Stat Facts: USW Health Care Member Spotlight: Kathy Whitaker, District 8

USW Health Care Workers Council Coordinator Kathy Whitaker always knew she enjoyed helping others and wanted to pursue a career that allowed her to give back. Health care turned out to be just the ticket, and for the past 27 years, she has been working in a fast-growing industry that, thanks to the union, has afforded her a good, family-supportive job.

“In 1991, I was working as a hotel clerk, and I was making very little money with no benefits,” said Whitaker, now a nursing service clerk at Hazard Appalachian Regional Health Care. “Ever since I was hired [at Hazard] in 1992, I’ve been in the union. I would not have it any other way.”

To Whitaker, vice president of Local 14637, being a union member means having a stronger voice and better working conditions. It also means having the opportunity to forge relationships built on respect and solidarity with her fellow Steelworkers.

“I love all of my coworkers,” she said. “I have learned so much from them.”

These bonds proved vital when, in 2007, Whitaker and her coworkers went on strike.

“We stood together on that line for three weeks,” she said. “I was really proud that we stood strong.”

When Whitaker isn’t standing union strong, she loves spending time with her family, camping, lounging in her pontoon on the lake, and flipping houses.

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