United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/rss United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed 2022-08-15 11:32:28 -0500 AMPS en hourly 1 USW Applauds House Passage of Inflation Reduction Act https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-applauds-house-passage-of-inflation-reduction-act Mon, 15 Aug 2022 11:32:28 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-applauds-house-passage-of-inflation-reduction-act Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org  

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway released the following statement today after the Inflation Reduction Act passed the U.S. House:

“The Inflation Reduction Act will help improve the lives of countless workers and their families as it brings down health care costs, addresses economic inequality and makes needed investments in domestic manufacturing and clean energy supply chains. 

“Building out our nation’s capacity for solar, wind and other sources of renewable energy will create good, domestic manufacturing jobs and help break our dangerous dependence on foreign producers to meet our needs. 

“At the same time, providing incentives for a wide variety of technologies like carbon capture, direct air capture, and nuclear power will help ensure that our steel and other critical industries remain among the cleanest in the world.

“Investing in affordable health care for millions of families and allowing Medicare the capacity to negotiate prescription drug prices will further pave the way for a safer, healthier future for workers and their communities.  

“The USW applauds the passage of this critical bill and looks forward to working with the administration and our congressional allies to build on this success.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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USW Achieves New Health and Safety Protections for Pitt Faculty https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-achieves-new-health-and-safety-protections-for-pitt-faculty Wed, 10 Aug 2022 13:05:05 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-achieves-new-health-and-safety-protections-for-pitt-faculty Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) today announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the University of Pittsburgh that significantly expands health and safety protections for thousands of faculty members represented by the union.

The USW filed an unfair labor practice charge against Pitt in March after the administration revised its COVID-19 mitigation measures without bargaining these changes with the union members who risk exposure every day.

The MOU, resulting from the USW’s legal action, takes effect immediately. It not only affords greater protections than Pitt’s revised policy but exceeds the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

While the ADA applies only to individuals with qualifying disabilities, for example, the MOU covers faculty with a broader range of health concerns as well as those living with medically compromised family members. Depending on the type of work they perform, these union members can request adjustments such as remote instruction and virtual office hours to safeguard their health and that of their loved ones.

The USW also negotiated a process for ensuring consistent application of the MOU across Pitt’s numerous departments and campuses.

“These COVID-19 measures demonstrate why my colleagues and I formed our union,” said Tyler Bickford, a professor in the English department and a member of the union negotiating committee. “When Pitt tried to implement a policy without seeking input from those most affected by it, we brought the administration to the table and bargained an agreement that addresses our concerns. As the pandemic continues, this agreement provides the flexibility we need to serve our campus community while keeping ourselves and our families safe.”

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.

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USW Convention to Include 3,000 Union Members, Allies https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-convention-to-include-3000-union-members-allies Wed, 03 Aug 2022 08:51:07 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-convention-to-include-3000-union-members-allies Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, jkamm@usw.org or R.J. Hufnagel, rhufnagel@usw.org

MEDIA ADVISORY

Nearly 3,000 members and allies of the United Steelworkers (USW) union from across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean will meet next week in Las Vegas to chart the future of the largest industrial union in North America during the union’s International Constitutional Convention in Las Vegas.

It will be the USW’s first in-person constitutional convention since 2017. More than 2,300 elected delegates, 600 observers, international officers and staff, and more than 100 international guests from unions in 22 countries, will gather under the banner “Everybody’s Union.”

The USW delegation represents 850,000 workers and retirees in a diverse array of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, oil refining, chemicals, natural gas, health care, renewable energy, communications, transportation, higher education and the public sector.

The proceedings will open at 10 a.m. on Aug. 8 in the MGM Grand Marquee Ballroom, and are expected to conclude by 5 p.m. on Aug. 11. USW International President Tom Conway will deliver a keynote address on the state of the union and the opportunities and challenges facing USW members and working families across North America.

Guest speakers are expected to include U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, and Mexican Senator and labor leader Napoleón Gómez Urrutia.

Updates from the proceedings will be made available daily on the union’s convention site: convention.usw.org. A daily photo collection will be available at www.usw.org/flickr.

To sign up for text messages, text USWCVN to 47486 (U.S.) or to 32323 (Canada). Social media updates will be available at the following sites:

  • Facebook.com/Steelworkers, Facebook.com/USWMetallos (Canada)
  • Twitter.com/Steelworkers, @steelworkers, @steelworkersCA (Canada), #EverybodysUnion
  • Instagram.com/Steelworkers, Instagram.com/uswmetallos
  • YouTube.com/steelworkers 

MEDIA: USW-issued credentials are necessary for reporters to gain access to the convention floor. E-mail Jess Kamm Broomell or R.J. Hufnagel of the USW using the information above for instructions on how to obtain credentials.

The USW is the largest industrial union in North America, representing workers in a range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, oil refining, health care, security, hotels, and municipal governments and agencies.

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USW Backs Passage of Inflation Reduction Act https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-backs-passage-of-inflation-reduction-act Mon, 01 Aug 2022 11:09:47 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-backs-passage-of-inflation-reduction-act Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway released the following statement today in support of the Inflation Reduction Act: 

“The Inflation Reduction Act represents an important step forward for working families, making long overdue investments in ensuring a safe and healthy future for communities across our nation.

“Reining in health care costs for millions of Americans will help provide a respite for workers and retirees grappling with inflation, while reforming our tax system will help combat rampant economic inequality by ensuring the richest corporations are paying their fair share.

“Just as crucially, the bill will pave the way for both a cleaner environment and good jobs, as we invest in building out domestic supply chains across the clean energy economy, from mining critical minerals to advanced manufacturing. 

“The USW applauds Senate Democrats for reaching this crucial consensus and encourages Congress to continue prioritizing workers and their families as we tackle today’s challenges and build a more secure tomorrow.” 

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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Union Disgusted by Lawsuit that Threatens Hundreds of Jobs at Armstrong Flooring https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/union-disgusted-by-lawsuit-that-threatens-hundreds-of-jobs-at-armstrong-flooring Fri, 22 Jul 2022 10:38:24 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/union-disgusted-by-lawsuit-that-threatens-hundreds-of-jobs-at-armstrong-flooring Contact: Tony Montana – (412) 562-2592 or tmontana@usw.org

PITTSBURGH — The United Steelworkers (USW) today criticized Armstrong World Industries for its refusal to consent to the transfer of the Armstrong Flooring name that threatens to derail the sale of the Armstrong Flooring production facility in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to AHF Products.
 
USW District 10 Director Bernie Hall urged Armstrong Flooring and Armstrong World Industries immediately to resolve their issues over trademark licensing in order for a timely closing of the sale.
 
“It would be a terrible tragedy for hundreds of good jobs to disappear because of Armstrong World’s greed,” Hall said. 
 
“The USW demands an immediate end to this preposterous hostage-taking in the name of our members, their families and community.”
 
“We cannot allow Armstrong World Industries to destroy our members’ livelihoods,” Hall said. “If this matter is not resolved very shortly, this historic facility and the community-sustaining jobs it provides could close its doors forever.”
 
The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in manufacturing, metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in tech, public sector and service occupations.
 
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Groundbreaking USW Guide on ‘Stop Work Authority’ Will Protect Workers https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/groundbreaking-usw-guide-on-stop-work-authority-will-protect-workers Wed, 20 Jul 2022 14:37:43 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/groundbreaking-usw-guide-on-stop-work-authority-will-protect-workers Contact: Steve Sallman, (412) 562-2590, ssallman@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) today announced the publication of a new groundbreaking guide from its Health, Safety, and Environment Department. The book, “Bargaining for Stop Work Authority to Prevent Injuries and Save Lives,” is the first and most comprehensive publication designed to help workers develop programs that allow them to stop unsafe or unhealthy operations and processes until hazards are resolved.

“The United Steelworkers is proud to issue this path-breaking guide,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “OSHA does not require stop work authority, so it’s up to us. This booklet will be an essential part of protecting workers’ lives on the job.”

The publication includes information on the importance of well-designed stop work authority programs and the pitfalls of ineffective programs that exist at many sites.

“The unfortunate reality is that flawed stop-work programs exist at many work sites, and this booklet will help to change that,” Conway said. “In addition, workers often face challenges, including retaliation, in their efforts to stop unhealthy or unsafe work.”

The guide provides model SWA collective bargaining language and checklists to help design the best SWA policies and procedures for industrial workplaces. Stop work authority is a mandatory subject of bargaining under the National Labor Relations Act.

Dr. David Michaels, former Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health in the Obama administration and currently a professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health, said the USW’s guide can help prevent injuries, deaths and environmental devastation.

“It should be read and used by workers, safety committee members, union leaders, and safety professionals in a wide range of industries,” Michaels said.

Debra Coyle, executive director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council, the nation’s longest-standing state labor-environmental alliance, said that the guide can help protect workers and communities.

“By applying the guide’s lessons and winning stop work authority, unions can better protect both their members and communities from chemical fires, explosions, toxic releases, and other dangers,” Coyle said.

The 27-page publication can be found at www.usw.org/stopworkauthority. Users are free to print and distribute the publication for non-profit training and educational programs, providing they credit the United Steelworkers (USW).

About the authors:

Steve Sallman is the director of the United Steelworkers (USW) Health, Safety and Environment Department. Sallman, who has investigated numerous workplace injuries and fatalities, worked at the Bridgestone/Firestone plant in Des Moines, Iowa, for 13 years, where he served as the full-time union safety and health committee chairman for eight years. He also was a safety and health consultant with the Iowa Division of Labor-OSHA. Contact Sallman at ssallman@usw.org.

Rick Engler served as a member of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board from 2015 to 2020 after being nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He was the founder of the Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health and the New Jersey Work Environment Council. Contact Engler at rickenglerpa@gmail.com.

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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USW Ratifies 38-Month Agreement with ContiTech https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-ratifies-38-month-agreement-with-contitech Wed, 29 Jun 2022 12:13:05 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-ratifies-38-month-agreement-with-contitech Tony Montana – (412) 562-2592 or tmontana@usw.org

PITTSBURGH – The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that members have ratified a new, 38-month agreement with ContiTech, U.S.A., covering about 600 workers at the company’s plants in Marysville, Ohio; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.  

USW District 11 Director Emil Ramirez, who chaired the negotiations, said that workers won meaningful economic and contract language improvements in the contract, which was approved by a three-to-one margin.
 
“Our bargaining committee negotiated wage, pension and benefit improvements without sacrificing the security of our jobs or our union,” Ramirez said. “The hard work and dedication of our membership has been rewarded with a fair contract.”
 
“Participation by our local union leaders in negotiations was crucial to ensure our most important issues were addressed at the table,” he said. “Thanks to the solidarity of our membership, we have achieved our bargaining goals.”
 
The newly ratified contract features yearly wage increases, maintains cost of living adjustments, provides a $1,500 lump sum ratification payment, improves pensions and 401k contributions and maintains workers’ current health insurance plans.
 
The agreement also allows newly hired employees to accrue vacation and progress through the wage scale more quickly in an effort to attract and retain more workers.
 
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 tech, higher education, public sector and service occupations
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Union Challenges U.S. Steel’s Scheme to Betray Granite City Workers https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/union-challenges-u-s-steels-scheme-to-betray-granite-city-workers Wed, 29 Jun 2022 10:02:57 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/union-challenges-u-s-steels-scheme-to-betray-granite-city-workers Contact: Tony Montana tmontana@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) today issued the following statement from International President Thomas M. Conway after U.S. Steel announced plans to sell two blast furnaces at Granite City Works and informed the union of its intention to keep only one finishing mill active at the facility:

“U.S. Steel has established a trend in recent years of shutting down operations, as it has done at the Great Lakes facility in Detroit, Lone Star Steel in Texas, tubular operations in Ohio, and the company abandoned a previously announced major capital improvement project at the Mon Valley Works and announced the closing of its West Coast operations at UPI in California.

“The company continues to invest heavily in its non-union operations at Big River Steel in Arkansas, and management continues to point to their transition to EAF produced steel as the pathway to success while they shutter operations.

“The USW and U.S. Steel concluded a successful startup of an EAF operation in Birmingham, Alabama, at the Fairfield Works, and that’s where the company should have continued to place additional EAF investments. Instead, they chose to double down their investment in their Arkansas facility.

“In its announcement regarding Granites City’s future, the company callously failed to mention a word about the massive job loss or impact the decision will have on a skilled and loyal workforce, their families or their community.

“It is another tale in a long string of betrayals by the company, which now has permanently closed nearly two thirds of the assets it acquired from National Steel along with other acquisitions. 

“The summer is coming and bringing with it the termination of the labor agreement between the parties. We will undoubtedly be talking about investment in our plants. The company should prepare itself for those discussions.

“We understand the vital importance of investment in our USW plants and the obligations to our members and their communities, even if the management at U.S. Steel doesn’t. We have no intention of becoming the primary pig iron suppliers to their non-union operations.”

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in manufacturing, metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in tech, public sector and service occupations.

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USW: USFL Players Choose Union Representation https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-usfl-players-choose-union-representation Tue, 07 Jun 2022 07:07:11 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-usfl-players-choose-union-representation Contact: Tony Montana – (412) 562-2592 or tmontana@usw.org
 
PITTSBURGH — The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that players in the United States Football League (USFL) voted in favor of union representation in an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. The USW, in coordination with the United Football Players Association (UFPA), filed a petition for a representation election on behalf of about 360 USFL players after a majority of them signed cards in early May.
 
USW International President Thomas M. Conway said that the union is proud to stand with players to ensure they are treated fairly by the league.
 
“Pay, hours and working conditions are areas where a union can make a difference,” Conway said. “Giving players a strong collective voice will ensure more security for individuals, their earnings and their jobs.”
 
UFPA President Kenneth Farrow, who played six seasons of professional football, said that the power of a union will make a huge impact for players who often face uncertainty due to injuries, poor facilities and bankrupt employers.
 
“Every worker deserves the opportunity to bargain for better pay, benefits and working conditions as part of a union,” Farrow said. “Players can guarantee a stronger voice in determining their own futures by bargaining as part of a collective.”
 
UFPA Vice-President Nick Temple, who played seven seasons in multiple football leagues, said that players are standing together and forming a union to address and improve working conditions.
 
“Like all workers, professional athletes deserve to be treated with dignity and respect on the job by their employers,” Temple said. “The USW has empowered generations of workers to fight for fairness, so we are prepared to bring the top concerns of the players to the table.”
 
Founded in 2020, the UFPA is composed of football players with experience in the National Football League, Arena League of American Football, XFL, Canadian Football League and others.
 
Formally affiliated earlier this year, the USW and UFPA are fighting together for better treatment for professional athletes in the USFL, as well as the XFL and other potential leagues who are not covered by contracts like those in the NFL Players’ Association.
 
The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in manufacturing, metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in tech, public sector and service occupations.
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USW Disappointed in EPA Biofuel Blending Requirements https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-disappointed-in-epa-biofuel-blending-requirements Fri, 03 Jun 2022 15:15:30 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-disappointed-in-epa-biofuel-blending-requirements  Quotas Will Pressure Small Refineries, Threaten Oil Supply, Jobs 

Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers union (USW) today expressed its disappointment in the Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule setting biofuel blending percentages, after the agency increased requirements for 2021 and set quotas for 2022 at their highest level to date. 

“There are limits to how much ethanol an engine can burn, just as there is a ceiling for how much gasoline consumers can buy,” said Mike Smith, who chairs the USW’s National Oil Bargaining Program. “If we consider these constraints together, it’s clear that the biofuel thresholds are now unattainably high.” 

The union also decried the predictable impact of the final rule on a fundamental flaw in the renewable fuel program: the limited and unregulated market for renewable identification numbers (RIN).

“Our members and the industry need long-term stability,” said Smith. “Instead the rule will put increasing pressure on small, non-integrated refineries that rely on biofuel credits to meet their obligations. 

“High and fluctuating RIN prices jeopardize our members’ jobs, which is why the union submitted comments attesting to the undue burden this market puts on workers and their employers. Unfortunately, EPA failed to heed our warning.” 

Smith said that in a time of economic uncertainty that includes record high gas prices, regulators should be making it as simple as possible to refine oil domestically.

“Introducing more volatility into an already broken RIN system isn’t going to solve our nation’s energy crisis,” said Smith. “It’s only going to increase costs and jeopardize jobs.” 

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

 

 

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USW: Labor must protect health care for all, this Pride Month and beyond https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-labor-must-protect-health-care-for-all-this-pride-month-and-beyond Wed, 01 Jun 2022 08:16:52 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-labor-must-protect-health-care-for-all-this-pride-month-and-beyond Contact: Chelsey Engel, cengel@usw.org, 412-212-8173

The United Steelworkers (USW) union released the following statement in recognition of Pride Month

“Every year, the month of June is recognized across the United States, and in many places around the world, as Pride Month—a time to celebrate the gains already won by the LGBTQ+ community and to recommit to true solidarity and action towards equality for all. 

“The need for that push is pressing, as state legislatures, as well as other national institutions, launch continuous legislative attacks on the most marginalized in our society. 

“In this fight, we must recognize that health care is a human right and that no one should be denied safe, accessible, life-affirming treatment.  

“Most importantly, as we move forward with organizing the next generation of workers, we must honor our duty to bargain good contracts that solidify benefits for all members, and to prioritize health and safety in the workplace. 

“We must also speak out boldly against any acts of hate or terrorism, and we must stand up for all our union siblings, as our union, and the entire labor movement, knows that an injury to one is an injury to all.” 

Learn more about how to protect and empower LGBTQ+ workers at www.usw.org/steelpride

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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Collins Aerospace Illegally Locks Out Union Workers https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/collins-aerospace-illegally-locks-out-union-workers Fri, 27 May 2022 15:59:08 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/collins-aerospace-illegally-locks-out-union-workers Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, rhufnagel@usw.org, 412-562-2450                             

The United Steelworkers (USW) said that approximately 250 members of Local 1449 were locked out of their jobs Monday by management at Collins Aerospace after only two weeks of bargaining.

USW District 8 Director Larry Ray called on the company, a division of Raytheon Technologies, to abandon its strategy of trying to bully union workers into accepting management’s demands and instead continue negotiating in good faith to reach a fair contract.

Ray said that USW members were looking forward to returning to the bargaining table when the company locked them out. Members have repeatedly asked the company to allow them to come back to work while they continue negotiations, but the company has refused.

“Collins Aerospace must be made accountable for its decision to hold our jobs, families and community hostage over issues that should be resolved through collective bargaining,” Ray said. “Management needs to end this lockout immediately, return these workers to their jobs and resolve our differences at the table.”

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.

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USW Commits to Engaging Administration in Pursuit of Successful Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Agreement https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-commits-to-engaging-administration-in-pursuit-of-successful-indo-pacific-economic-framework-agreement Mon, 23 May 2022 07:42:51 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-commits-to-engaging-administration-in-pursuit-of-successful-indo-pacific-economic-framework-agreement Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, jkamm@usw.org, 412-562-2444

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers union (USW) released the following statement upon the Biden administration’s announcement that it will launch negotiations on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF):

“Last year President Biden laid out his vision for an Indo-Pacific strategy to deepen U.S. engagement in the region. Since that time, the administration has consulted with the USW on the contours of the policy and the goal of ensuring that the economic components of a potential deal reflect the president’s worker-centered priorities.

“While the details for the negotiations are still in flux as the administration seeks to engage partners in the region, the USW commits to continuing its deep engagement with the administration across all issues, as well as on which countries may be suitable partners. This must be a high standards agreement with partners that have the capacity and intent to meet its terms.

“Our goal will always be reaching an agreement that advances the interests of U.S. workers, strengthens our economy and adheres to our values and ideals. There is a long road ahead, and we are willing partners.

“The U.S. already is engaged in the Indo-Pacific through more than $1 trillion in investments, substantial trade flows and strategic partners. Workers don’t question this: They understand that America is stronger when we work with friends and allies.

“At the same time, workers will not hesitate to oppose bad trade and economic initiatives.

“Engagement on the IPEF to date has identified key issues that must be addressed. Organized labor has and will continue to provide input and work with the administration to try and reach a successful IPEF. At the end of the day, our support will depend on the substance of any agreement and the results it provides to our workers.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

 

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USW member joins Sen. Baldwin for introduction of the Workplace Violence Act https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-member-joins-sen-baldwin-for-introduction-of-the-workplace-violence-act Mon, 16 May 2022 10:43:43 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-member-joins-sen-baldwin-for-introduction-of-the-workplace-violence-act Valencia Davis has worked in health care for 38 years, servicing the most vulnerable people in her community. Sometimes this has included working with patients on a psychiatric hold for their own protection, and like many health care workers, Davis has experienced workplace violence more than once.

This is why she and other USW activists are fighting for the passage of H.R. 1195, also known as the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act. Originally passed with bipartisan support by the U.S. House in spring 2021 thanks to Rep. Joe Courtney, the bill was introduced to the Senate last Wednesday, May 11, by Sen. Tammy Baldwin. 

Davis, who is a member of Local 7600, participated in the virtual press conference announcing the introduction of the bill, which has 26 co-sponsors in the Senate. She highlighted several violent incidents when she was put in harm’s way on the job.

“One time I was watching a patient on a psychiatric hold and out of nowhere he jumped up and attempted to lock me in his private room,” she said. “When I tried to open the door, he grabbed me, and I started to scream for help.”

In an April survey of 2,500 nurses from National Nurses United, 48 percent of nurses working in hospitals reported an increase in workplace violence, up from 31 percent in September 2021. Some states have enacted legislation on their own to address this growing crisis, including Davis’ home state of California, which, in 2019, passed a workplace violence standard.

“Now employers are required to make a plan that includes frontline caregivers’ input – and every health care worker in America deserves the same opportunity,” Davis said. “We deserve a safe workplace so we can provide the best care.”

Former USW Vice President of Human Affairs and current AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond also spoke at the press conference and demanded the government step in as workers’ lives are on the line.

“Workplace violence is not just part of the job,” said Redmond, who used to oversee the USW Health Care Workers Council. “It has been a worsening problem for more than a decade, and it is preventable. It is time for our Congress to act.”

USW members have been pushing for the Workplace Violence Act for years, and have even marched and lobbied in Washington to have their voices heard.

Click here to learn more about the bill!

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USW Announces Tentative Agreement with Arconic on Four-Year Contract https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-announces-tentative-agreement-with-arconic-on-four-year-contract Sun, 15 May 2022 11:00:00 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-announces-tentative-agreement-with-arconic-on-four-year-contract Contact:  Tony Montana – (412) 562-2592 or tmontana@usw.org

PITTSBURGH – The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the union has reached a tentative agreement on a new, four-year master contract with Arconic (NYSE: ARNC) covering roughly 3,400 workers in Davenport, Iowa; Alcoa, Tenn.; Lafayette, Ind.; and Massena, N.Y.

USW District 11 Director Emil Ramirez, who chaired the negotiations, said the tentative agreement features substantial wage and benefit improvements for all Arconic employees.

“For their outstanding work throughout the pandemic and beyond, USW members have earned and deserve a fair agreement,” Ramirez said. “The unity and solidarity of our membership across all of the Arconic locations enabled us to negotiate improved security for our earnings, benefits and jobs in this contract.”

The USW said that the proposed new contract increases wages by 20 percent over its term, maintains the current health care coverage with no premium increases, improves pensions and includes the addition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday.

Members of the USW committee will now return to their locals to discuss the terms of the proposed agreement with workers with the unanimous recommendation that it be ratified.

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 tech, higher education, public sector and service occupations.

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USW Leader Seeks Trade Relief on Chinese Rail Component Imports https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-leader-seeks-trade-relief-on-chinese-rail-component-imports Thu, 12 May 2022 15:46:37 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-leader-seeks-trade-relief-on-chinese-rail-component-imports Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, 412-562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

A United Steelworkers (USW) union leader from Granite City, Ill., testified today before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), urging the panel to impose duties that would provide U.S. manufacturers with relief from unfairly traded Chinese imports of freight rail coupler systems and components, a practice that threatens good jobs at his factory.

“In a couple of years we went from almost a thousand members to barely 300,” USW Local 1063 President Antonio Wellmaker told the commissioners. “Unfair competition from Chinese imports have meant that we lost 725 jobs and for those of us that have held on, we do so making less money.”

Thursday’s hearing was part of the final phase of an ITC investigation launched last fall following a petition filed by the Coalition of Freight Coupler Producers. The petition alleges that Chinese-subsidized manufacturers are importing freight rail coupler systems and components and dumping them, or selling them in the United States at less than fair value.

Wellmaker, who works for Amsted Rail in Granite City, said that antidumping and countervailing duties would help to stem the tide of illegal imports and give him and his co-workers at Amsted a more level playing field on which to compete.

“Because our compensation is tied to production quantities, we’re making less money,” Wellmaker testified. “We did not see significant job loss at the plant facility until around three years ago when I understood that Chinese imports started flooding into the United States.”

Wellmaker said the possibility of duties on imports as a result of the trade case has led Amsted to hire new workers in anticipation of an increase in business.

“We support this investigation because we know what trade relief for our hard-working members and their families could mean,” he said. “I am confident that we will be able to continue adding workers, increase production and add shifts and workdays if dumped and subsidized freight rail imports are dealt with.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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USW Condemns Arrest of Korean Labor Leader https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-condemns-arrest-of-korean-labor-leader Wed, 11 May 2022 11:00:00 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-condemns-arrest-of-korean-labor-leader Contact: Ben Davis, 412-562-2501, bdavis@usw.org

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers union (USW) today strongly condemned the May 4 arrest of Youn Taeg-gun, first vice president of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), who was detained for his leading role in organizing a general strike on October 20, 2021.

Youn’s arrest is particularly outrageous given that International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions 87, protecting freedom of association and the right to organize, and 98, protecting the right to organize and collective bargaining, entered into force in the Republic of Korea on April 20.

Youn led the strike in part because at the time, KCTU president Yang Kyeung-soo was in detention on similar spurious charges. Like President Yang before him, Youn has been charged with violation of the Infectious Disease Control Act on Demonstration and Assembly, despite the KCTU’s proper observance of COVID-19 protocols.

The strike took place shortly after representatives of the USW, UAW and AFL-CIO visited the Korean embassy in Washington D.C., to demand Yang’s freedom. The USW also raised the arrest of President Yang and the interrogation of Vice President Youn during the meeting of the U.S.- Korea Free Trade Agreement Labor Council on April 26.

Vice President Youn’s arrest, in the context of current discussions on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and President Biden’s upcoming visit to South Korea, can only be seen as an expression of the Korean government’s intention to disregard fundamental labor rights and international conventions.

The USW calls on the Korean government to openly adhere to these ILO conventions by releasing Youn and ending police harassment of trade unionists for engaging in legitimate union activity.

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations

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USW Applauds Biden Administration’s Stakeholder Engagement on Responsible Mining https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-applauds-biden-administrations-stakeholder-engagement-on-responsible-mining Tue, 10 May 2022 16:17:27 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-applauds-biden-administrations-stakeholder-engagement-on-responsible-mining Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org 

The United Steelworkers (USW) union issued the following statement today after participating in the White House’s working group to advance responsible mining: 

The USW welcomes the Biden administration’s leadership as we look to facilitate responsible mining and meet our growing need for critical minerals.

The legal framework for hardrock mining in the United States is now 150 years old. It’s essential that we streamline our permitting process to balance robust assessment of mining plans with the need to more swiftly approve projects so we can domestically mine materials in time to meet our climate, infrastructure and national security goals.

As today’s meeting demonstrated, achieving this objective will require all stakeholders working together so we can ensure workers and their communities reap the full benefits of these investments. 

USW members across North America already engage in responsible mining and welcome the opportunity to continue providing our nation with the raw materials it will need well into the future.

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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USW Marks AAPI Heritage Month, Calls for Global Solidarity, Respect for Workers’ Fundamental Rights https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-marks-aapi-heritage-month-calls-for-global-solidarity-respect-for-workers-fundamental-rights Mon, 02 May 2022 14:34:14 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-marks-aapi-heritage-month-calls-for-global-solidarity-respect-for-workers-fundamental-rights Contact: Chelsey Engel, cengel@usw.org, 412-212-8173

The United Steelworkers (USW) released the following statement in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month:

The USW proudly celebrates the many contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islander workers throughout our nation’s history and stands in global solidarity with workers in Asia and across the world.

As we seek to make our trade system fair and balanced, we recognize that we have an obligation to protect workers’ fundamental labor rights, in North America and in all our partner nations. This includes ending forced labor, ensuring workers can form independent unions and stopping retaliation against workers speaking out against unsafe work.

“Greedy multinational corporations are perfectly happy to pit workers against each other in a race to the bottom on wages and working conditions,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “We must resist their attempts to divide us.

“Instead, we must confront racism in our workplaces and communities and redouble our efforts to eliminate race-based violence. We must also strive to ensure all workers are able to access their basic human rights so that workers the world over can collectively negotiate fair contracts that allow them to provide for their families and return from work safely.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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USW Applauds the Biden Administration’s Interim Build America, Buy America Guidance https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-applauds-the-biden-administrations-interim-build-america-buy-america-guidance Mon, 18 Apr 2022 16:30:15 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2022/usw-applauds-the-biden-administrations-interim-build-america-buy-america-guidance Contact: Joe Smydo, jsmydo@usw.org, 412-562-2281

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement today in response to the Biden administration’s release of interim guidance for using American-made materials and products in projects funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA): 

“President Joe Biden’s interim Build America, Buy America guidance will ensure that publicly funded infrastructure projects help to rebuild the nation’s manufacturing base, strengthen supply chains and support good-paying jobs for U.S. workers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the feeble state of American manufacturing, while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drove home once again the danger of relying on foreign-sourced products. A reinvigorated industrial base will help to safeguard America’s economy and security.

“America’s workers stand ready not only to build new transportation systems, communicationsnetworks and other infrastructure through the IIJA, but to supply the raw materials, parts and components needed for all of those projects.

“These workers lead the world in responsible production practices, and they’ll deliver unparalleled quality, ensuring new roads, bridges and other improvements stand the test of time.

“The USW looks forward to working with President Biden and his administration to finalize the Build America, Buy America guidance and unlock the full power of the IIJA.”

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.

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