Raiders’ New Stadium Coming with a Healthy Amount of American Steel In It

Jeffrey Bonior

Jeffrey Bonior Researcher, AAM

The National Football League’s Raiders are leaving Oakland for Las Vegas and are finally getting what they’ve desired for decades – a new stadium.

It will be made with American-made steel, just like US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the site of last Sunday’s thrilling Super Bowl.

Merrill Steel plant in Springfield, Missouri will provide approximately 10,000 tons of steel for the new venue. That is roughly a third of the total amount of steel being used for the home of the Las Vegas Raiders. In contrast, 14,400 tons of American steel were used when building US Bank Stadium.

The order for the steel is the largest Merrill Steel has ever received. Plant manager Greg Rajeck said the deal will consume his entire production floor by November.

“It’s outstanding,” Rajeck told Springfield’s NBC affiliate KY3. “It’s great for the community, great for Merrill. It means an increase in jobs. We have a great team here and we’re always looking for more.”

Merrill’s contract sets a delivery date of the steel by July 2019. The plan is for the Raiders to move into their new home by the 2020 NFL season.

Merrill Steel is no rookie company in providing American steel for sports venues. They supplied steel for the new Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, the site of next year’s Super Bowl. They’ve also manufactured steel for Notre Dame University’s recent stadium expansion and JGH Arena in Springfield.

Las Vegas Stadium will also be the new home of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) football team.

The $1.9 billion domed stadium will have a seating capacity of 65,000, which can be expanded to 72,000 seats for a Super Bowl game. This is nearly the same seating capacity of US Bank Stadium, which expanded to 72,000 for the Philadelphia Eagles' win over the New England Patriots.

The stadium features a retractable grass field and will offer views of the Las Vegas Strip.

“The schedule is fairly aggressive,” said Rajeck. “That is the largest challenge right now.”

It’s a challenge, but American steel companies have shown their superiority in delivering top quality steel in a timely manner. Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., site of Super Bowl 50 in 2016, was built with American steel. In what seemed like a manufacturing miracle, Levi’s Stadium was erected in five months after the steel was delivered and came in about $80 million under budget.

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Uber Drivers Deserve Legal Rights and Protections

By Kathleen Mackey
USW Intern

In an advisory memo released May 14, the U.S. labor board general counsel’s office stated that Uber drivers are not employees for the purposes of federal labor laws.

Their stance holds that workers for companies like Uber are not included in federal protections for workplace organizing activities, which means the labor board is effectively denying Uber drivers the benefits of forming or joining unions.

Simply stating that Uber drivers are just gig workers does not suddenly undo the unjust working conditions that all workers potentially face, such as wage theft, dangerous working conditions and  job insecurity. These challenges are ever-present, only now Uber drivers are facing them without the protection or resources they deserve. 

The labor board’s May statement even seems to contradict an Obama-era National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling that couriers for Postmates, a job very similar to Uber drivers’, are legal employees.

However, the Department of Labor has now stated that such gig workers are simply independent contractors, meaning that they are not entitled to minimum wages or overtime pay.

While being unable to unionize limits these workers’ ability to fight for improved pay and working conditions, independent contractors can still make strides forward by organizing, explained executive director of New York Taxi Workers Alliance Bhairavi Desai.

“We can’t depend solely on the law or the courts to stop worker exploitation. We can only rely on the steadfast militancy of workers who are rising up everywhere,” Desai said in a statement. 

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Make Father's Day Union Made!

Make Father's Day Union Made!