USW Members Urge Stauber to Support Workers’ Rights Bill

Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, rhufnagel@usw.org, 412-562-2450

A group of United Steelworkers (USW) union members from across Minnesota’s Iron Range met today with officials from U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber’s office to urge the Congressman to support a workers’ rights bill currently under consideration in the U.S. House.

The proposed legislation, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R. 2474), would remove unnecessary and overly burdensome barriers to union organizing and establish stronger penalties for companies that illegally block unionizing drives.

“Polls show that more than half of non-unionized workers would join unions tomorrow if they had the chance,” said USW Local 2660 President Dan Pierce, who has worked for nearly 20 years at U.S. Steel’s Keewatin Taconite (Keetac) operation in Keewatin, Minn.

“The problem is that too often companies bully and intimidate and otherwise block the efforts of well-meaning workers who simply want a voice in their workplaces,” Pierce said. “The PRO Act would change all of that and give workers the chance to make up their own minds.”

The legislation, introduced last year by Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia, would represent a major step forward for workers’ rights and would restore a number of worker protections contained in the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, which corporations and anti-union lawmakers have slowly eroded over the years.

“Every worker deserves a voice in their workplace, and every worker deserves fair treatment, good wages, quality health care and a secure retirement,” said USW District 11 Director Emil Ramirez, who represents workers in nine states, including Minnesota. “The PRO Act will level a playing field that for too long has been tilted in favor of big corporations. This bill will give power back to the families on Main Street instead of Wall Street.”

The House Education and Labor Committee passed the PRO Act (H.R. 2474) in September 2019, and the full House is expected to debate and vote on the bill in the coming weeks.

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.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222