Solidarity to Save our Steel Jobs

By Jerry Santos
USW Local 1010, Arcelor Mittal

Let me start by saying I love my job, and I’m highly grateful for being able to have the opportunity to work in the steel making industry.  How I would love to see another 30 plus years of steel making here in the Great Lake region!  However, I don’t see it at all.  There is a real dilemma hanging over the heads of us hard-working individuals young and old. 

We are the middle class, and we drive the economy in our local communities.  What will happen to our local businesses if the steel mills were to vacate from the Great Lakes region?

Several factors are hurting the production and profits of steel making today.  The first and most important is steel dumping by foreign counties. Another is the failure of politicians act to protect American steel. And a third is greed by corporations.   

Just like any other corporate train with no brakes or no physical conductor that could be held accountable for their actions, these corporations march forward for one goal with no regard to what is in their way. The goal is profits.  Profits today have replaced ethical morals.

U.S.  Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.), we thank you for your support and dedication to the steel industry.  However to other Congressmen and Senators alike: Where are you?  We, the people of steel, need your help just as much as you need our help on Election Day!  To all politicians: What’s wrong with you?  Fake intentions and promises full of lies have taken over the political field. 

You must work to protect the working man, all of them, from the fast food workers to steelworkers, doctors, medics and laborers.  We need you, we voted for you, and we are being attacked and pushed to live in poverty, so we are watching you.  Stop imported steel now before it is too late.  Protect a livable wage so our tax dollars can go to real needs.  If you prove your worth, we will not only appreciate you, we will vote for you in the next election.

As I stand as a new hire, I see potential in everyone and everything.  This company can go far as long as we work safely and together for a great cause, our families.  Our families need us. Our community relies on us, so we all need each other.   As we United Steelworkers go through negotiations for a new FAIR contract, I hope we can all remember that we are all people with lives, and this is our livelihood.  United we stand, divided we fall but as long as we work together we can have it all.


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