Election 2016: Members Speak Out

Jason Fernandez
U.S. Steel Granite City


Jason Fernandez, 34, of Troy Hill, Ill., a father of two children, is among 2,000 USW members who were laid off from U.S. Steel’s idled Granite City mill, known for high-quality hot-rolled, cold-rolled and coated sheet steel products that have been targeted by unfair trade. The mill was idled last December because of a weak market hurt by cheap subsidized imports. The shutdown is supposed to be temporary.

“This election is important for the labor movement, for the preservation of the labor movement. I believe we need someone like Hillary Clinton to keep the labor movement going for my future.”

Fernandez said he supports Hillary Clinton because he likes her positions on trade, including her renunciation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and believes she would stop right-to-work legislation from becoming national.

“We need her to keep foreign trade at bay, at least. In Granite City, bad trade deals directly affect the people I work with, people I have grown up with. It’s now affecting them to the point where they are losing their homes and their cars. They have to look for financial help.

“There is fear of the unknown. Our facility is on temporary idle so there’s no end in sight right now.”

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