November Update from SOAR Director Julie Stein

Active and Retired Workers are Watching

Tuesday, November 5 marked another momentous election for union-endorsed candidates, with the two most notable demonstrations of the labor movement resurgence coming from Kentucky and Virginia.

In Virginia, the labor movement and our union, specifically, will remember this election as a significant victory in our work to reverse the many ways Virginians have been hurt by the state’s so-called “Right to Work” law and the persistence of an anti-worker majority in the State House (1997-2019) and State Senate (2015-2019).

Our union committed significant resources in this campaign with a core group of activists who knocked doors in addition to a targeted “Get-Out-The-Vote” mailing that hit mailboxes just before Election Day. USW activists accounted for more walk shifts than any other affiliate that participated in the AFL-CIO program, which helped lift six union-backed candidates to victory in legislative districts previously held by anti-labor lawmakers (two in the State Senate and four in the House).

This new pro-worker majority in the state legislature will be a welcome addition to the labor-friendly Governor, Ralph Northam, who we helped elect in 2017.

In Kentucky, USW activists led the way in a labor-led victory for Andy Beshear, defeating incumbent Governor Matt Bevin who earned the ire of teachers and first-responders when he supported legislation that would force them to work longer before even being eligible for retirement, and enforce deep cuts in benefits for future retirees. Additionally, Bevin reversed the state’s tradition of respecting union rights when he signed the so-called “Right to Work” law in 2017.

On the promise to fight on behalf of retirees and workers in Kentucky, Andy Beshear pledged to work with labor to protect pensions, strengthen public education, and expand access to good jobs and health care.

With 2020 on everyone’s mind, we should understand one thing very clear: Active and retired  workers are watching.


Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

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

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

Mailing Address

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