Leeann Foster

Leeann Foster

International Vice President

Leeann Foster, a new USW International Vice President, has served the union for more than 22 years as Assistant to the International President and Associate General Counsel.

Foster first came to the United Paperworkers International Union (UPIU) as an attorney in 1997 and in 1998 became the Executive Assistant to UPIU President Boyd Young. During her time with the UPIU, she administered key departments for the union and assisted Young in the 1999 merger to form the Paper, Allied-Industrial and Chemical Workers International Union (PACE). Foster was integral in the formation of the National Paper Bargaining Program to confront fractured bargaining in the paper industry and in PACE’s National Rapid Response Network for legislative action. She also was integral in the 2005 merger with the USWA to form the USW.

Since the merger, Foster has chaired or co-chaired bargaining for all major paper companies and has played a central role in the more than 30 paper bargaining councils and in the development and deployment of an overall strategy to move from location-by-location bargaining to a coordinated approach that now dominates the industry.

Foster also has developed and led a program to confront health and safety issues in the paper sector. She also oversees the USW Women of Steel Leadership Development Program, and the USW Women of Steel Department reports to her.

Foster co-chairs the IndustriALL Global Union Federation Pulp and Paper Sector Working Group and is the Democratic candidate for Ward 3 Commissioner in Mt. Lebanon, Pa., a Pittsburgh suburb.

She worked in the USW paper sector at Longview Fiber Company (now WestRock) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where her father was an officer and is now a retired 45-year member of USW Local 11-436. She is a graduate of Coe College and Drake Law School.