families, including $1,400-per-person stimulus checks, as well as additional support for hard-hit small businesses, an extension of unemployment insurance, and housing, nutrition and child-care assistance.

In addition, the plan includes funding to support front-line health care workers and their facilities, shore up endangered pension plans, speed up vaccine distribution, and expand COVID-19 testing. Additionally, it will get the country on track to safely reopen schools, put unemployed Americans back on the job, aid financially strapped states and towns across the country, and help families cover the cost of utilities, transportation, college debt and other expenses.

“The American people elected Joe Biden and the Democrats in Congress last year because they wanted leaders who understood them and who were committed to doing everything in their power to help them succeed,” Conway said. “That is what this rescue plan does. This is a huge victory for workers and families, one that can’t be overstated.”

The new law also shores up domestic production of essential goods to ensure that the shortages of much-needed supplies that Americans saw at the outset of the pandemic are not repeated.

“This law puts us back on solid footing and is a major first step toward a rebirth of the American Dream,” Conway said. “Today, we celebrate this momentous victory. Tomorrow, we urge President Biden and Congress to turn their attention to other efforts to aid the American people. This includes passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to restore their voices on the job, as well as the much-needed plan to reinvest in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure and put people back to work.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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USW Applauds House Passage of PRO Act, Urges Swift Action in Senate https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-applauds-house-passage-of-pro-act-urges-swift-action-in-senate Wed, 10 Mar 2021 09:46:18 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-applauds-house-passage-of-pro-act-urges-swift-action-in-senate Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway released the following statement in response to the U.S. House of Representatives vote to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act: 

“The opportunity to organize and bargain collectively is one of our most fundamental rights as workers. Union membership raises wages, makes us safer on the job and gives us a voice in our workplaces.

“But for too long, corporations and their political cronies have been chipping away at this right, making it harder for workers to band together and easier for employers to quash workers’ activism. As a result, union density in the United States declined while economic inequality soared. 

“The PRO Act is a much-needed corrective to this assault on workers’ power and, if signed into law, will pave the way for them to better advocate for themselves and their families.

“The USW commends all the members of the U.S. House who voted for this historic legislation and calls on the Senate to quickly pass this bill.

“If we truly want to rebuild our nation’s middle class and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to realize the American dream, we must enact pro-worker legislation, starting with the PRO Act.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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USW marks International Women’s Day, calls for ongoing pandemic relief https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-marks-international-womens-day-calls-for-ongoing-pandemic-relief Mon, 08 Mar 2021 09:11:43 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-marks-international-womens-day-calls-for-ongoing-pandemic-relief Contact: Chelsey Engel, cengel@usw.org, 412-212-8173

The United Steelworkers (USW) released the following statement in honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month:

This past year’s struggles with the coronavirus pandemic revealed the unequal landscape women must navigate, both as workers and as caretakers for their families.

As the union marked International Women’s Day, it reiterated its support for the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill passed by the Senate this past weekend and called for continued spending to ensure long-term economic recovery.

“We’re truly in a state of national emergency with a high percentage of women out of traditional work due to the pandemic,” said USW Vice President Leeann Foster. “At the same time, women are more exhausted than ever as they continue shouldering the majority of the weight of school closures and other new household responsibilities. We must enact policies that aim to improve mental health and economic security.”

Women accounted for all 140,000 job losses in December 2020, capping a dire economic year for women. Most of these jobs were previously held by Black, Latina and immigrant mothers.

“Our nation cannot turn away from the reality of inequity,” said USW Vice President Roxanne Brown. “The devastating impact of the pandemic continues to ripple outward, and we must continue to address this through sound, bold legislation at the federal and state level. It also requires us as individuals to listen to those experiencing these struggles every day.”

True economic recovery will also take sustained commitment.

“We need to make sure, as a country, that we don’t make it harder for mothers to re-enter the workforce when this crisis ends,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway. “Investing wisely in our economy, in childcare, healthcare and infrastructure, will help pave the way for a more equitable environment.”

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

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USW Assails Giti Tire for Misusing Pandemic Funds, Betraying Community https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-assails-giti-tire-for-misusing-pandemic-funds-betraying-community Wed, 03 Mar 2021 12:02:37 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-assails-giti-tire-for-misusing-pandemic-funds-betraying-community Contact: Joe Smydo, jsmydo@usw.org, 412-562-2281

(Richburg, S.C.) – The United Steelworkers (USW) today denounced Giti Tire for misspending millions in COVID-19 stimulus funds and demanded that the corporation begin honoring its promises to the people of Chester County, South Carolina.

new report from watchdog groups revealed that Giti, part of a global tire conglomerate, improperly took nearly $10 million from a federal program intended to help small, independent businesses keep workers employed during the pandemic. After pocketing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds, Giti still threw an estimated 100 workers out of their jobs. 

“Giti’s abuse of pandemic aid is appalling, though not surprising,” said USW District 9 Director Daniel Flippo, who represents Steelworkers in South Carolina, six other southern states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“This company betrayed the public trust long before COVID-19,” he explained. “Giti accepted $60 million in tax breaks to build a plant and then broke its promise to create 1,700 jobs for the community. Giti never came close to that number, and when the pandemic hit, Giti permanently laid off many of the workers it did have despite taking the PPP funds.”

Ray Durmon, one of the workers cut by Giti during the pandemic, struggled for months to make ends meet before moving to Nebraska for a new job. 

“I had to sell off almost everything I had just so I could afford to move,” recalled Durmon, who worked at Giti for four years. “I sold my pool. I sold my storage building. I sold my tractor.”

Giti continues to reap tax breaks for broken commitments even as the people of Chester County struggle to finance capital improvements to their schools.

“It’s time for Giti to begin acting responsibly,” Flippo said. “That means not only creating the jobs it promised but paying family-sustaining wages and giving back to the community.”

To learn more about Giti’s broken promises, click here. The USW is one of the largest unions in South Carolina. Nationwide, the USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.

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USW Welcomes Biden Administration Decision to Review U.S. Supply Chains https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-welcomes-biden-administration-decision-to-review-u-s-supply-chains Wed, 24 Feb 2021 13:40:59 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-welcomes-biden-administration-decision-to-review-u-s-supply-chains Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, 412-562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) today praised President Joe Biden’s anticipated executive order to institute 100-day reviews of four critical industrial supply chains, a step meant to avoid shortages of crucial goods.

“President Biden recognizes that American manufacturing is a critical part of our nation’s safety and security,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s that when we are forced to rely on other nations to supply our day-to-day needs, we put American lives on the line.”

Biden’s order will focus on pharmaceuticals, computer chips, large-capacity batteries, and rare minerals used in high-tech applications.

“These are essential pieces of our economy, but this is simply one step in what must be a sustained effort to restore our nation’s manufacturing capacity across all industries,” Conway said. “That effort must include large-scale investments in updating our infrastructure, along with a commitment to ensuring that these investments create long-term, good-paying jobs that can support families.

“While these four areas of focus are an important start, a similar effort will be necessary to strengthen our infrastructure supply chain when that work begins,” he said.

The shortages of household supplies, medical equipment and personal protective equipment that Americans saw during the first several months of the pandemic demonstrated the urgent need to revitalize U.S. manufacturing, Conway said.

“American workers are more than capable of meeting our nation’s needs if we make sure they have the tools they need to do so,” Conway said. “We have to learn from the lessons that 2020 taught us and do everything we can to make sure it never happens again.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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USW Condemns Siemens Plans for Olean Dresser-Rand Facility https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-condemns-siemens-plans-for-olean-dresser-rand-facility Wed, 03 Feb 2021 11:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-condemns-siemens-plans-for-olean-dresser-rand-facility More information, contact: Tony Montana – 412-562-2592 or tmontana@usw.org

Olean, N.Y. – The United Steelworkers (USW) today condemned Siemens Energy's announced plan to stop production at the Dresser-Rand site in North Olean and lay off hundreds of workers, including more than 350 members of USW Local 4601.

USW District 4 Director Del Vitale called Siemens decision disrespectful to generations of workers who dedicated their careers to the company and to the community which has supported it.

“With almost 110 years of manufacturing history at stake, Siemens unilaterally determined our jobs and our community are expendable without consulting workers or notifying the union,” Vitale said. “We must urge management to reverse its catastrophic course.”

Vitale said that the USW would demand to negotiate over the company’s decision and if necessary, the effects of a closure.

“This plant supported our families and sustained this community for over 100 years, and Siemens owes the workers in Olean more consideration than it has given,” he said. “We will stand together to fight for respect and dignity for the men and women who built the company.”

USW International Secretary Treasurer John Shinn, who represents the union on the North American Siemens Labor Steering Committee, challenged the company for cutting employees' voices out of the decision making process.

“We're outraged that the USW was neither notified in advance nor offered an opportunity to meet with Siemens to discuss alternatives in Olean,” Shinn said. “We will stay united throughout this process, and our solidarity will be our best hope to preserve fairness and justice for workers and their families.”

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, service, tech and academic occupations.

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USW honors John Lewis this Black History Month https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-honors-john-lewis-this-black-history-month Tue, 02 Feb 2021 09:01:51 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-honors-john-lewis-this-black-history-month Contact: Chelsey Engel, cengel@usw.org, 412-212-8173

The United Steelworkers (USW) union released the following statement in honor of Black History Month:

“February is Black History Month, when we honor the often-neglected accomplishments and contributions of Black Americans. It is usually a time for celebration, but this year is bittersweet as we spend it without the trailblazing civil rights icon John Lewis.

“Lewis, who passed in July 2020, has been described as the greatest leader ever produced by the Civil Rights Movement. Not only was he a crusader for civil and human rights, he was also a friend to labor, and dedicated his life to getting into “Good Trouble” in the fight for justice and equality.

“This Black History Month, we honor our friend and brother, the late but never forgotten John Lewis. We are thankful for him and the legacy he left behind.

“May we commit to picking up his torch, and carrying it to light the path towards justice.”

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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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USW Condemns Trump’s Selling Out U.S. Industrial Workers, Applauds Biden’s Revocation of Trump’s Actions https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-condemns-trumps-selling-out-u-s-industrial-workers-applauds-bidens-revocation-of-trumps-actions Tue, 02 Feb 2021 08:27:07 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-condemns-trumps-selling-out-u-s-industrial-workers-applauds-bidens-revocation-of-trumps-actions Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway released the following statement in reaction to a last-minute Trump administration proclamation intended to grant the United Arab Emirates (UAE) the opportunity to ship state-supported aluminum products into the United States, effective Feb. 3, 2021. After reviewing Trump’s action, President Biden stepped in and revoked it.

“President Trump’s action as he was rushing for the White House door constituted a blatant attack on American workers.

“Section 232 restraints helped shore up sectors like aluminum that are vulnerable to unfair trade and clearly essential to our national defense. The USW supported the initiation of these efforts so that America’s aluminum companies and their workers could meet our nation’s national security and critical infrastructure needs.   

“Trump’s plan to lift tariffs on imports from the United Arab Emirates would undermine the effectiveness of the program and essentially exempt the vast majority of aluminum imports.

“If Trump’s actions were allowed to become effective, UAE’s state-supported aluminum producers would have had the right to flood the U.S. market, resulting in new trade attacks on our industry.

“In short, as he was walking away from the White House, Trump demonstrated that his concern for American workers was a façade and that he was willing to sacrifice their jobs and security.

“We applaud President Biden’s decision to revoke Trump’s sell-out of America’s aluminum workers. 

“President Biden said he would stand by America’s workers, and he’s kept his word. During the campaign he committed to reviewing the existing 232 programs as well as how best to strengthen America’s economy and manufacturers and stand up for America’s workers. Now he’s following through.  

“Our union looks forward to being a continuing partner with the new administration as together we fight for America’s workers.” 

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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USW Calls on Pitt to Drop Anti-Union Attack on Faculty, Grads https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-calls-on-pitt-to-drop-anti-union-attack-on-faculty-grads Fri, 29 Jan 2021 15:59:32 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-calls-on-pitt-to-drop-anti-union-attack-on-faculty-grads Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, 412-562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) union is calling on the University of Pittsburgh administration to end its anti-union campaign against the university’s graduate students and faculty in light of reports showing that Pitt has paid more than $2 million on union-busting attorneys in recent years.

The university paid Philadelphia “union avoidance” firm Ballard Spahr nearly $900,000 during the fiscal year that ended June 30 to help the university wage campaigns to stop Pitt graduate student workers and faculty members in their simultaneous efforts to join the USW. That amount brought the total Pitt has paid the firm to more than $2.1 million since 2016.

“It’s unconscionable that Pitt accepts millions in Pennsylvania taxpayer dollars while in turn spending millions of dollars to prevent its own employees from having a voice on the job,” said Melinda Ciccocioppo, a lecturer in the university’s Psychology Department. “It’s long past time for the university to end its union-busting efforts.”

The university graduate student workers fell just short in a vote to join the USW in April 2019, an outcome that came as a result of unfair labor practices by the university. A Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) hearing examiner ordered a new election, but the university contested that ruling.

Likewise, a PLRB hearing examiner ruled last summer that the university administration artificially inflated a list of its faculty employees in order to impede the faculty’s unionization campaign.

“Allowing the university’s work force to have a voice in the decision-making processes that affect their lives and the lives of students would be a win-win for everyone on campus,” said Kim Garrett, a PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. “It’s shameful that the university is spending that $2 million-plus to silence students and faculty instead of using it to improve their lives.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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USW, Kumho Workers Seek Industrial Authority’s Action on COVID-19 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-kumho-workers-seek-industrial-authoritys-action-on-covid-19 Fri, 29 Jan 2021 11:11:33 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-kumho-workers-seek-industrial-authoritys-action-on-covid-19 Contact: Joe Smydo, jsmydo@usw.org, 412-562-2281

Workers at Kumho Tire today called on the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority to intervene in a deadly COVID-19 outbreak at the Georgia plant.

At least twelve workers contracted the virus and one died in the latest wave of infections affecting the facility, which Kumho continues to operate without basic safety precautions.

The United Steelworkers (USW)—the union representing about 320 workers at Kumho—asked the industrial authority to step in because it owns the property on which the plant is located.

“The residents of Macon-Bibb County gave Kumho tens of millions of dollars in incentives to operate this factory,” noted USW District 9 Director Daniel Flippo, who represents Steelworkers in Georgia, six other southern states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“Kumho has chosen to repay that generosity by putting the entire community, including children and senior citizens, at risk,” Flippo said. “We ask the authority to meet with workers as soon as possible to discuss this crisis and decide on a course of action.”

In a letter formally seeking the authority’s assistance, USW Staff Representative Alex Perkins said workers repeatedly raised safety concerns as more than 30 colleagues contracted the virus in recent months. But the company still refuses to meet with workers or implement the kinds of safety precautions now standard in most U.S. workplaces.

“Kumho management’s indifference is not surprising,” Perkins wrote, noting it’s already on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s radar for multiple tragic workplace incidents.

In its rental agreement, Kumho pledged to keep the plant in a safe condition. “We call on the authority to carefully review that section of the agreement and protect the community from needless danger,” Flippo said.

The workers at Kumho voted to join the USW in 2019. Earlier this month, the National Labor Relations Board dismissed the last of the company’s objections and certified the election results. They will now begin bargaining a contract.

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

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