United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/rss United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed 2020-06-02 11:12:05 -0500 AMPS en hourly 1 June Update from SOAR Director Julie Stein https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/june-update-from-soar-director-julie-stein Tue, 02 Jun 2020 09:48:37 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/june-update-from-soar-director-julie-stein Voting During COVID-19

Casting your ballot in-person on Election Day might be how you’ve always voted.  However, we’ve also never seen a global health pandemic like the coronavirus, which could in all likelihood be a real obstacle to in-person voting come the November election.  Luckily, that does not mean you should expect any difficulty in voting. 

Did you know that in 36 states you don’t even have to turn out to the polls on Election Day to cast your ballot?  Instead, a growing number of states are going to great lengths to protect voters, expand access, and ensure everyone can vote regardless of who you are or what your barriers to in-person voting are. 

Making voting easier for everyone isn’t a partisan issue.  Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have been elected in states that allow for no-excuse/absentee mail balloting.

If anyone wants to make the false claim that “convenience voting” favors a particular political party, then they aren’t being honest.  “Convenience voting” favors voters.  Period. 

It can be confusing to think about all the different ways Americans vote.  But, finding out how you can vote most easily isn’t difficult at all! 

In fact, the USW has developed an easy online tool for our members and families to find out more information about voting in your state.  You can link to this tool and search for your state by going to www.uswvoices.org/state-voting-information

If you have any difficulty using the above link for any reason, you can call the Int’l SOAR Office toll-free at 866-208-4420, and we would be happy to assist you.

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June Update from SOAR Director Julie Stein https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/june-update-from-soar-director-julie-stein Tue, 02 Jun 2020 09:48:37 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/june-update-from-soar-director-julie-stein Voting During COVID-19

Casting your ballot in-person on Election Day might be how you’ve always voted.  However, we’ve also never seen a global health pandemic like the coronavirus, which could in all likelihood be a real obstacle to in-person voting come the November election.  Luckily, that does not mean you should expect any difficulty in voting. 

Did you know that in 36 states you don’t even have to turn out to the polls on Election Day to cast your ballot?  Instead, a growing number of states are going to great lengths to protect voters, expand access, and ensure everyone can vote regardless of who you are or what your barriers to in-person voting are. 

Making voting easier for everyone isn’t a partisan issue.  Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have been elected in states that allow for no-excuse/absentee mail balloting.

If anyone wants to make the false claim that “convenience voting” favors a particular political party, then they aren’t being honest.  “Convenience voting” favors voters.  Period. 

It can be confusing to think about all the different ways Americans vote.  But, finding out how you can vote most easily isn’t difficult at all! 

In fact, the USW has developed an easy online tool for our members and families to find out more information about voting in your state.  You can link to this tool and search for your state by going to www.uswvoices.org/state-voting-information

If you have any difficulty using the above link for any reason, you can call the Int’l SOAR Office toll-free at 866-208-4420, and we would be happy to assist you.

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Tom Conway discusses infrastructure, manufacturing and American security on the Leslie Marshall Show https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/tom-conway-discusses-infrastructure-manufacturing-and-american-security-on-the-leslie-marshall-show Mon, 01 Jun 2020 12:38:01 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/tom-conway-discusses-infrastructure-manufacturing-and-american-security-on-the-leslie-marshall-show USW president Tom Conway appeared on the Leslie Marshall Show last week to discuss the need to invest in U.S. manufacturing and infrastructure to improve American security.

Covid-19 spotlighted the danger of the country’s overseas dependence, but the failure of the United States to produce enough supplies to fight the virus is just one manifestation of a larger problem.

 “The failure to invest in domestically-produced infrastructure exists throughout the entire supply chain,” said Conway.

Decades of failed trade policies incentivized cheap, offshore production, which cut family-sustaining manufacturing jobs and undermined the ability of the U.S. to provide for itself.

“America’s not going to find itself out of this deep economic crisis we’re in now if we don’t begin to make things here, on our own,” said Conway.

Conway also discussed the need to invest in the country’s essential workers – many of whom have risky jobs but are not making fair, livable wages.

“We’re calling all these people essential workers, and we’re paying them nine dollars an hour,” said Conway. “It really comes to a point where you can’t have a country that keeps chasing itself to the bottom.”

Conway expressed hope in the younger generation, who are leading the fight by demanding social and economic change.

“I think that we’re going to see a change in the way young people think about doing things collectively and organizing collectively,” said Conway. “We can overcome the corruption, but together we have to work with our boots on the ground to take back our democracy.” 

For the entire interview with Conway about manufacturing, infrastructure and national security, click below:

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Tom Conway discusses infrastructure, manufacturing and American security on the Leslie Marshall Show https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/tom-conway-discusses-infrastructure-manufacturing-and-american-security-on-the-leslie-marshall-show Mon, 01 Jun 2020 12:38:01 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/tom-conway-discusses-infrastructure-manufacturing-and-american-security-on-the-leslie-marshall-show USW president Tom Conway appeared on the Leslie Marshall Show last week to discuss the need to invest in U.S. manufacturing and infrastructure to improve American security.

Covid-19 spotlighted the danger of the country’s overseas dependence, but the failure of the United States to produce enough supplies to fight the virus is just one manifestation of a larger problem.

 “The failure to invest in domestically-produced infrastructure exists throughout the entire supply chain,” said Conway.

Decades of failed trade policies incentivized cheap, offshore production, which cut family-sustaining manufacturing jobs and undermined the ability of the U.S. to provide for itself.

“America’s not going to find itself out of this deep economic crisis we’re in now if we don’t begin to make things here, on our own,” said Conway.

Conway also discussed the need to invest in the country’s essential workers – many of whom have risky jobs but are not making fair, livable wages.

“We’re calling all these people essential workers, and we’re paying them nine dollars an hour,” said Conway. “It really comes to a point where you can’t have a country that keeps chasing itself to the bottom.”

Conway expressed hope in the younger generation, who are leading the fight by demanding social and economic change.

“I think that we’re going to see a change in the way young people think about doing things collectively and organizing collectively,” said Conway. “We can overcome the corruption, but together we have to work with our boots on the ground to take back our democracy.” 

For the entire interview with Conway about manufacturing, infrastructure and national security, click below:

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June Update from SOAR President Bill Pienta https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/june-update-from-soar-president-bill-pienta Mon, 01 Jun 2020 12:24:11 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/june-update-from-soar-president-bill-pienta Our Top Two Issues of Concern

Many of you recently attended a USW sponsored town hall meeting to discuss issues that are important to active and retired members regarding endorsement of a candidate in the upcoming election. Also, SOAR and active members filled out a survey to identify their main concerns.  

It should come as no surprise that a significant number of active and retired members agreed on what the two most important issues were to them. On many occasions I have stated SOAR and the active members of our union share many concerns because they impact all of us during and after our employment with the company end. These results support that position.

The USW has published the results of the top concerns of our members who attended the town hall meetings or filled out the survey.  The top concern of those who expressed concern was Affordable Health Care/Prescription Drugs. This issue was identified as the top issue by 87 percent, followed by Retirement Security with 86 percent.

The results of this survey not only help the USW in the selection of candidates to support, but it also shows the close connection between active and retired members in our Union.

Just because we have left our employer, there is no reason to leave our Union and no reason for our Union to leave us. While the International fully supports SOAR, many locals do not. They view SOAR simply as a retiree club and see no connection between the groups.

We need to stay involved if we expect to have any impact on our level of retirement and we need to form more active and involved SOAR chapters in our union.

Stay safe, healthy and active.

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June Update from SOAR President Bill Pienta https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/june-update-from-soar-president-bill-pienta Mon, 01 Jun 2020 12:24:11 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/june-update-from-soar-president-bill-pienta Our Top Two Issues of Concern

Many of you recently attended a USW sponsored town hall meeting to discuss issues that are important to active and retired members regarding endorsement of a candidate in the upcoming election. Also, SOAR and active members filled out a survey to identify their main concerns.  

It should come as no surprise that a significant number of active and retired members agreed on what the two most important issues were to them. On many occasions I have stated SOAR and the active members of our union share many concerns because they impact all of us during and after our employment with the company end. These results support that position.

The USW has published the results of the top concerns of our members who attended the town hall meetings or filled out the survey.  The top concern of those who expressed concern was Affordable Health Care/Prescription Drugs. This issue was identified as the top issue by 87 percent, followed by Retirement Security with 86 percent.

The results of this survey not only help the USW in the selection of candidates to support, but it also shows the close connection between active and retired members in our Union.

Just because we have left our employer, there is no reason to leave our Union and no reason for our Union to leave us. While the International fully supports SOAR, many locals do not. They view SOAR simply as a retiree club and see no connection between the groups.

We need to stay involved if we expect to have any impact on our level of retirement and we need to form more active and involved SOAR chapters in our union.

Stay safe, healthy and active.

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USW activists mobilize around long-term care workers, residents in Canada https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/usw-activists-mobilize-around-long-term-care-workers-residents-in-canada Mon, 01 Jun 2020 12:02:46 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/usw-activists-mobilize-around-long-term-care-workers-residents-in-canada

More than 1,300 residents of long-term care and retirements homes in Ontario died since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and thousands more have been infected with the virus. Several workers also died as a result of workplace exposure to the disease.

The problem has gotten so bad that the Canadian military has been deployed to the country’s capital of Ottawa to help keep order at long-term facilities, which have been ravaged by the virus.

A May 14 report based on the observations of Canadian Armed Forces personnel who Premier Doug Ford deployed to five hard-hit centers in late April to help provide medical care during the pandemic, also details insufficient staff training and inadequate protocols to stop the spread of the virus, poor sanitation, resident neglect, worker burnout, and more.

Workers, including USW members in District 6, have been sounding the alarm for many year, before the pandemic began, about these conditions of long-term facilities and the lack of resources available to caregivers. District 6 Area Coordinator Richard Leblanc said that despite the many challenges presented to health care workers as a result of this virus, he hopes the moment is not wasted and action is taken to right the many wrongs being revealed as the pandemic unfolds.

“The public is now listening and on our side,” said Leblanc. “Many will be paying attention to what the government will do to ensure workers have the working conditions they deserve and that the residents are given the care they need to be treated in respect and dignity.”

Leblanc and his fellow members of the D6 Health Care Council organized a letter-writing campaign around this issue, urging people to demand a public inquiry by Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario, into these conditions.

Last Wednesday, May 27, Ford announced the province would be taking over several of Ontario’s worst-hit long-term care homes, including four of the facilities listed in the military report.

On the other side of Canada, members of USW Local 1-207 also took part in a separate letter campaign in support of care workers in Alberta.

The provincial government announced, on May 20, a $2.00 per hour increase for health care aides (HCAs), that excluded many other workers, like vital licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and general support workers.

Local 1-207 President Ray White and his fellow members have organized a coordinated response to this senseless decision. Dozens have sent letters to the local Minister of Health, urging the government to ensure the value of their efforts is accounted for as they risk their lives for their patients.

“It is our view that all workers in long-term care or any of our other care facilities should all get this increase,” said White.

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USW activists mobilize around long-term care workers, residents in Canada https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/usw-activists-mobilize-around-long-term-care-workers-residents-in-canada Mon, 01 Jun 2020 12:02:46 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/usw-activists-mobilize-around-long-term-care-workers-residents-in-canada

More than 1,300 residents of long-term care and retirements homes in Ontario died since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and thousands more have been infected with the virus. Several workers also died as a result of workplace exposure to the disease.

The problem has gotten so bad that the Canadian military has been deployed to the country’s capital of Ottawa to help keep order at long-term facilities, which have been ravaged by the virus.

A May 14 report based on the observations of Canadian Armed Forces personnel who Premier Doug Ford deployed to five hard-hit centers in late April to help provide medical care during the pandemic, also details insufficient staff training and inadequate protocols to stop the spread of the virus, poor sanitation, resident neglect, worker burnout, and more.

Workers, including USW members in District 6, have been sounding the alarm for many year, before the pandemic began, about these conditions of long-term facilities and the lack of resources available to caregivers. District 6 Area Coordinator Richard Leblanc said that despite the many challenges presented to health care workers as a result of this virus, he hopes the moment is not wasted and action is taken to right the many wrongs being revealed as the pandemic unfolds.

“The public is now listening and on our side,” said Leblanc. “Many will be paying attention to what the government will do to ensure workers have the working conditions they deserve and that the residents are given the care they need to be treated in respect and dignity.”

Leblanc and his fellow members of the D6 Health Care Council organized a letter-writing campaign around this issue, urging people to demand a public inquiry by Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario, into these conditions.

Last Wednesday, May 27, Ford announced the province would be taking over several of Ontario’s worst-hit long-term care homes, including four of the facilities listed in the military report.

On the other side of Canada, members of USW Local 1-207 also took part in a separate letter campaign in support of care workers in Alberta.

The provincial government announced, on May 20, a $2.00 per hour increase for health care aides (HCAs), that excluded many other workers, like vital licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and general support workers.

Local 1-207 President Ray White and his fellow members have organized a coordinated response to this senseless decision. Dozens have sent letters to the local Minister of Health, urging the government to ensure the value of their efforts is accounted for as they risk their lives for their patients.

“It is our view that all workers in long-term care or any of our other care facilities should all get this increase,” said White.

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United Steelworkers on solidarity and justice for Black Lives https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/united-steelworkers-on-solidarity-and-justice-for-black-lives Wed, 27 May 2020 10:17:05 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/united-steelworkers-on-solidarity-and-justice-for-black-lives United Steelworkers (USW) Vice President Fred Redmond and the USW Civil and Human Rights Department released the following statement on behalf of the union in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota:

Our union, the United Steelworkers, is great because of our solidarity, our respect for each other, and our unyielding commitment to justice, fairness and equality. The labor movement gains its strength from our common belief that all people are inherently valuable and have an undeniable right to a fair, just and dignified life, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

Many of us, as a result, were not only appalled but distraught to witness the killing of a Black man in Minnesota, George Floyd, at the hands of Minnesota police officers while lying on the ground handcuffed. One of the officers kneeled on Mr. Floyd’s neck as he begged for his life with those now familiar words, “I can’t breathe.” 

We are a better nation than this.  

At a time when the world is struggling through a global pandemic that is exposing vast disparities in health, well-being and economic security, the murder of George Floyd, which was preceded by the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, further illustrates the devastating impact racism and violence have on Black People in America in 2020.

Many of us are saddened, but too many of our African-American members are worried that they can be stopped on the way home from work or a union meeting and suffer the same fate as George Floyd.

At moments like these, we in the labor movement cannot be silent and must express our collective outrage over these brutal murders.

We call upon the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI to ensure constitutional enforcement of the law by state and local law enforcement agencies, by investigating and prosecuting the perpetrators of crimes such as this.

We cannot fight the racism, hate and impunity that threaten the lives of Black people and other people of color unless the Justice Department takes the necessary actions to ensure full and real accountability. 

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United Steelworkers on solidarity and justice for Black Lives https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/united-steelworkers-on-solidarity-and-justice-for-black-lives Wed, 27 May 2020 10:17:05 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/united-steelworkers-on-solidarity-and-justice-for-black-lives United Steelworkers (USW) Vice President Fred Redmond and the USW Civil and Human Rights Department released the following statement on behalf of the union in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota:

Our union, the United Steelworkers, is great because of our solidarity, our respect for each other, and our unyielding commitment to justice, fairness and equality. The labor movement gains its strength from our common belief that all people are inherently valuable and have an undeniable right to a fair, just and dignified life, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

Many of us, as a result, were not only appalled but distraught to witness the killing of a Black man in Minnesota, George Floyd, at the hands of Minnesota police officers while lying on the ground handcuffed. One of the officers kneeled on Mr. Floyd’s neck as he begged for his life with those now familiar words, “I can’t breathe.” 

We are a better nation than this.  

At a time when the world is struggling through a global pandemic that is exposing vast disparities in health, well-being and economic security, the murder of George Floyd, which was preceded by the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, further illustrates the devastating impact racism and violence have on Black People in America in 2020.

Many of us are saddened, but too many of our African-American members are worried that they can be stopped on the way home from work or a union meeting and suffer the same fate as George Floyd.

At moments like these, we in the labor movement cannot be silent and must express our collective outrage over these brutal murders.

We call upon the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI to ensure constitutional enforcement of the law by state and local law enforcement agencies, by investigating and prosecuting the perpetrators of crimes such as this.

We cannot fight the racism, hate and impunity that threaten the lives of Black people and other people of color unless the Justice Department takes the necessary actions to ensure full and real accountability. 

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Health care local to mobilize around layoffs at Essentia https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/health-care-local-to-mobilize-around-layoffs-at-essentia Tue, 26 May 2020 14:49:10 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/health-care-local-to-mobilize-around-layoffs-at-essentia Local 9460 in Minnesota is planning to rally around their fellow workers at Essentia Health as the major health care system announced 900 permanent layoffs, including hundreds of USW members, amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

These cuts, which make up 6 percent of the company’s workforce, are in addition to the 850 employees who have been placed on administrative leave across several locations and are expected to remain so until at least July 31. Meanwhile, Essentia received $42 million in CARES Act stimulus funding and around $3.1 million in grant funding.

The local plans to organize several actions, including a drive-by picketing on June 1. Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming Local 9460 events in support of the essential workers at Essentia.

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Health care local to mobilize around layoffs at Essentia https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/health-care-local-to-mobilize-around-layoffs-at-essentia Tue, 26 May 2020 14:49:10 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/health-care-local-to-mobilize-around-layoffs-at-essentia Local 9460 in Minnesota is planning to rally around their fellow workers at Essentia Health as the major health care system announced 900 permanent layoffs, including hundreds of USW members, amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

These cuts, which make up 6 percent of the company’s workforce, are in addition to the 850 employees who have been placed on administrative leave across several locations and are expected to remain so until at least July 31. Meanwhile, Essentia received $42 million in CARES Act stimulus funding and around $3.1 million in grant funding.

The local plans to organize several actions, including a drive-by picketing on June 1. Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming Local 9460 events in support of the essential workers at Essentia.

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Members on the Iron Range Raise Spirits with Facebook Group https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/members-on-the-iron-range-raise-spirits-with-facebook-group Sat, 23 May 2020 13:54:02 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/members-on-the-iron-range-raise-spirits-with-facebook-group If you’re from Minnesota, you may have already heard about Lockdown Lounge, a Facebook group started by USW member on the Iron Range Michael “A.J.” Grove of Local Union 6115 and his friend. 

The Lockdown Lounge Open Mic group is for live music lovers, musicians and listeners, who want to continue connecting through live music while in lockdown for the Coronavirus Pandemic. Not too long after the group’s conception at the end of March, fellow USW Local 6115 member Ray Pierce Jr. joined as an administrator and contributor.

Members of the group can post videos of themselves singing and playing instruments at any time, but on Friday nights there’s a line-up of live performers, and there’s only one rule for the group: keep it positive.

Right now, Lockdown Lounge has 14,800 members from multiple states and countries, some who just came to listen and others who are regular contributors, posting videos done in their basements, kitchens, and living rooms while stuck at home. 

Contributions have to be done in open-mic style and comments can’t be mean, keeping with the mission of the group: using live music to help each other get through a hard time.

"Even if you don't think you can sing very well or if you don't think you can play the guitar very well. Put it out there and take a chance," says Pierce Jr.

Both Grove and Pierce Jr. were happily surprised by how many people wanted to join the Lounge, which even caught the attention of local news channels (WDAY, KBJR, and Hibbing Free Press Tribune) that shared its story of rising popularity.

“In a time that we can’t all physically be together, I’ve never felt more close to 10,000 people in my life,” Grove said.

If you want to experience Lockdown Lounge for yourself, click here and ask to join.

Click below for one of Pierce Jr.’s performances (with his brother Ryan Pierce of USW Local 1938):

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Members on the Iron Range Raise Spirits with Facebook Group https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/members-on-the-iron-range-raise-spirits-with-facebook-group Sat, 23 May 2020 13:54:02 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/members-on-the-iron-range-raise-spirits-with-facebook-group If you’re from Minnesota, you may have already heard about Lockdown Lounge, a Facebook group started by USW member on the Iron Range Michael “A.J.” Grove of Local Union 6115 and his friend. 

The Lockdown Lounge Open Mic group is for live music lovers, musicians and listeners, who want to continue connecting through live music while in lockdown for the Coronavirus Pandemic. Not too long after the group’s conception at the end of March, fellow USW Local 6115 member Ray Pierce Jr. joined as an administrator and contributor.

Members of the group can post videos of themselves singing and playing instruments at any time, but on Friday nights there’s a line-up of live performers, and there’s only one rule for the group: keep it positive.

Right now, Lockdown Lounge has 14,800 members from multiple states and countries, some who just came to listen and others who are regular contributors, posting videos done in their basements, kitchens, and living rooms while stuck at home. 

Contributions have to be done in open-mic style and comments can’t be mean, keeping with the mission of the group: using live music to help each other get through a hard time.

"Even if you don't think you can sing very well or if you don't think you can play the guitar very well. Put it out there and take a chance," says Pierce Jr.

Both Grove and Pierce Jr. were happily surprised by how many people wanted to join the Lounge, which even caught the attention of local news channels (WDAY, KBJR, and Hibbing Free Press Tribune) that shared its story of rising popularity.

“In a time that we can’t all physically be together, I’ve never felt more close to 10,000 people in my life,” Grove said.

If you want to experience Lockdown Lounge for yourself, click here and ask to join.

Click below for one of Pierce Jr.’s performances (with his brother Ryan Pierce of USW Local 1938):

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Message from President Conway: Happy birthday to our great union! https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/message-from-president-conway-happy-birthday-to-our-great-union Fri, 22 May 2020 11:00:18 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/message-from-president-conway-happy-birthday-to-our-great-union Seventy-eight years ago today union activists came together in Cleveland and formed the United Steelworkers of America. 


 
Over the years, we’ve grown and joined with other important unions, merged our traditions, fought many battles with difficult employers, advanced and improved the lives of working people in both the United States and Canada and have so often been at the forefront of the fight for social justice and equality. 


 
While there have been times over the past 78 years that we’ve been challenged and felt under siege, our union has never been broken. And because of our determination, solidarity and willful purpose, we never will be broken.  Our founding principles, adopted all those years ago, continue to guide us today.
 
Our work is crucial for keeping in check greedy employers seeking to put profits over people, and we are and always have been an important voice in the political and legislative processes of our nations.  
 
Our great union has, as we all know, made each of our lives more meaningful. It has allowed each of us to live in dignity and to know with certainty that we will never have to stand alone against the troubles that too often hurt hard-working people. 


 
We should all hold our heads up high today, knowing that each of us play a real and lasting role in keeping this great institution vibrant and relevant in today’s society. The work we do each day helps not only our fellow members but also others who need us. We have much to be thankful for, and we should all be proud to be a part of this noble union. 
 
Hang in there, my friends. We’ll weather this crisis as well.   
 
In Solidarity,

Tom Conway, USW International President

P.S. If you need support during this difficult time, be sure to visit our USW COVID-19 tool kit on our website for a ton of information and resources.

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Message from President Conway: Happy birthday to our great union! https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/message-from-president-conway-happy-birthday-to-our-great-union Fri, 22 May 2020 11:00:18 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/message-from-president-conway-happy-birthday-to-our-great-union Seventy-eight years ago today union activists came together in Cleveland and formed the United Steelworkers of America. 


 
Over the years, we’ve grown and joined with other important unions, merged our traditions, fought many battles with difficult employers, advanced and improved the lives of working people in both the United States and Canada and have so often been at the forefront of the fight for social justice and equality. 


 
While there have been times over the past 78 years that we’ve been challenged and felt under siege, our union has never been broken. And because of our determination, solidarity and willful purpose, we never will be broken.  Our founding principles, adopted all those years ago, continue to guide us today.
 
Our work is crucial for keeping in check greedy employers seeking to put profits over people, and we are and always have been an important voice in the political and legislative processes of our nations.  
 
Our great union has, as we all know, made each of our lives more meaningful. It has allowed each of us to live in dignity and to know with certainty that we will never have to stand alone against the troubles that too often hurt hard-working people. 


 
We should all hold our heads up high today, knowing that each of us play a real and lasting role in keeping this great institution vibrant and relevant in today’s society. The work we do each day helps not only our fellow members but also others who need us. We have much to be thankful for, and we should all be proud to be a part of this noble union. 
 
Hang in there, my friends. We’ll weather this crisis as well.   
 
In Solidarity,

Tom Conway, USW International President

P.S. If you need support during this difficult time, be sure to visit our USW COVID-19 tool kit on our website for a ton of information and resources.

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USW Votes: Info on Indiana Primary Election, Early Voting https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/indiana-early-voting-info Thu, 21 May 2020 11:42:33 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/indiana-early-voting-info In these challenging times, we are reminded of the importance of our union and the importance of having representatives in government who put working people like us first. 

Indiana's Frank Mrvan has been there for our membership in difficult times and he understands our issues. That’s why all of the USW local union presidents in the 1st Congressional District have endorsed him for Congress. 

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indiana primary election has been moved to Tuesday, June 2, 2020. We need to make sure every eligible voter submits a ballot and gets a chance to vote.

Volunteer to help Mrvan Win

Click here if you're interested in volunteering to help us help Frank Mrvan.

Information about early voting in Indiana: 


On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, Indiana local polling places will be open for you to cast your ballot from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time. However, if you would like to vote early, you can vote absentee-in-person. Here is info from the Indiana state website

Voting early in-person is available from May 26, 2020 to June 1, 2020.  All registered Indiana voters are eligible to vote early in-person. Contact your County Clerk’s office to find locations and hours for early voting. Remember, a valid photo ID is required to vote early in-person. You can find examples of acceptable photo IDs here.

IN Early Voting

Information to vote by mail: DEADLINE TO REQUEST BALLOT MAY 21, 2020

We’ve tried to make this as easy as possible, so here are some options:

  1. In order to vote for Frank Mrvan for Congress, you need to request a Democratic Party ballot. Click here download a printable application and be sure to follow the instructions. Check Democratic Party in section 3. (https://www.usw.org/districts/district-7/documents/2020-ballot.pdf
  2. Check your home mailbox, where we have mailed two absentee ballot applications and self-addressed envelopes for you and a relative
  3. If you have questions about the absentee ballot application, please contact Jerome Davidson, USW District 7 staff, (219) 617-5338 or jdavison@usw.org.

 Once the application is completed, it must be returned to your county election board by 11:59 p.m. on May 21, 2020.This application can be mailed, emailed, faxed or hand-delivered:

  • By Mail: Insert your completed application for absentee ballot by mail into the envelope provided; Be sure to place a first class stamp on the envelope.
  • By Email: Scan and save the completed application, then send to: lcabsenteevoting@lakecountyin.org
  • By Fax: Fax the application to (219) 755-3801

 After your application is processed, you will receive your primary election ballot by mail.

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USW Votes: Info on Indiana Primary Election, Early Voting https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/indiana-early-voting-info Thu, 21 May 2020 11:42:33 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/indiana-early-voting-info In these challenging times, we are reminded of the importance of our union and the importance of having representatives in government who put working people like us first. 

Indiana's Frank Mrvan has been there for our membership in difficult times and he understands our issues. That’s why all of the USW local union presidents in the 1st Congressional District have endorsed him for Congress. 

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indiana primary election has been moved to Tuesday, June 2, 2020. We need to make sure every eligible voter submits a ballot and gets a chance to vote.

Volunteer to help Mrvan Win

Click here if you're interested in volunteering to help us help Frank Mrvan.

Information about early voting in Indiana: 


On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, Indiana local polling places will be open for you to cast your ballot from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time. However, if you would like to vote early, you can vote absentee-in-person. Here is info from the Indiana state website

Voting early in-person is available from May 26, 2020 to June 1, 2020.  All registered Indiana voters are eligible to vote early in-person. Contact your County Clerk’s office to find locations and hours for early voting. Remember, a valid photo ID is required to vote early in-person. You can find examples of acceptable photo IDs here.

IN Early Voting

Information to vote by mail: DEADLINE TO REQUEST BALLOT MAY 21, 2020

We’ve tried to make this as easy as possible, so here are some options:

  1. In order to vote for Frank Mrvan for Congress, you need to request a Democratic Party ballot. Click here download a printable application and be sure to follow the instructions. Check Democratic Party in section 3. (https://www.usw.org/districts/district-7/documents/2020-ballot.pdf
  2. Check your home mailbox, where we have mailed two absentee ballot applications and self-addressed envelopes for you and a relative
  3. If you have questions about the absentee ballot application, please contact Jerome Davidson, USW District 7 staff, (219) 617-5338 or jdavison@usw.org.

 Once the application is completed, it must be returned to your county election board by 11:59 p.m. on May 21, 2020.This application can be mailed, emailed, faxed or hand-delivered:

  • By Mail: Insert your completed application for absentee ballot by mail into the envelope provided; Be sure to place a first class stamp on the envelope.
  • By Email: Scan and save the completed application, then send to: lcabsenteevoting@lakecountyin.org
  • By Fax: Fax the application to (219) 755-3801

 After your application is processed, you will receive your primary election ballot by mail.

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USW Members Persevere at Nuclear Fuel Services During Pandemic https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/usw-members-persevere-at-nuclear-fuel-services-during-pandemic Tue, 19 May 2020 08:42:19 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/usw-members-persevere-at-nuclear-fuel-services-during-pandemic Members of Local 9-677 at the Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS) plant in Erwin, Tenn., are considered “essential workers” because they produce nuclear fuel for the U.S. Navy and the country’s national defense program.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the local and the company have diligently followed the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for preventing exposure to Covid-19, said Local 9-677 chief steward Heath Shook.

Enhanced cleaning happens across the site, he said, as well as social distancing, hand washing and hand sanitizing. Plus, workers have available to them N95 respirators and surgical and cloth masks.

“Employees who experience Covid-19-like symptoms, have potentially been exposed, or are ill have been instructed to stay home,” NFS said in a statement to the media when the company reported it had confirmed cases of Covid-19 among its employees. None of those afflicted were bargaining unit workers, Shook said, and he added that the union and the company doubled-down on the Covid-19 exposure prevention measures.

MOU negotiated

Local 9-677 negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NFS to address pay and benefit issues for those who are quarantined.

Shook said that if a worker experiences Covid-19 symptoms, he or she is automatically quarantined with full pay for 10 work days, and after that date, the person goes on sick leave until recovery.

Likewise, if an employee’s family member has Covid-19 symptoms, the worker goes into quarantine and receives regular pay for 10 work days.

This MOU helped when a salaried person had Covid-19 and the 19 employees in that person’s department had to go into quarantine as well for 14 days. Shook said they all received their regular pay during quarantine.

Those at high risk of getting sick from exposure to Covid-19 because of immune disorders, diabetes, heart or lung problems can take an excused absence without pay, he said.

In all cases, he said employees retain their health insurance.

Shook said everyone is back at work now, and that NFS staggers the work shifts and daily reminds its employees of the need to engage in social distancing. He said the company also sent home the contractors, who were deemed non-essential workers.

“Hourly workers are deemed essential, and we would be the last ones to go home if the plant shut down,” Shook said, adding, “There is no talk of shutting it down.”

The quality work at NFS resulted in the BWX Technologies, Inc. subsidiary receiving $128 million in contract options from the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program at the end of March.

The site also produces low-enriched uranium that is necessary for creating tritium in civilian nuclear reactors for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) nuclear weapons program.

A nuclear trade publication reported that NFS may purify defense uranium for the weapons program around 2023. The NNSA is negotiating with the company to act as a backup for the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., in a few years.

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USW Members Persevere at Nuclear Fuel Services During Pandemic https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/usw-members-persevere-at-nuclear-fuel-services-during-pandemic Tue, 19 May 2020 08:42:19 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/articles/2020/usw-members-persevere-at-nuclear-fuel-services-during-pandemic Members of Local 9-677 at the Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS) plant in Erwin, Tenn., are considered “essential workers” because they produce nuclear fuel for the U.S. Navy and the country’s national defense program.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the local and the company have diligently followed the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for preventing exposure to Covid-19, said Local 9-677 chief steward Heath Shook.

Enhanced cleaning happens across the site, he said, as well as social distancing, hand washing and hand sanitizing. Plus, workers have available to them N95 respirators and surgical and cloth masks.

“Employees who experience Covid-19-like symptoms, have potentially been exposed, or are ill have been instructed to stay home,” NFS said in a statement to the media when the company reported it had confirmed cases of Covid-19 among its employees. None of those afflicted were bargaining unit workers, Shook said, and he added that the union and the company doubled-down on the Covid-19 exposure prevention measures.

MOU negotiated

Local 9-677 negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NFS to address pay and benefit issues for those who are quarantined.

Shook said that if a worker experiences Covid-19 symptoms, he or she is automatically quarantined with full pay for 10 work days, and after that date, the person goes on sick leave until recovery.

Likewise, if an employee’s family member has Covid-19 symptoms, the worker goes into quarantine and receives regular pay for 10 work days.

This MOU helped when a salaried person had Covid-19 and the 19 employees in that person’s department had to go into quarantine as well for 14 days. Shook said they all received their regular pay during quarantine.

Those at high risk of getting sick from exposure to Covid-19 because of immune disorders, diabetes, heart or lung problems can take an excused absence without pay, he said.

In all cases, he said employees retain their health insurance.

Shook said everyone is back at work now, and that NFS staggers the work shifts and daily reminds its employees of the need to engage in social distancing. He said the company also sent home the contractors, who were deemed non-essential workers.

“Hourly workers are deemed essential, and we would be the last ones to go home if the plant shut down,” Shook said, adding, “There is no talk of shutting it down.”

The quality work at NFS resulted in the BWX Technologies, Inc. subsidiary receiving $128 million in contract options from the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program at the end of March.

The site also produces low-enriched uranium that is necessary for creating tritium in civilian nuclear reactors for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) nuclear weapons program.

A nuclear trade publication reported that NFS may purify defense uranium for the weapons program around 2023. The NNSA is negotiating with the company to act as a backup for the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., in a few years.

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