United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/rss United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed 2020-08-03 19:51:03 -0500 AMPS en hourly 1 USW Seeks Intervention to Save Titanium Sponge Plant, Citing National Security, Defense Concerns https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-seeks-intervention-to-save-titanium-sponge-plant-citing-national-security-defense-concerns Mon, 03 Aug 2020 19:51:03 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-seeks-intervention-to-save-titanium-sponge-plant-citing-national-security-defense-concerns Contact: Bill Locke, (702) 271-0029

The United Steelworkers (USW) today urged Congress and the Trump administration to act immediately in the interest of saving TIMET's titanium sponge plant in Henderson, Nev., from permanent closure.

Last year, in a Section 232 investigation, the U.S. Department of Commerce concluded that without the Henderson facility, the country would be completely dependent on imports for titanium sponge and scrap and lack the surge capacity required to support defense and critical infrastructure needs in an extended national emergency.

TIMET announced on July 13 that it intended to idle the facility. The company has already begun ratcheting down operations and laying off workers. Another wave of 17 were laid off today.

“Americans already rely on foreign imports for too many necessities, such as surgical masks and other personal protective equipment,” said USW District 12 Director Gaylan Prescott, “and we cannot risk our national security by depending on other countries to supply titanium for our military airplanes, helicopters and aerospace equipment.”

Prescott said that if TIMET follows through on its plan to close Henderson, the U.S. would be forced to import sponge from the only six other countries with production capacity: China, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan or India.

“With so much more than jobs at stake, the USW will not allow TIMET to deprive our nation of this critical resource without a fight,” Prescott said. “Before it's too late, President Trump and congressional leaders from both parties must take action to prevent compromising our national defense.”

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 public sector and service occupations.

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USW Seeks Intervention to Save Titanium Sponge Plant, Citing National Security, Defense Concerns https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-seeks-intervention-to-save-titanium-sponge-plant-citing-national-security-defense-concerns Mon, 03 Aug 2020 19:51:03 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-seeks-intervention-to-save-titanium-sponge-plant-citing-national-security-defense-concerns Contact: Bill Locke, (702) 271-0029

The United Steelworkers (USW) today urged Congress and the Trump administration to act immediately in the interest of saving TIMET's titanium sponge plant in Henderson, Nev., from permanent closure.

Last year, in a Section 232 investigation, the U.S. Department of Commerce concluded that without the Henderson facility, the country would be completely dependent on imports for titanium sponge and scrap and lack the surge capacity required to support defense and critical infrastructure needs in an extended national emergency.

TIMET announced on July 13 that it intended to idle the facility. The company has already begun ratcheting down operations and laying off workers. Another wave of 17 were laid off today.

“Americans already rely on foreign imports for too many necessities, such as surgical masks and other personal protective equipment,” said USW District 12 Director Gaylan Prescott, “and we cannot risk our national security by depending on other countries to supply titanium for our military airplanes, helicopters and aerospace equipment.”

Prescott said that if TIMET follows through on its plan to close Henderson, the U.S. would be forced to import sponge from the only six other countries with production capacity: China, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan or India.

“With so much more than jobs at stake, the USW will not allow TIMET to deprive our nation of this critical resource without a fight,” Prescott said. “Before it's too late, President Trump and congressional leaders from both parties must take action to prevent compromising our national defense.”

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 public sector and service occupations.

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USW: McConnell Blocking Relief for Millions Facing Economic Crisis https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-mcconnell-blocking-relief-for-millions-facing-economic-crisis Thu, 30 Jul 2020 14:14:49 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-mcconnell-blocking-relief-for-millions-facing-economic-crisis Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, rhufnagel@usw.org, 412-562-2450

The United Steelworkers (USW) union released the following statement today from USW International President Tom Conway in response to the U.S. Senate’s continued inaction on Covid-19 relief, coupled with the news that the U.S. economy contracted at a rate of 32.9 percent during the second quarter of 2020, the worst number on record.

“To put it simply, millions of American families are suffering and worrying about the future as we face the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, and one man – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – is standing in the way of the relief they so desperately need.

“The U.S. House took action months ago, passing a bill called the HEROES Act, which would extend enhanced unemployment benefits through the end of the year and provide other crucial aid to keep the American people safe and healthy as we continue to battle the health and economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The HEROES Act isn’t perfect. It will need to be amended before passage so that it doesn’t harm the pensions of millions of retired American workers. Still, it is an absolutely essential part of our national recovery, especially given today’s news that our economy contracted by nearly one-third during the past quarter.

“By contrast, the plan that McConnell and his fellow Senate Republicans have put forward is far too little and far too late. It fails to extend the emergency unemployment relief that Americans need so they can stay in their homes, pay their bills and feed their families. It also does not do enough to ensure safe workplaces or to provide hazard pay for front-line workers.

“Millions of American families will be facing a crisis this week when their emergency unemployment relief expires. The HEROES Act is the answer to that crisis. It’s time for Mitch McConnell to stop standing in the way and allow Congress to provide the American people with the relief they need.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, mining, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service, public and health care sectors and higher education.

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USW: McConnell Blocking Relief for Millions Facing Economic Crisis https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-mcconnell-blocking-relief-for-millions-facing-economic-crisis Thu, 30 Jul 2020 14:14:49 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-mcconnell-blocking-relief-for-millions-facing-economic-crisis Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, rhufnagel@usw.org, 412-562-2450

The United Steelworkers (USW) union released the following statement today from USW International President Tom Conway in response to the U.S. Senate’s continued inaction on Covid-19 relief, coupled with the news that the U.S. economy contracted at a rate of 32.9 percent during the second quarter of 2020, the worst number on record.

“To put it simply, millions of American families are suffering and worrying about the future as we face the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, and one man – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – is standing in the way of the relief they so desperately need.

“The U.S. House took action months ago, passing a bill called the HEROES Act, which would extend enhanced unemployment benefits through the end of the year and provide other crucial aid to keep the American people safe and healthy as we continue to battle the health and economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The HEROES Act isn’t perfect. It will need to be amended before passage so that it doesn’t harm the pensions of millions of retired American workers. Still, it is an absolutely essential part of our national recovery, especially given today’s news that our economy contracted by nearly one-third during the past quarter.

“By contrast, the plan that McConnell and his fellow Senate Republicans have put forward is far too little and far too late. It fails to extend the emergency unemployment relief that Americans need so they can stay in their homes, pay their bills and feed their families. It also does not do enough to ensure safe workplaces or to provide hazard pay for front-line workers.

“Millions of American families will be facing a crisis this week when their emergency unemployment relief expires. The HEROES Act is the answer to that crisis. It’s time for Mitch McConnell to stop standing in the way and allow Congress to provide the American people with the relief they need.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, mining, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service, public and health care sectors and higher education.

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USW Endorses Framework for College Athletes’ Bill of Rights https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-endorses-framework-for-college-athletes-bill-of-rights Sat, 25 Jul 2020 09:51:04 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-endorses-framework-for-college-athletes-bill-of-rights Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, rhufnagel@usw.org, 412-562-2450
 
(PITTSBURGH) – The United Steelworkers (USW) union today announced its full support for a legislative framework for a comprehensive College Athletes’ Bill of Rights put forth by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

In a letter to members of the U.S. Senate, USW International President Tom Conway urged senators to support the framework, which includes proposals to allow athletes to secure representation and receive compensation for the use of names and likenesses, establish health and safety standards, increase the freedom for student athletes to transfer, and provide medical coverage, among other provisions.

“NCAA sports is a predatory industry that exploits college athletes physically, economically, and academically,” Conway wrote in his letter. “Unjust NCAA policies and practices have a disproportionate negative impact on Black college athletes, many of whom are from low-income homes. Black college athletes make up the majority of revenue sport athletes yet suffer the lowest graduation rates.”

The framework also has the backing of the National College Players Association (NCPA), an advocacy group that fights for fair treatment for college athletes and includes more than 20,000 Division I athletes from more than 150 college campuses. The USW has strongly supported the work of the NCPA since the organization’s inception in 2001.

“The USW has stood in solidarity, side by side, with the NCPA,” Conway wrote. “Our union strongly supports congressional action to put an end to the countless injustices that have plagued college athletes for generations by developing and adopting a sound College Athletes’ Bill of Rights.”

Click here for the full text of the letter.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, mining, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service, public and health care sectors and higher education. 

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USW Endorses Framework for College Athletes’ Bill of Rights https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-endorses-framework-for-college-athletes-bill-of-rights Sat, 25 Jul 2020 09:51:04 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-endorses-framework-for-college-athletes-bill-of-rights Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, rhufnagel@usw.org, 412-562-2450
 
(PITTSBURGH) – The United Steelworkers (USW) union today announced its full support for a legislative framework for a comprehensive College Athletes’ Bill of Rights put forth by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

In a letter to members of the U.S. Senate, USW International President Tom Conway urged senators to support the framework, which includes proposals to allow athletes to secure representation and receive compensation for the use of names and likenesses, establish health and safety standards, increase the freedom for student athletes to transfer, and provide medical coverage, among other provisions.

“NCAA sports is a predatory industry that exploits college athletes physically, economically, and academically,” Conway wrote in his letter. “Unjust NCAA policies and practices have a disproportionate negative impact on Black college athletes, many of whom are from low-income homes. Black college athletes make up the majority of revenue sport athletes yet suffer the lowest graduation rates.”

The framework also has the backing of the National College Players Association (NCPA), an advocacy group that fights for fair treatment for college athletes and includes more than 20,000 Division I athletes from more than 150 college campuses. The USW has strongly supported the work of the NCPA since the organization’s inception in 2001.

“The USW has stood in solidarity, side by side, with the NCPA,” Conway wrote. “Our union strongly supports congressional action to put an end to the countless injustices that have plagued college athletes for generations by developing and adopting a sound College Athletes’ Bill of Rights.”

Click here for the full text of the letter.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, mining, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service, public and health care sectors and higher education. 

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Workers Report Kumho’s COVID-19 Safety Lapses https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/workers-report-kumhos-covid-19-safety-lapses Mon, 20 Jul 2020 18:02:28 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/workers-report-kumhos-covid-19-safety-lapses Contact: Joe Smydo, jsmydo@usw.org, 412-562-2281

Workers at Kumho Tire in Macon, Ga., today alerted health officials to rampant COVID-19 safety failures in their workplace.

The workers, who voted to join the United Steelworkers (USW) despite Kumho’s repeated efforts to thwart the election, expressed both their fear that they are unprotected from contracting the coronavirus at the tire plant and their concern that the lack of precautions could put the wider community at risk.

They addressed the Macon-Bibb County Board of Health during a public meeting conducted by telephone because of the pandemic.

The workers said Kumho failed to adequately distribute face masks, supply sanitizer or take other common-sense steps to prevent an outbreak of the virus. Now, as COVID-19 sweeps through the plant, company officials refuse to implement consistent social distancing or provide sufficient paid sick leave for workers forced into quarantine.

“The only thing important to them is the tires,” said one worker, who brings his own mask and sanitizer to the plant yet still fears catching the virus because he has close contact with colleagues on every shift.

While expecting workers to risk COVID-19 without proper safeguards, he said, managers “won’t come out on the floor anymore because they don’t want to get it and take it home to their families.”

Other workers reported that Kumho still refuses to regularly and thoroughly disinfect the factory, consistently limit the use of common areas or give details about the rash of COVID-19 cases, such as the number of colleagues infected.

“Kumho’s disregard for its workers’ welfare during this deadly pandemic is disappointing but not surprising,” said USW District 9 Director Daniel Flippo, who leads thousands of Steelworkers in Georgia, six other southern states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “This company amassed a huge list of health and safety violations long before COVID-19 hit. Sadly, Kumho cares more about undermining workers’ labor rights than keeping them, their families and the community safe.”

In 2017, workers narrowly lost a unionization vote after Kumho waged an illegal campaign of harassment and intimidation. An administrative law judge found the company’s misconduct so egregious that he not only ordered a new election but directed the company to read a list of its violations.

During the second election, held last fall, workers voted 141 to 137 for USW representation, with 13 additional challenged ballots. Kumho dragged out the appeals process, but the National Labor Relations Board last week ordered the remaining ballots counted. No date has been set for the count.

“Workers voted to unionize because Kumho refused to treat them fairly,” District 9 Staff Representative Alex Perkins said. “The company’s callous failure to protect them from COVID-19 shows just how urgently they need union protections.”

More information about the workers’ concerns may be found here.

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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Workers Report Kumho’s COVID-19 Safety Lapses https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/workers-report-kumhos-covid-19-safety-lapses Mon, 20 Jul 2020 18:02:28 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/workers-report-kumhos-covid-19-safety-lapses Contact: Joe Smydo, jsmydo@usw.org, 412-562-2281

Workers at Kumho Tire in Macon, Ga., today alerted health officials to rampant COVID-19 safety failures in their workplace.

The workers, who voted to join the United Steelworkers (USW) despite Kumho’s repeated efforts to thwart the election, expressed both their fear that they are unprotected from contracting the coronavirus at the tire plant and their concern that the lack of precautions could put the wider community at risk.

They addressed the Macon-Bibb County Board of Health during a public meeting conducted by telephone because of the pandemic.

The workers said Kumho failed to adequately distribute face masks, supply sanitizer or take other common-sense steps to prevent an outbreak of the virus. Now, as COVID-19 sweeps through the plant, company officials refuse to implement consistent social distancing or provide sufficient paid sick leave for workers forced into quarantine.

“The only thing important to them is the tires,” said one worker, who brings his own mask and sanitizer to the plant yet still fears catching the virus because he has close contact with colleagues on every shift.

While expecting workers to risk COVID-19 without proper safeguards, he said, managers “won’t come out on the floor anymore because they don’t want to get it and take it home to their families.”

Other workers reported that Kumho still refuses to regularly and thoroughly disinfect the factory, consistently limit the use of common areas or give details about the rash of COVID-19 cases, such as the number of colleagues infected.

“Kumho’s disregard for its workers’ welfare during this deadly pandemic is disappointing but not surprising,” said USW District 9 Director Daniel Flippo, who leads thousands of Steelworkers in Georgia, six other southern states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “This company amassed a huge list of health and safety violations long before COVID-19 hit. Sadly, Kumho cares more about undermining workers’ labor rights than keeping them, their families and the community safe.”

In 2017, workers narrowly lost a unionization vote after Kumho waged an illegal campaign of harassment and intimidation. An administrative law judge found the company’s misconduct so egregious that he not only ordered a new election but directed the company to read a list of its violations.

During the second election, held last fall, workers voted 141 to 137 for USW representation, with 13 additional challenged ballots. Kumho dragged out the appeals process, but the National Labor Relations Board last week ordered the remaining ballots counted. No date has been set for the count.

“Workers voted to unionize because Kumho refused to treat them fairly,” District 9 Staff Representative Alex Perkins said. “The company’s callous failure to protect them from COVID-19 shows just how urgently they need union protections.”

More information about the workers’ concerns may be found here.

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: KPS Purchase of Briggs & Stratton Will Rescue Hundreds of Jobs https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-kps-purchase-of-briggs-stratton-will-rescue-hundreds-of-jobs Mon, 20 Jul 2020 08:26:35 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-kps-purchase-of-briggs-stratton-will-rescue-hundreds-of-jobs Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that KPS Capital Partners’ (KPS) acquisition of Briggs & Stratton will save hundreds of jobs at the bankrupt engine maker’s Milwaukee manufacturing facility.

USW International President Tom Conway said that KPS, a private equity firm, has a proven track record of investing in manufacturing facilities and operating them profitably and sustainably.

“Steelworkers, our families and communities cannot afford to allow these good, union jobs to continue to disappear,” Conway said. “KPS brings experience and a long-term business plan geared toward keeping our plant viable and employment secure.”

USW District 2 Director Michael Bolton praised the union workers for standing together and keeping focused on working safely throughout Briggs & Stratton’s recent financial struggles.

“Our union is committed to working with KPS to ensure that the proud tradition of engine-making is preserved for future generations of USW members here in Milwaukee,” Bolton said. “As long as workers remain united in solidarity, there are no limits to what we can accomplish.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 public sector and service occupations.

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USW: KPS Purchase of Briggs & Stratton Will Rescue Hundreds of Jobs https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-kps-purchase-of-briggs-stratton-will-rescue-hundreds-of-jobs Mon, 20 Jul 2020 08:26:35 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-kps-purchase-of-briggs-stratton-will-rescue-hundreds-of-jobs Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that KPS Capital Partners’ (KPS) acquisition of Briggs & Stratton will save hundreds of jobs at the bankrupt engine maker’s Milwaukee manufacturing facility.

USW International President Tom Conway said that KPS, a private equity firm, has a proven track record of investing in manufacturing facilities and operating them profitably and sustainably.

“Steelworkers, our families and communities cannot afford to allow these good, union jobs to continue to disappear,” Conway said. “KPS brings experience and a long-term business plan geared toward keeping our plant viable and employment secure.”

USW District 2 Director Michael Bolton praised the union workers for standing together and keeping focused on working safely throughout Briggs & Stratton’s recent financial struggles.

“Our union is committed to working with KPS to ensure that the proud tradition of engine-making is preserved for future generations of USW members here in Milwaukee,” Bolton said. “As long as workers remain united in solidarity, there are no limits to what we can accomplish.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 public sector and service occupations.

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USW: America Loses Irreplaceable Civil, Human Rights Leader with Passing of John Lewis https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-america-loses-irreplaceable-civil-human-rights-leader-with-passing-of-john-lewis Sat, 18 Jul 2020 11:00:00 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-america-loses-irreplaceable-civil-human-rights-leader-with-passing-of-john-lewis Contact: Chelsey Engel, (412) 212-5178, cengel@usw.org

“The USW is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of U.S. Rep. John Lewis.

“His endless courage in the face of injustice is a reminder of what ordinary people can do in extraordinary times – though, one could easily argue Rep. Lewis was far beyond ordinary.

“Often referred to as ‘the conscience of Congress,’ Rep. Lewis was always on the front of the line in the fight for civil rights.

“Even before he joined Congress in 1987, Rep. Lewis never faltered in his quest for justice. From marching in Selma, Ala., as an original Freedom Rider alongside Dr. King in 1965 to organizing a sit-in for gun control regulations following the deadly Pulse shooting in 2016, Rep. Lewis showed us all what it means to be a person of integrity and strength.

“Every decision he made in Congress, he made with people at the center of his mind, not politics. Every step he took in life, he took in the same way – with great purpose and passion – no matter what might face him on the other side.

“That is why we are not simply moved to tears by Rep. Lewis’s death, but moved to action. We will fight for every American’s right to vote, for their right to come home at night after work in the same condition they left, and for their right to a life of dignity and liberty.

“May we uplift the values Rep. Lewis embodied every day, and may he rest as he lived – in power and in peace.”

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: America Loses Irreplaceable Civil, Human Rights Leader with Passing of John Lewis https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-america-loses-irreplaceable-civil-human-rights-leader-with-passing-of-john-lewis Sat, 18 Jul 2020 11:00:00 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-america-loses-irreplaceable-civil-human-rights-leader-with-passing-of-john-lewis Contact: Chelsey Engel, (412) 212-5178, cengel@usw.org

“The USW is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of U.S. Rep. John Lewis.

“His endless courage in the face of injustice is a reminder of what ordinary people can do in extraordinary times – though, one could easily argue Rep. Lewis was far beyond ordinary.

“Often referred to as ‘the conscience of Congress,’ Rep. Lewis was always on the front of the line in the fight for civil rights.

“Even before he joined Congress in 1987, Rep. Lewis never faltered in his quest for justice. From marching in Selma, Ala., as an original Freedom Rider alongside Dr. King in 1965 to organizing a sit-in for gun control regulations following the deadly Pulse shooting in 2016, Rep. Lewis showed us all what it means to be a person of integrity and strength.

“Every decision he made in Congress, he made with people at the center of his mind, not politics. Every step he took in life, he took in the same way – with great purpose and passion – no matter what might face him on the other side.

“That is why we are not simply moved to tears by Rep. Lewis’s death, but moved to action. We will fight for every American’s right to vote, for their right to come home at night after work in the same condition they left, and for their right to a life of dignity and liberty.

“May we uplift the values Rep. Lewis embodied every day, and may he rest as he lived – in power and in peace.”

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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Graduate Committee at Pitt Applauds Reversal of International Student Rule https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/graduate-committee-at-pitt-applauds-reversal-of-international-student-rule Tue, 14 Jul 2020 16:52:50 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/graduate-committee-at-pitt-applauds-reversal-of-international-student-rule CONTACTR.J. Hufnagel, 412-562-2450

The Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC) at the University of Pittsburgh applauded today’s reversal by the Trump administration of new guidelines that it had issued earlier this month that could have forced thousands of international students to leave the country.

The Trump administration had issued a directive to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on July 6 that international students pursuing degrees at universities in the United States would lose their visas and face deportation if their classes were online-only this fall as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are happy to see the reversal of this unnecessary, arbitrary and potentially devastating policy, a decision that never should have been made in the first place,” said Alnica Visser, a fifth-year doctoral candidate in philosophy. “International students are an absolutely essential part of this campus, this city and this nation. We should never have faced a potential choice between our education and our livelihood, and the health and well-being of ourselves and our loved ones.” 

The reversal of the policy comes after more than a week of intense activism by international students and supporters both at Pitt and across the country calling for the rule to be scrapped. On Monday, Pitt filed a brief supporting a lawsuit by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University seeking a reversal of the administration’s directive to ICE. State attorneys general also filed suit over the policy.

The GSOC is seeking to organize Pitt grad students into the United Steelworkers (USW) union. The workers fell just short in a vote to join the USW in April 2019, an outcome that came as a result of unfair labor practices by the university.

A Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board hearing examiner ordered a new election, but the university contested that ruling. In its effort to fight unionization by grad students, as well as a concurrent campaign by the university faculty to join the USW, Pitt has spent more than $1 million to employ infamous union-busting firm Ballard Spahr of Philadelphia.

“This reversal is a significant victory for this student body, and it shows the true power of collective action to effect change. We are glad that, in this case, Pitt did the right thing, but the administration must do far more to support its international students,” said Visser. “Pitt should immediately halt its union-busting efforts and redirect those resources to support the students, faculty and community during this incredibly difficult time.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, mining, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service, public and health care sectors and higher education. 

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Graduate Committee at Pitt Applauds Reversal of International Student Rule https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/graduate-committee-at-pitt-applauds-reversal-of-international-student-rule Tue, 14 Jul 2020 16:52:50 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/graduate-committee-at-pitt-applauds-reversal-of-international-student-rule CONTACTR.J. Hufnagel, 412-562-2450

The Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC) at the University of Pittsburgh applauded today’s reversal by the Trump administration of new guidelines that it had issued earlier this month that could have forced thousands of international students to leave the country.

The Trump administration had issued a directive to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on July 6 that international students pursuing degrees at universities in the United States would lose their visas and face deportation if their classes were online-only this fall as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are happy to see the reversal of this unnecessary, arbitrary and potentially devastating policy, a decision that never should have been made in the first place,” said Alnica Visser, a fifth-year doctoral candidate in philosophy. “International students are an absolutely essential part of this campus, this city and this nation. We should never have faced a potential choice between our education and our livelihood, and the health and well-being of ourselves and our loved ones.” 

The reversal of the policy comes after more than a week of intense activism by international students and supporters both at Pitt and across the country calling for the rule to be scrapped. On Monday, Pitt filed a brief supporting a lawsuit by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University seeking a reversal of the administration’s directive to ICE. State attorneys general also filed suit over the policy.

The GSOC is seeking to organize Pitt grad students into the United Steelworkers (USW) union. The workers fell just short in a vote to join the USW in April 2019, an outcome that came as a result of unfair labor practices by the university.

A Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board hearing examiner ordered a new election, but the university contested that ruling. In its effort to fight unionization by grad students, as well as a concurrent campaign by the university faculty to join the USW, Pitt has spent more than $1 million to employ infamous union-busting firm Ballard Spahr of Philadelphia.

“This reversal is a significant victory for this student body, and it shows the true power of collective action to effect change. We are glad that, in this case, Pitt did the right thing, but the administration must do far more to support its international students,” said Visser. “Pitt should immediately halt its union-busting efforts and redirect those resources to support the students, faculty and community during this incredibly difficult time.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, mining, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service, public and health care sectors and higher education. 

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USW Welcomes ITC’s Preliminary Determination on PVLT Tires from Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-welcomes-itcs-preliminary-determination-on-pvlt-tires-from-korea-taiwan-thailand-and-vietnam Tue, 14 Jul 2020 14:34:04 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-welcomes-itcs-preliminary-determination-on-pvlt-tires-from-korea-taiwan-thailand-and-vietnam CONTACT: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-456-2444

The United Steelworkers (USW) union today welcomed the ITC’s preliminary determination on passenger vehicle and light truck (PVLT) tires from Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

“Domestic tire workers, including USW members, know better than anyone how much dumping and illegal subsides hurt our industries and jeopardize U.S. jobs,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “They’ve lived in fear for far too long that their good, family-sustaining jobs and their communities would be the next victims of bad actors looking to exploit the American market.

“Today’s ITC determination allows us to move forward with a much-needed investigation into these four countries’ trading practices and ultimately institute remedies that will allow U.S. tire producers to compete on a level playing field.”

The USW filed antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) petitions against the four countries on May 13. The Commerce Department initiated an investigation on June 23.

“U.S. workers need help now,” said Kevin Johnsen, who chairs the USW’s Rubber and Plastics Industry Conference. “They cannot be left to contend with unfair trade on their own.

“Today’s decision is a step in the right direction toward staunching the flow of illegally traded PVLT tires into the United States.”

The USW is the largest North American union in tire manufacturing, representing workers who make PVLT tires at plants in eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, North Carolina, New York and Virginia.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, mining, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service, public and health care sectors and higher education. 

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USW Welcomes ITC’s Preliminary Determination on PVLT Tires from Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-welcomes-itcs-preliminary-determination-on-pvlt-tires-from-korea-taiwan-thailand-and-vietnam Tue, 14 Jul 2020 14:34:04 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-welcomes-itcs-preliminary-determination-on-pvlt-tires-from-korea-taiwan-thailand-and-vietnam CONTACT: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-456-2444

The United Steelworkers (USW) union today welcomed the ITC’s preliminary determination on passenger vehicle and light truck (PVLT) tires from Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

“Domestic tire workers, including USW members, know better than anyone how much dumping and illegal subsides hurt our industries and jeopardize U.S. jobs,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “They’ve lived in fear for far too long that their good, family-sustaining jobs and their communities would be the next victims of bad actors looking to exploit the American market.

“Today’s ITC determination allows us to move forward with a much-needed investigation into these four countries’ trading practices and ultimately institute remedies that will allow U.S. tire producers to compete on a level playing field.”

The USW filed antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) petitions against the four countries on May 13. The Commerce Department initiated an investigation on June 23.

“U.S. workers need help now,” said Kevin Johnsen, who chairs the USW’s Rubber and Plastics Industry Conference. “They cannot be left to contend with unfair trade on their own.

“Today’s decision is a step in the right direction toward staunching the flow of illegally traded PVLT tires into the United States.”

The USW is the largest North American union in tire manufacturing, representing workers who make PVLT tires at plants in eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, North Carolina, New York and Virginia.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, mining, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service, public and health care sectors and higher education. 

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USW Applauds Biden’s Plan for Manufacturing, Innovation https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-applauds-bidens-plan-for-manufacturing-innovation Thu, 09 Jul 2020 07:39:30 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-applauds-bidens-plan-for-manufacturing-innovation Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org                                                                                                                                                        

PITTSBURGH – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement in response to the manufacturing and innovation segment of Joe Biden’s Build Back Better economic plan, released today:

“Recovering from the Covid-19 crisis and ensuring shared prosperity for generations to come will take bold action and a sustained commitment. Joe Biden’s plan for revitalizing American manufacturing demonstrates both.

“As the pandemic made clear, our country must be able to supply its own needs. And now, more than ever, we urgently need to create good, family-sustaining jobs, both to stop the economic freefall and reverse decades of rampant economic inequality.

“Biden will jump-start American manufacturing through a long-needed investment in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Coupled with strong ‘Buy American’ provisions that ensure tax money supports domestic industry, this rebuilding campaign will make our country more secure and create millions of jobs. 

“His plan also includes a massive procurement commitment as well as a roadmap for bringing critical supply chains back to the United States. These provisions will put our country on stronger economic footing and bolster our national security.  

“Just as crucially, Biden’s plan acknowledges the necessity of strong labor protections that enable workers to bargain collectively for higher wages and better benefits. By supporting the PRO Act, Biden will ensure that the jobs created through his economic plan are middle-class jobs that enable workers to live the American dream. 

“Our nation needs a leader who understands the necessity of a strong manufacturing base; from medicines to steel to clean energy technology, our country must produce things here and pay workers competitive wages to make them. 

“Joe Biden’s plan demonstrates that he not only grasps the strategic importance of domestic manufacturing but also values American 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 Applauds Biden’s Plan for Manufacturing, Innovation https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-applauds-bidens-plan-for-manufacturing-innovation Thu, 09 Jul 2020 07:39:30 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/usw-applauds-bidens-plan-for-manufacturing-innovation Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org                                                                                                                                                        

PITTSBURGH – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement in response to the manufacturing and innovation segment of Joe Biden’s Build Back Better economic plan, released today:

“Recovering from the Covid-19 crisis and ensuring shared prosperity for generations to come will take bold action and a sustained commitment. Joe Biden’s plan for revitalizing American manufacturing demonstrates both.

“As the pandemic made clear, our country must be able to supply its own needs. And now, more than ever, we urgently need to create good, family-sustaining jobs, both to stop the economic freefall and reverse decades of rampant economic inequality.

“Biden will jump-start American manufacturing through a long-needed investment in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Coupled with strong ‘Buy American’ provisions that ensure tax money supports domestic industry, this rebuilding campaign will make our country more secure and create millions of jobs. 

“His plan also includes a massive procurement commitment as well as a roadmap for bringing critical supply chains back to the United States. These provisions will put our country on stronger economic footing and bolster our national security.  

“Just as crucially, Biden’s plan acknowledges the necessity of strong labor protections that enable workers to bargain collectively for higher wages and better benefits. By supporting the PRO Act, Biden will ensure that the jobs created through his economic plan are middle-class jobs that enable workers to live the American dream. 

“Our nation needs a leader who understands the necessity of a strong manufacturing base; from medicines to steel to clean energy technology, our country must produce things here and pay workers competitive wages to make them. 

“Joe Biden’s plan demonstrates that he not only grasps the strategic importance of domestic manufacturing but also values American 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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Pitt Grad Student Organizers Condemn Changes to ICE Student Exchange and Visitor Program Rules https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/pitt-grad-student-organizers-condemn-changes-to-ice-student-exchange-and-visitor-program-rules Wed, 08 Jul 2020 12:51:46 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/pitt-grad-student-organizers-condemn-changes-to-ice-student-exchange-and-visitor-program-rules Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

Members of the Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC-USW) at the University of Pittsburgh today issued a statement expressing solidarity with international students and denouncing the Trump administration’s recent modifications of existing ICE Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) rules.

Under the rule change, students in the United States on F-1 visas must take at least one in-person class or face deportation. This comes at a time when many universities, including the University of Pittsburgh, are still weighing their options for online instruction in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

“This is yet another targeted attack on immigrants disguised as a premature return to ‘business as usual,’” the statement reads. “The modified policy not only forces international students to choose between our safety and academic careers, but also makes it especially dangerous for us to join the call to cancel in-person teaching.”

The group commended the Pitt administration’s call to reverse the decision, but stated university leaders needed to do more.

“We ask that Pitt immediately halt its expensive legal campaigns designed to deny us our right to form a union, and instead divert those millions of dollars to take legal action, which must include retaining immigration attorneys to serve students and faculty,” the statement reads.

“As a union, we are committed to fighting for the rights of all people to study, teach, and conduct research without having to compromise their health, safety, or visa status. We will not sit idly by while more workers become collateral damage due to the U.S. government’s abdication of its duties. Similarly, we will continue to hold the Pitt administration accountable to make sure it protects the safety and wellbeing of our community when making decisions about the upcoming academic year,” according to the statement.

Graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh filed for an election to join the USW in 2017. Last fall, a Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board hearing examiner found that the university administration committed “coercive acts” that undermined the integrity of that election, held in April 2019, and ordered a new one. The Pitt administration appealed the decision, and this process is still underway.

The full GSOC-USW statement on the SEVP rule changes is available here

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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Pitt Grad Student Organizers Condemn Changes to ICE Student Exchange and Visitor Program Rules https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/pitt-grad-student-organizers-condemn-changes-to-ice-student-exchange-and-visitor-program-rules Wed, 08 Jul 2020 12:51:46 -0500 https://m.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2020/pitt-grad-student-organizers-condemn-changes-to-ice-student-exchange-and-visitor-program-rules Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

Members of the Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC-USW) at the University of Pittsburgh today issued a statement expressing solidarity with international students and denouncing the Trump administration’s recent modifications of existing ICE Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) rules.

Under the rule change, students in the United States on F-1 visas must take at least one in-person class or face deportation. This comes at a time when many universities, including the University of Pittsburgh, are still weighing their options for online instruction in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

“This is yet another targeted attack on immigrants disguised as a premature return to ‘business as usual,’” the statement reads. “The modified policy not only forces international students to choose between our safety and academic careers, but also makes it especially dangerous for us to join the call to cancel in-person teaching.”

The group commended the Pitt administration’s call to reverse the decision, but stated university leaders needed to do more.

“We ask that Pitt immediately halt its expensive legal campaigns designed to deny us our right to form a union, and instead divert those millions of dollars to take legal action, which must include retaining immigration attorneys to serve students and faculty,” the statement reads.

“As a union, we are committed to fighting for the rights of all people to study, teach, and conduct research without having to compromise their health, safety, or visa status. We will not sit idly by while more workers become collateral damage due to the U.S. government’s abdication of its duties. Similarly, we will continue to hold the Pitt administration accountable to make sure it protects the safety and wellbeing of our community when making decisions about the upcoming academic year,” according to the statement.

Graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh filed for an election to join the USW in 2017. Last fall, a Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board hearing examiner found that the university administration committed “coercive acts” that undermined the integrity of that election, held in April 2019, and ordered a new one. The Pitt administration appealed the decision, and this process is still underway.

The full GSOC-USW statement on the SEVP rule changes is available here

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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