United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/rss United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed 2018-11-13 19:51:14 -0600 AMPS en hourly 1 USW condemns assassination of Turkish union leader Abdullah Karacan https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-condemns-assassination-of-turkish-union-leader-abdullah-karacan Tue, 13 Nov 2018 19:51:14 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-condemns-assassination-of-turkish-union-leader-abdullah-karacan The United Steelworkers condemned the brutal assassination today of Abdullah Karacan, general president of the Turkish Rubber and Chemical Workers’ Union Lastik-İş.
Karacan was murdered while on a visit to workers at the Goodyear factory in the city of Adzapari.  The union’s regional president, Mustafa Sipahi, and shop steward Osman Bayraktar were also wounded in the assault.  Bayraktar remains in critical condition.
 
“We are outraged by this vicious assault on our sister union, which reflects the erosion of democratic rights under the Erdogan government in Turkey,” said USW International Secretary-Treasurer Stan Johnson.  “We send our condolences to the family of Brother Karacan and to all the members of Lastik-İş, and our prayers for the recovery of brother Bayraktar. The Turkish authorities must immediately investigate, arrest and prosecute the criminals who are responsible for this attack.”
 
Johnson co-chairs the rubber industry section of IndustriALL Global Union, the global union representing industrial workers to which both USW and Lastik-İş are affiliated.  Karacan, a member of IndustriALL’s Executive Council, led the fight against contracting out by major tire companies in Turkey including Bridgestone, Pirelli and Goodyear, winning permanent jobs for thousands of union members.
 
A committed internationalist, Karacan visited the United Kingdom in 2015 to support of members of UNITE the Union at Goodyear who were fighting against closure of their plant in Birmingham.  The USW and UNITE are partners in the global union Workers Uniting.

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USW Members Vote to Ratify 4-Year Contract with U.S. Steel https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-members-vote-to-ratify-4-year-contract-with-u-s-steel Tue, 13 Nov 2018 13:50:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-members-vote-to-ratify-4-year-contract-with-u-s-steel FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              CONTACT:   R.J. Hufnagel: (412) 562-2450,
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018                                                            rhufnagel@usw.org

PITTSBURGH (Nov. 13) – Thousands of members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union voted by an overwhelming margin to ratify a new contract with U.S. Steel.

The new four-year master agreement takes effect immediately. It includes a total of 14 percent in wage increases over the life of the contract, maintains the union’s high-quality, affordable health care coverage and strengthens retirement benefits for the USW’s 16,000 members at 14 U.S. Steel locations. The contract also allows for much-needed investments in the company’s facilities.

Bargaining on the new contract began in July. The previous agreement, which was negotiated in 2015 during a difficult period for the steel industry, contained a wage freeze and other concessions. That three-year agreement expired on Sept. 1.

“In 2015, workers recognized that the steel industry was struggling and agreed to make sacrifices so that U.S. Steel could get through some tough times,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “Now that the company has recovered and is projected to earn nearly $2 billion this year, workers rightly wanted a share of that success.”

Despite its improved financial position, U.S. Steel’s initial proposals demanded more concessions. In early September, USW members responded by voting unanimously to authorize a strike.

“The strength and solidarity of the USW membership were the keys to achieving a fair agreement,” said USW International Vice President Tom Conway, chair of the union’s U.S. Steel bargaining committee.  

The new agreement will run through Sept. 1, 2022.

“This contract puts the company in a position to succeed and ensures that the work force will be able to share in that success. It’s a win-win,” said Mike Millsap, USW District 7 director and secretary of the bargaining committee.

The contract covers members of 24 local unions who work at the following U.S. Steel facilities: Clairton Works, East Chicago Tin, Fairfield, Fairfield Southern, Fairless Hills, Gary Works, Granite City Works, Great Lakes Works, Keetac, Lone Star Tubular, Lorain Tubular, Midwest Plant, Minntac and Mon Valley Works.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. 
For more information: www.usw.org.

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USW Welcomes Minnesota DNR Decision to Issue Permits for Planned PolyMet Mine https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-welcomes-minnesota-dnr-decision-to-issue-permits-for-planned-polymet-mine Thu, 01 Nov 2018 15:26:18 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-welcomes-minnesota-dnr-decision-to-issue-permits-for-planned-polymet-mine Contact: John Rebrovich, (218) 744-2757
                                                                                                                        

EVELETH, Minn. (Nov. 1) — The United Steelworkers union (USW) today said that it welcomed the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announcement that it had issued permits for a planned mining project in northeastern Minnesota.

After a lengthy review, the state DNR approved the permits for PolyMet Mining’s proposed copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. The USW has represented mining workers in the state for more than 75 years.

“The members of this union have a long and proud history of mining in Minnesota, and we are excited to continue that tradition,” said Emil Ramirez, director of USW District 11, which includes Minnesota and eight other states. “We’re confident that this work can be done in a way that provides hundreds of good, community-supporting jobs to the people of this region while also safeguarding our precious natural resources.” 

In making the announcement, Minnesota DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said that “no project in the history of Minnesota has been more thoroughly evaluated.”

“The economy, the people and the communities across Minnesota depend on mining as a way of life, and we need to work together to make sure that continues in a sustainable way,” Ramirez said. “We also want our children and grandchildren to have access to clean water and unpolluted air. We believe that this project will satisfy both of those goals.

“The choice between good jobs and a clean environment is a false one – we must have both, or we will have neither,” he said.

The PolyMet project still must clear additional regulatory hurdles, including air and water quality permits from the state’s pollution control agency as well as a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, among others.

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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We stand with Jewish community, call for unity to end division, inequality https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/we-stand-with-jewish-community-call-for-unity-to-end-division-inequality Tue, 30 Oct 2018 10:40:53 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/we-stand-with-jewish-community-call-for-unity-to-end-division-inequality Contact: Fred Redmond, 412-562-2307

(PITTSBURGH) -- United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement regarding the act of terror that claimed 11 lives at Tree of Life Synagogue, as well as injured six others, including first responders, this past weekend:

“The massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh this past weekend has stunned our home city. We are all brokenhearted at the loss of life, at the targeting of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community, and at the depths of violence and division to which our society has fallen.

“The man responsible for the terrorist attack that has sent a wave of fear and grief throughout Pittsburgh’s East End made clear and repeated anti-Semitic comments before, during, and after his act. We must be relentless in our continued call for unity and in the fight to end anti-Semitism and hate of any kind – both in our own city and around the world.

“Our leadership joins all of those mourning this senseless act. We also recognize that we must redouble our efforts to combat the prejudice that motivated this heinous act of violence. We must reach out to our members and our communities and talk about how we can overcome the divisions that plague our society. 

“This is a conversation we cannot delay or dilute. We must stand together, in unwavering solidarity, with communities everywhere in the struggle to bring safety, freedom and equality to all.”

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

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DowDuPont Workers Unite Globally Amid Corporate Restructuring https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/dowdupont-workers-unite-globally-amid-corporate-restructuring Tue, 16 Oct 2018 13:21:44 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/dowdupont-workers-unite-globally-amid-corporate-restructuring CONTACT: Kent Holsing, chair, DowDuPont North American Labor Council, 989-495-9350, kentholsing@gmail.com

Union leaders representing thousands of workers employed at DowDuPont companies from the United States and around the globe met last week in Pittsburgh to discuss common issues and pledge unity.

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

“We are speaking not only for the unionized employees of DowDuPont but also for the non-union employees who don’t have that voice. DowDuPont workers from around the world are rightfully concerned about taking a step back in their livelihood at a time of record profits for the corporation, and we are preparing action items to address these concerns,” Holsing added.

The DowDuPont union leaders shared collective bargaining data, identified mutual obstacles and determined potential solutions over a three-day period.

Much discussion focused on the pending split of DowDuPont and its potential effect on staffing, working conditions, and employees’ pensions, benefits and insurance. Other discussion topics included workplace safety, organizing, and the need for increased and proactive communication between the corporations and its respective unions.

The labor leaders strengthened their unions’ international connections, and their interactions increased mutual respect and understanding across DowDuPont’s unionized worksites.

Representatives from these unions participated in the annual meeting: The United Steelworkers (USW); the International Union of Operating Engineers; Texas City Metal Trades; the International Chemical Workers Union Council/United Food & Commercial Workers; National Conference of Firemen & Oilers; the Ampthill Rayon Workers Incorporated (ARWI); the Dow Chemical European Employee Forum; the Dow Chemical-Stade Works Council (Germany); UNITE the Union (United Kingdom); the Global Union Federation IndustriALL (Geneva, Switzerland), the Union of Workers and Employees Petrochemicals States-SOEPU (Argentina) and the Chemical, Energy and Mines Workers Union CEMW SPSI (Indonesia).

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USW Reaches Tentative Agreement with U.S. Steel https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-reaches-tentative-agreement-with-u-s-steel Mon, 15 Oct 2018 15:51:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-reaches-tentative-agreement-with-u-s-steel CONTACT: R.J. Hufnagel, (412) 562-2450

PITTSBURGH (October 15) – Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union reached a tentative agreement today with U.S. Steel on a new master agreement covering 16,000 workers at facilities across the country.

The union’s collective bargaining agreements with U.S. Steel expired on Sept. 1, but USW members agreed to work under an extension as bargaining continued. The two sides began negotiations in July.

The previous agreement, reached during a downturn in the steel industry, contained a three-year wage freeze. In early September, as the company continued to insist upon major concessions from the work force, members voted unanimously to authorize a strike.

“U.S. Steel began this process insisting upon deep concessions from a group of workers who had already made major sacrifices to help the company through a very difficult time,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “It’s a testament to the power of solidarity that these workers were able to stand up with one voice and demand fair treatment.”

USW members will hold meetings in the coming weeks to review and discuss the tentative contract before casting their votes.

“Every member of this union should be proud of what we’ve accomplished,” said USW International Vice President Tom Conway, the chair of the union’s bargaining committee. “This group of workers stood up to a hugely profitable company and demanded a piece of the success they helped to create.”

The USW’s master agreement with U.S. Steel covers a total of more than 16,000 workers at the following locations: Clairton Works (Pennsylvania), East Chicago Tin (Indiana), Fairfield (Alabama), Fairfield Southern (Alabama), Fairless Hills (Pennsylvania), Gary Works (Indiana), Granite City Works (Illinois), Great Lakes Works (Michigan), Keetac (Minnesota), Lone Star Tubular (Texas), Lorain Tubular (Ohio), Midwest Plant (Indiana), Minntac (Minnesota) and Mon Valley Works (Pennsylvania).

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

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USW Members Vote to Ratify Four-Year Contract with Cliffs https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-members-vote-to-ratify-four-year-contract-with-cliffs Fri, 12 Oct 2018 08:26:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-members-vote-to-ratify-four-year-contract-with-cliffs CONTACT: R.J. Hufnagel, (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union voted by a 10-to-1 margin this week to ratify a new four-year contract with mining company Cleveland Cliffs.

The new four-year master agreement, which takes effect immediately, includes significant wage increases in each year of the contract, maintains high quality, affordable health care coverage and strengthens retirement benefits for the union’s 1,850 members at four iron ore mines in Michigan and Minnesota.

The previous agreement, which was negotiated during a difficult period for the iron ore and steel industries, contained a three-year wage freeze. 

“In 2015, these workers saw that the industry was struggling and agreed to make sacrifices so that this company could make it through the tough times,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “Cliffs clearly recognized that, and we look forward to building on our relationship in the coming years.”

The USW began local-level talks with Cliffs over the summer and opened bargaining in early September on a new master agreement. The new contract replaces the three-year agreement that expired on Oct. 1.

“We were pleased we could work with Cliffs to reach an agreement that was fair to both sides,” said USW District 11 Director Emil Ramirez, the chair of the union’s bargaining committee. “This contract puts the company in a position to succeed and ensures that the work force will be able to share in that success.”

The contract covers workers at the company’s Tilden and Empire Mines in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as well as the United Taconite and Hibbing Taconite mines in Minnesota’s Iron Range.

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

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Pitt Grads Testify at PLRB on Union Rights https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/pitt-grads-testify-at-plrb-on-union-rights Mon, 08 Oct 2018 08:03:32 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/pitt-grads-testify-at-plrb-on-union-rights CONTACTS: Jess Kamm (412) 562-2446, jkamm@usw.org, or Jeff Cech (412) 339-4843, jcech@usw.org

PITTSBURGH – Members of USW’s Graduate Student Organizing Committee this week participated in a hearing before the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB), testifying that they are employees at the University of Pittsburgh with the right to form a union. 

“We teach classes that would otherwise be taught by part-time faculty and do research that could otherwise be done by staff. We receive wages for this work and pay taxes,” said Golnar Touski a graduate student employee in the history of art and architecture department. “We are students, but we are also university employees.”

In December 2017, the union petitioned the PLRB for an election for graduate employees classified as teaching assistants, teaching fellows, graduate student assistants and graduate student researchers. 

In response, the university administration contested the election and hired Ballard Spahr, a law firm known for opposing unionization efforts.

Both sides now have the opportunity to present evidence to the PLRB.

“It’s deeply disturbing that the university is using tuition and tax dollars to pay high priced attorneys to disaffirm the work we do on campus and deny us labor rights,” said Ben Case a graduate student employee in the sociology department, “especially when this same law firm lost this same case making these same arguments at Penn State last year.”

The hearing began Monday, Oct. 1. The administration’s attorneys had two days scheduled to call their witnesses. However, they stretched the testimony of Vice Provost of Graduate Studies Nate Urban over nearly a day and a half. As a result, the hearing, which was expected to conclude at the end of the day on Friday, Oct. 5, will now need to resume at a later date. 

“Their arguments are muddled, but their motives are clear. This isn’t about whether or not we’re employees. It’s a deliberate strategy to undermine our efforts to have a voice on campus by delaying our organizing and preserving their legal options going forward,” said Abby Cartus a graduate student employee in the epidemiology department. “The administration’s testimony makes clear that they fully intend to keep challenging us even if we win the board hearing and the election.”

The PLRB affirmed the rights of graduate students to form a union at Temple University in 2001 and again at Penn State University earlier this year.

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. 

 

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USW Looks Forward to Working with USTR to Continue to Improve New NAFTA-USMCA https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-looks-forward-to-working-with-ustr-to-continue-to-improve-new-nafta-usmca Mon, 01 Oct 2018 10:38:49 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-looks-forward-to-working-with-ustr-to-continue-to-improve-new-nafta-usmca CONTACT: Holly Hart (202) 778-4384

(Pittsburgh) -- United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement after renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement was completed.

“The effort to achieve the goal of a fair trade agreement that protects workers in the United States, Canada and Mexico is far from over.  

“There are provisions in the draft agreement between the United States and Mexico that represent improvements over NAFTA, but there are also provisions that must be removed. Further, we have not evaluated what changes resulted from the just-concluded agreement to include Canada.

“In the area of workers’ rights, the draft text we have seen includes significant improvements over the existing NAFTA and is stronger than the rejected Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It goes farther than any prior trade agreement. That is encouraging, but it is not yet enough. Efforts to protect the rights of workers in all countries that will be party to this deal are not finished.

“The impact of the deal must be measured not only by what is in the final agreement, but also by what Mexico adopts legislatively to implement its commitments. Also, what will the Trump Administration and Congress do to ensure that the provisions of any final agreement are effectively applied, monitored and enforced? Strong text in an agreement backed up by legislative changes in Mexico will only matter if they are fully and faithfully enforced.

“It is vital to understand that this debate is not about free trade, protectionism or ivory-tower academic arguments. It is about what will happen to real people. NAFTA’s long-term impact has been devastating, and reforms are sorely needed.

“The members of the USW, the largest industrial union in North America, have suffered from the devastating impact of NAFTA on manufacturing and employment in both the United States and Canada. And workers in Mexico, who now make no more than they did before NAFTA, never benefited from the massive profits that multinational corporations realized as a result of the agreement.  

“The USW and other labor groups have worked closely with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer since the United States initiated renegotiation of NAFTA. Labor has provided concrete and specific recommendations. Ambassador Lighthizer has worked diligently and seriously to resolve these issues. 

“Reversing the negative impact of NAFTA has been a priority of the USW since the day Congress approved it nearly 25 years ago.

“The key question now is whether this new agreement, when final, will make a measurable difference in workers’ lives and whether workers will have confidence in the new provisions and the commitment of government to enforce those provisions.

“Also critical is what provisions will be negotiated relative to the Section 232 actions on steel and aluminum. From the beginning, the USW has made it clear that Canada should not have been subject to Section 232 measures. Our economies are integrated, and our national security interests are intertwined, as are our steel and aluminum markets.  The U.S. has no stronger or more reliable economic and national security partner. The impacts of any provisions in this area are key concerns not only on a bilateral basis, but for the USW, whose members work in this sector in both countries.

“The USW looks forward to continuing to work with the Administration, Congress and our colleagues in Mexico and Canada to ensure that a final agreement and all of the implementing provisions promote broadly-shared prosperity for all workers in North America. We remain hopeful that the provisions will measure up and are committed to making this happen.”

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

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USW Oil Workers Approve National Oil Bargaining Program Policy https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-oil-workers-approve-national-oil-bargaining-program-policy Wed, 26 Sep 2018 17:05:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-oil-workers-approve-national-oil-bargaining-program-policy CONTACT: Lynne Hancock, 615-828-6169, lhancock@usw.org

More than 375 United Steelworkers (USW) delegates attending the National Oil Bargaining Program (NOBP) conference approved policy for the 2019 national pattern agreement.

The NOBP oil policy contains the proposals that will be presented during bargaining with the oil industry. Shell Oil Co. will be the lead company in national talks.

Delegates met in 17 company councils this week to devise national proposals addressing wages, benefits and working conditions that affect workers across the oil industry.

The NOBP Oil Policy Committee, which consists of five elected rank-and-file members and five alternates, thoroughly vetted each proposal and created a policy for the delegates to review and discuss this morning. Delegates suggested changes and the oil policy committee reconvened to adjust the policy.

Now the NOBP Policy goes to oil locals and units for approval. They have 45 days to present the NOBP Policy at a membership meeting, answer questions and conduct a vote on it.

The NOBP Policy must be approved by 75 percent of the oil locals and units.

Bargaining is conducted at a national table for a pattern agreement, and negotiations begin in mid-January. Oil local unions and units will also be negotiating local contracts in January. Local contracts contain issues such as bidding rights and seniority.

The National Oil Bargaining pattern agreement and local contracts expire Feb. 1 at 12:01 a.m.

The USW represents more than 30,000 oil workers at approximately 220 refineries, oil terminals, pipelines, transportation and petrochemical facilities in the United States. USW-represented oil workers produce about 64 percent of gasoline and other oil products in the United States.

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

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United: Steelworkers Authorize Strike against ArcelorMittal https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/united-steelworkers-authorize-strike-against-arcelormittal Tue, 18 Sep 2018 07:05:56 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/united-steelworkers-authorize-strike-against-arcelormittal More information, contact: Tony Montana – (412) 562-2592; tmontana@usw.org

 PITTSBURGH– The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that 13 local unions representing about 15,000 workers unanimously granted their negotiating committee the authority to implement a strike against ArcelorMittal if necessary.

“The flexibility of our contracts and world-class efficiency and productivity of this particular group of steelworkers enabled ArcelorMittal to survive floods of unfairly traded and illegally dumped foreign imports that brought about the harshest market conditions our industry has faced in decades,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “Now that the company is generating enormous – even historic – amounts of cash, it is an insult that bargaining progress has been hindered by management’s unrealistic concessionary demands and unfair labor practices.”

USW District 1 Director David McCall, who chairs negotiations with ArcelorMittal, said that the company’s union-represented production, maintenance, office and technical workers are uniformly fed up with management’s attempts to reduce, eliminate, undermine and weaken contractual protections and benefits hard-won through generations of collective bargaining.

“ArcelorMittal can easily afford to negotiate fair labor agreements with us, but the company has instead insisted on concessions that would more than wipe out any pay increases in its proposal,” McCall said. “Management has even failed to address some of our non-economic proposals and ignored most of the local issues we have brought to the table, demonstrating a fundamental lack of respect for the men and women upon whose shoulders rests the company’s past, present and future success.”

McCall added that although the union would prefer to resolve the outstanding issues without a work stoppage, USW members have delivered a clear message through their overwhelming support of strike authorization.

“We are organized and mobilized and will not allow ArcelorMittal to bully us into accepting anything less than the fair contracts we have earned and deserve,” McCall said. “These are jobs worth fighting for, and we intend to keep it that way.”

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

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USW Members Vote Overwhelmingly to Authorize Strike at U.S. Steel https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-members-vote-overwhelmingly-to-authorize-strike-at-u-s-steel Mon, 10 Sep 2018 11:51:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-members-vote-overwhelmingly-to-authorize-strike-at-u-s-steel CONTACT: R.J. Hufnagel, (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

Thousands of members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union from across the United States voted overwhelmingly this week to authorize their bargaining committee to initiate a strike at U.S. Steel facilities. The committee could now call a strike if the company continues to demand deep concessions from its hourly work force.

The union’s collective bargaining agreements with U.S. Steel expired on Sept. 1, but union members have continued to work under the terms of an agreed-to extension. That agreement remains in effect with 48 hours’ notice required for termination. The two sides have been negotiating since July.

“These workers have made a number of sacrifices over the past several years – including three years with a wage freeze – to put this company back on track,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “Now that U.S. Steel is expecting to make a profit of nearly $2 billion this year, it is time for the workers to share in the success U.S. Steel is seeing now.”

Top company officials have given themselves more than $50 million in pay and bonuses since 2015 while the hourly work force has not received a wage increase over the same period.

“The USW did not come to the bargaining table looking for a fight,” said USW International Vice President Tom Conway, who leads the union’s bargaining committee. “We came ready to work out an honest and fair agreement, but that is a far cry from what the company is demanding. We remain prepared to work in good faith. We expect U.S. Steel to come to its senses and return to the bargaining table with workable proposals.”

The company has proposed major increases in benefit costs for the work force, as well as other significant concessions that would reduce workers’ overall take-home pay and eliminate a number of on-the-job protections. The two sides are scheduled to resume negotiations next week.

“With the company hugely profitable and industry conditions the best they have been in years, this is no time for U.S. Steel to pick a fight with workers who have been there to help them during the toughest times,” said USW District 7 Director Mike Millsap. “It’s time to come together and do what’s right for these workers, their families and their communities.”

The USW’s master agreement with U.S. Steel covers a total of more than 16,000 workers at the following locations: Clairton Works (Pennsylvania), East Chicago Tin (Indiana), Fairfield (Alabama), Fairfield Southern (Alabama), Fairless Hills (Pennsylvania), Gary Works (Indiana), Granite City Works (Illinois), Great Lakes Works (Michigan), Keetac (Minnesota), Lone Star Tubular (Texas), Lorain Tubular (Ohio), Midwest Plant (Indiana), Minntac (Minnesota) and Mon Valley Works (Pennsylvania).

For bargaining updates and other information on the current negotiations, visit www.usw.org/steel.

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

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Thousands of Steelworkers Rally Across Nation for Fair Treatment https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/thousands-of-steelworkers-rally-across-nation-for-fair-treatment Thu, 30 Aug 2018 16:38:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/thousands-of-steelworkers-rally-across-nation-for-fair-treatment CONTACT:
Tony Montana (AM): (412) 562-2592, tmontana@usw.org
R.J. Hufnagel (USS): (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

Thousands of members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union from across the United States, along with labor, political, religious and community allies, held a series of rallies and marches on Thursday to call for fair contracts with steelmakers ArcelorMittal and U.S. Steel.

Those contracts, which cover a total of 31,000 workers, are set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on the night of Saturday, Sept. 1. The union has been negotiating with the two companies since July.

“Today, we saw hard-working people standing up with one voice demanding fair treatment for themselves and their families,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.

“These workers have gone three years without a wage increase,” Gerard said. “In that time, they’ve seen the cost of everything go up; they’ve seen their employers report millions of dollars in profits; they’ve seen management pay themselves millions of dollars in bonuses. And today, they stood up and said they’d seen enough.”

The union’s negotiations with ArcelorMittal cover about 15,000 members of 13 local unions while the USW’s master agreement with U.S. Steel covers more than 16,000 workers at 24 local unions.

“These workers and their families have made significant sacrifices over the years to put these two companies in a position to be extremely successful. They deserve to share in that success,” Gerard said.

The locations included in the two companies’ collective bargaining agreements are as follows:

ArcelorMittal: Burns Harbor, Cleveland, Coatesville, Conshohocken, Indiana Harbor East, Indiana Harbor West, Minorca Mine, Riverdale, Steelton, Warren Coke, Weirton, I/N Tek, I/N Kote, Columbus Coatings and Columbus Processing

U.S. Steel: Clairton Works; East Chicago Tin, Fairfield, Fairfield Southern, Fairless Hills, Gary Works, Granite City Works, Great Lakes Works, Keetac, Lone Star Tubular, Lorain Tubular, Midwest Plant, Minntac and Mon Valley Works

For bargaining updates and other information on the current negotiations, visit www.usw.org/steel.

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

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Steelworkers to Rally Across Nation as Contract Expiration Approaches https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/steelworkers-to-rally-across-nation-as-contract-expiration-approaches Tue, 28 Aug 2018 12:29:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/steelworkers-to-rally-across-nation-as-contract-expiration-approaches CONTACT:
Tony Montana (AM): (412) 562-2592, tmontana@usw.org
R.J. Hufnagel (USS): (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org 

Thousands of members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union along with labor and community allies are planning a nationwide day of action on Thursday, Aug. 30, with marches and rallies calling for fair treatment as their collective bargaining agreements with ArcelorMittal and U.S. Steel are set to expire on Sept. 1. 

The union’s negotiations with ArcelorMittal cover about 15,000 members of 13 local unions while the USW’s master agreement with U.S. Steel covers more than 16,000 workers at 24 local unions. 

“Steelworkers have made sacrifices over the past several years that have allowed both companies to be very profitable,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “All we are asking for are fair contracts that recognize those sacrifices and allow workers to have a share of that success.” 

WHO: Members of USW locals at ArcelorMittal and U.S. Steel 

WHAT: National day of action to call for fair contracts in the steel industry 

WHEN: Thursday, Aug. 30 

For bargaining updates and other information on the current negotiations, visit www.usw.org/steel. 

Start times and other specifics for each event will vary depending on location. Please use the contact information above for more details on individual events. 

The locations included in the two companies’ collective bargaining agreements are as follows: 

ArcelorMittal: Burns Harbor, Cleveland, Coatesville, Conshohocken, Indiana Harbor East, Indiana Harbor West, Minorca Mine, Riverdale, Steelton, Warren Coke, Weirton, I/N Tek, I/N Kote, Columbus Coatings, Columbus Processing 

U.S. Steel: Clairton Works; East Chicago Tin, Fairfield, Fairfield Southern, Fairless Hills, Gary Works, Granite City Works, Great Lakes Works, Keetac, Lone Star Tubular, Lorain Tubular, Midwest Plant, Minntac, Mon Valley Works 

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

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USW Welcomes the Return of Napoleón Gómez to Mexico https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-welcomes-the-return-of-napoleon-gomez-to-mexico Tue, 28 Aug 2018 11:40:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-welcomes-the-return-of-napoleon-gomez-to-mexico CONTACT: Benjamin Davis, (412) 562-2501, bdavis@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) welcomes the return to Mexico of Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, the President and General Secretary of the National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Related Workers of the Mexican Republic (Los Mineros) after more than 12 years of exile.

In a letter of congratulations, USW International President Leo W. Gerard said:

“With your swearing-in to the Senate, a new world of possibilities begins for Los Mineros and the working class of Mexico. For the first time in decades, there is a real opportunity to transform the structures of worker representation, industrial justice and economic decision-making to make democratic representation, real collective bargaining, decent wages and pro-worker policies available to Mexican workers. This transformation would benefit not only workers in Mexico, but also their sisters and brothers in Canada and the United States who have suffered the unfair competition resulting from wage suppression in Mexico.”

Gómez and his family were forced to leave Mexico and seek refuge in Canada in 2006 after the government of Mexican President Vicente Fox stripped him of his legal certification as leader of the union and filed bogus criminal charges when he protested the deaths of 65 workers in an explosion at Grupo Mexico’s Pasta de Conchos mine.

The Mexican Supreme Court ordered the certification to be restored in 2012, and all of the criminal charges were dismissed in 2014. In 2011, Gómez received the AFL-CIO’s George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award.

Gómez, who was elected to the Mexican Senate on the Morena party ticket headed by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, received his Senate credentials yesterday and will take the oath of office tomorrow. A USW delegation headed by Ken Neumann, National Director for Canada, will be in attendance.

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

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USW Condemns Lockout of Workers at Bull Moose Tube https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-condemns-lockout-of-workers-at-bull-moose-tube Wed, 22 Aug 2018 08:52:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2018/usw-condemns-lockout-of-workers-at-bull-moose-tube CONTACT: Wesley Thompson, (205) 631-0137, wthompson@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) union released the following statement from USW District 9 Director Daniel Flippo today in response to the decision by Bull Moose Tube in Trenton to lock out 56 USW members at the specialty piping factory, a subsidiary of London’s Caparo PLC.

“The USW condemns the reckless decision today by Bull Moose Tube to lock out the members of USW Local 13679 at the company’s factory in Trenton, Ga.

“All workers deserve family-supporting wages, affordable health care and respect on the job. That is what these workers are seeking at the bargaining table. The company, sadly, would rather force their own hard-working employees out on the street than negotiate a fair contract that meets those fundamental needs.

“We have held more than a dozen bargaining sessions with the company, and we had every intention of continuing to bargain in good faith. Then the company made this destructive and disappointing choice to lock the doors on its own workers.

“Putting 56 people out of work doesn’t simply harm those individuals – it creates a ripple effect that causes economic hardship for families and businesses throughout the community.

“The USW has been and remains willing to continue bargaining an agreement that is fair to both sides. Unfortunately, the company has other ideas.

“We call on Bull Moose Tube to immediately reverse this ill-advised decision, put these hard-working people back on the job, and return to the bargaining table to negotiate a new agreement that treats these workers with the respect they deserve.”

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

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USW: 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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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