United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/rss United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed 2019-08-17 09:43:45 -0500 AMPS en hourly 1 USW Members Ratify Contract with BF Goodrich https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-members-ratify-contract-with-bf-goodrich Sat, 17 Aug 2019 09:43:45 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-members-ratify-contract-with-bf-goodrich CONTACT: R.J. Hufnagel, (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

PITTSBURGH (Aug. 17) – Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union voted to ratify a new three-year contract with BF Goodrich covering about 2,500 workers at facilities in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Fort Wayne, Ind. 

The agreement, which passed by about a 2-to-1 margin, includes annual wage increases and bonuses, maintains quality, affordable health care coverage, and strengthens retirement benefits.

“These hard-working union members, along with tire workers across the industry, are facing a number of challenges, first and foremost the threats of foreign competition and unfair trade,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway. “They should be proud that they were able to reach an agreement that maintains family-supporting jobs while ensuring the long-term competitiveness of their facilities.”

The USW’s previous three-year agreement with BF Goodrich expired on July 27. The two sides began talks for a new contract this spring. The new agreement runs through July 30, 2022.

Kevin Johnsen, chair of the USW’s Rubber/Plastic Industry Council, said the agreement was a testament to the strength and solidarity of the union’s membership.

“It was only by standing up with one voice and confronting these challenges together that we could reach a fair and equitable agreement,” Johnsen said.

Overall, the USW represents more than 18,000 workers in the tire industry at companies including BF Goodrich, Goodyear, Bridgestone-Firestone, Titan, Cooper, Sumitomo and Uniroyal.

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

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Carnegie Library Workers Vote to Join United Steelworkers https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/carnegie-library-workers-vote-to-join-united-steelworkers Wed, 14 Aug 2019 19:31:57 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/carnegie-library-workers-vote-to-join-united-steelworkers Contact: Chelsey Engel, cengel@usw.org, (412) 562-2446

(Pittsburgh) – Workers at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh voted overwhelmingly to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union today after launching their organizing campaign in June. They are seeking a collective bargaining agreement that would cover employees across 19 branches and the library support center. 

“We are honored to welcome these vital community builders into our growing union,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway. “This is a big step toward making the library more fair and equitable for the workers that keep it thriving.”

The United Library Workers began discussing unionization last summer in hopes of gaining a voice when it comes to making decisions that affect the library, the people they serve, and their own working environment.

“I am so excited for us to start this next chapter and look forward to working toward a contract that we deserve,” said Isabelle Toomey, a children’s librarian at the Downtown and Business branch. “And I am proud of my fellow co-workers for coming together and utilizing our right to organize.”

The Teamsters and SEIU currently represent the Carnegie Library’s drivers and environmental service workers. This new effort includes all 321 remaining eligible staff who will join a growing number of white-collar Steelworkers in Allegheny County.

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 Announces New Leadership for its Legislative, Policy and Rapid Response Programs https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-announces-new-leadership-for-its-legislative-policy-and-rapid-response-programs Tue, 13 Aug 2019 12:18:12 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-announces-new-leadership-for-its-legislative-policy-and-rapid-response-programs CONTACT: Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) union today announced a series of promotions impacting its legislative and policy work in Washington, D.C., and statehouses across the country.

“Our union’s legislative arm gives workers a much needed voice. Whether it’s about reforming our nation’s broken trade system or keeping workers safe on the job, ordinary people deserve to have their elected officials listen to their priorities,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway.

“Each of our new leaders is highly qualified and committed to making sure the laws and policies that are enacted at all levels of government benefit working people.”

Roy Houseman will serve as USW legislative director, overseeing the union’s national agenda, while Anna Fendley is assuming the newly created position of director of regulatory and state policy.

Houseman has been a part of the union’s legislative and policy department since 2011, previously serving as associate legislative director and working on a broad array of issues including trade and pensions. Before coming to Washington, D.C., Houseman worked at the former Smurfit-Stone paper mill in Missoula, Mont., serving as president of USW Local 885. As legislative director, Roy will oversee Congressional affairs for the union, working to improve wages, hours and conditions for USW members and their families.

Fendley has worked in various positions at the USW for a decade, most recently as associate legislative director in the union’s Washington, D.C., office. In her new role, she will further the union’s goal to proactively influence state-level policies to keep USW members working and to create high-quality jobs in their communities. She will also continue her work on federal policy impacting safety and health, as well as building and maintaining coalitions with other policy-oriented organizations such as the BlueGreen Alliance.

There is also new leadership of USW Rapid Response program, the union’s nonpartisan, grassroots effort that empowers USW members to participate in the legislative process.

Kim Miller, who was appointed director of Rapid Response in 2010, has been promoted to Assistant to the USW President. For more than two decades, Miller has fought to advance workers’ rights, first as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill and later for the USW.  Now, she will advise USW leaders on political, legislative and policy issues, working with the USW’s Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. offices.

Amber Miller is the new USW Rapid Response director. Miller began her career at Chase Brass and Copper Co. in Montpelier, Ohio, where she served in a variety of leadership roles, including local union president. When she came to Pittsburgh in 2012, Miller joined the Rapid Response staff. As director, she will help USW members to use their collective voice to engage with legislative issues that impact their workplaces and labor contracts.

“The laws and policies enacted at both the national and state level have a huge impact on nearly all of the diverse sectors where our members work,” said USW International Vice President Roxanne Brown, who oversees the union’s public policy, legislative and political agendas. “Our union is lucky to have this new team leading these fights.”

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

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USW Mourns Loss of Life in Dayton and El Paso, Calls for Unity, Action https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-mourns-loss-of-life-in-dayton-and-el-paso-calls-for-unity-action Wed, 07 Aug 2019 16:00:38 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-mourns-loss-of-life-in-dayton-and-el-paso-calls-for-unity-action CONTACT: Fred Redmond, fredmond@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Thomas M. Conway released the following statement regarding the mass shootings that took place this past weekend:

“We are all brokenhearted at the acts of senseless violence that have taken the lives of at least 31 people in Dayton and El Paso. This includes a daughter and a niece of two separate USW members in Ohio. We send our condolences to all the loved ones left mourning, and we grieve with them.

“Unions and moral people everywhere must work to combat the surge of hate and divisiveness plaguing our nation. Politicians and public figures must also better acknowledge that their words have power and that we can only heal when we come together to stand as one.

“Beyond that work, though, America needs to come to terms with the destructive killing power and nature of the weapons available to nearly anyone with the resources to purchase them. These weapons are turned against both law enforcement and innocent civilians far too often, and that should be intolerable to us as citizens.  

“The Trump administration has the means to make real change by implementing stronger, common-sense regulations, which the vast majority of Americans support. It also has a duty to denounce hatred and bigotry instead of giving them a platform.

“Americans are calling on their elected leaders to finally stand up and do something. They need to listen.”

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

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USW Joins Filing Seeking Anti-Circumvention Inquiry in Uncoated Paper Orders on Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia and Portugal https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-joins-filing-seeking-anti-circumvention-inquiry-in-uncoated-paper-orders-on-australia-brazil-china-indonesia-and-portugal Fri, 02 Aug 2019 15:18:09 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-joins-filing-seeking-anti-circumvention-inquiry-in-uncoated-paper-orders-on-australia-brazil-china-indonesia-and-portugal CONTACT:  Holly Hart (202) 778-4384, hhart@usw.org                                                                         

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers (USW) union today joined with several domestic paper producers in filing a request with the U.S. Department of Commerce to address the circumvention of existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on uncoated paper imports.

The original case covered uncoated paper in sheets, largely copy paper.  Foreign producers have shifted to flooding the United States with essentially the same product but doing so in rolls which are then converted into sheets. This is now having the same devastating impact on domestic producers and workers.   

“The domestic paper sector has been under attack for more than twenty years as foreign producers seek to take advantage of our market, putting our members’ jobs in jeopardy.  Thousands have been lost to foreign unfair trade practices,” said USW International Vice President Leeann Foster, who oversees bargaining in the union’s paper sector. “Our trade laws are supposed to defend American workers and industries by addressing foreign unfair and predatory trade practices. We need our government to stand up for domestic jobs and stop the assaults on our workers.”

The domestic producers joining today’s effort are Domtar Corporation, Packaging Corporation of America, North Pacific Paper Company and Finch Paper. The products undermining U.S. producers and workers come from Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia and Portugal. 

“We were forced to fight to get trade relief against dumping and subsidies of uncoated paper in sheet form only to now see our competitors circumventing the law by sending it into our market in rolls, then having it cut here,” said Foster. “The USW will continue that fight against unfair trade until every last domestic job is safe.”

“Too many foreign companies and governments seek to avoid playing by the rules and will do whatever they can to undermine our producers and steal our jobs,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway. “The USW has fought for decades to see that our laws provide a level playing field for our members, but despite promises of a new approach to trade, workers continue to have to fight for their own jobs and for the enforcement of our trade laws.  

“Handling circumvention promptly is an important part of effective enforcement. Hopefully, the Administration will act quickly.” 

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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District 1 Director Names New Assistant https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/district-1-director-names-new-assistant Fri, 26 Jul 2019 15:46:04 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/district-1-director-names-new-assistant CONTACT: R.J. Hufnagel: (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) District 1 Director Donnie Blatt, who took office on July 15, this week named staff representative Teresa Hartley as the new assistant to the district director.

Before becoming director on July 15, Blatt served as the assistant to his predecessor, David McCall, who last week left that post to become the USW’s International Vice President (Administration).

Hartley began her USW career in 1995 when she went to work for InterMetro Industries in Fostoria, Ohio. There, she became a member of USW Local 1915 and attended her first USW Women of Steel (WOS) conference, which gave Hartley her first exposure to the union’s culture of activism.

In 2000, Hartley began working at the Cooper Tire factory in Findlay, Ohio, where she became a member of USW Local 207L. She quickly became active in the local, serving as the chair of the local union’s Women of Steel Committee. 

Hartley attended five years of WOS leadership courses, learning about all aspects of the union and how to advocate on behalf of all workers. Hartley went on to serve as the district’s civil rights coordinator and Women of Steel coordinator.

“This union gave me a voice. I have been afforded the opportunity to work closely with the sisters, brothers and siblings in our district and to provide the same opportunities and education to them that I have had for myself,” Hartley said. “As times have changed, so has the union, and I feel we have made great progress in District 1 the last several years under the leadership of then-Director McCall and Assistant to the Director Blatt. I look forward to working with Director Blatt and continuing to move our district forward.”

District 1 represents about 60,000 USW members at workplaces across the state of Ohio.

“Through the years, I have watched Teresa grow into her current leadership role in the district,” Blatt said of Hartley. “As Women of Steel coordinator, civil rights coordinator and a Building Power trainer, Teresa has earned the respect of our members in District 1. She will fill a great leadership role in the district, and I look forward to working with her as my assistant.”

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

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Pitt Faculty Organizers Decry Chancellor’s Refusal to Comply with Labor Board Subpoena https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/pitt-faculty-organizers-decry-chancellors-refusal-to-comply-with-labor-board-subpoena Fri, 19 Jul 2019 08:32:43 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/pitt-faculty-organizers-decry-chancellors-refusal-to-comply-with-labor-board-subpoena CONTACT: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

Faculty union organizers at the University of Pittsburgh today condemned Chancellor Patrick Gallagher’s refusal to fully comply with a subpoena from the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB). 

The subpoena requested information regarding the list of faculty eligible to be in a potential bargaining unit that the Pitt administration provided to the PLRB earlier this year. The administration this week directed its lawyers to defy the request, filing a motion to quash with the board. If successful, the administration would be able to avoid providing nearly all of the requested information.

The USW sought the information in preparation for a PLRB hearing scheduled to begin July 24 to examine the accuracy of the list. Organizers believe the refusal stems from a desire to conceal that the Pitt administration deliberately inflated the number of faculty in order to avoid a union election.

“Given the depths to which Chancellor Gallagher has already sunk in order to thwart our efforts to form a union on campus, it’s unsurprising that the administration is pursuing this course of action,” said William Scott, an associate professor in the English department. “It’s clear that he knows a majority of faculty want a union and is willing to do anything to keep us from voting.”

On June 18, the PLRB ruled that the union’s objections to the list warranted consideration and ordered the Pitt administration to provide it to the organizing committee. Faculty organizers found that the list appears to include several hundred individuals who do not belong, including deans and other administrators, graduate student employees, undergraduate students, faculty who haven’t taught at Pitt in years, faculty who are retired, and even a few faculty who are deceased.

The evidence organizers requested would confirm these findings.

“One of the primary reasons Pitt faculty want a union is because we need more transparency on campus,” said Melinda Ciccocioppo, a lecturer in the department of psychology. “This latest in a string of attacks on our right to vote further illustrates this problem.” 

Pitt faculty filed for a union election in January, citing the erosion of shared governance and the administration’s failure to focus the university’s resources on the core mission of teaching and research.

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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Carnegie Library Workers File for Union Election https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/carnegie-library-workers-file-for-union-election Thu, 18 Jul 2019 15:36:47 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/carnegie-library-workers-file-for-union-election Contact: Chelsey Engel, 412-562-2446, cengel@usw.org

Workers at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh today filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). They are seeking a collective bargaining agreement that would cover employees across 19 public branches and the library support center.

“Filing authorization cards is an exciting milestone for all of us,” said Rachel Masilamani, a part-time librarian at the Downtown and Business location. “It’s no surprise to me that we’re filing today with so many of us committing our support to this democratic process. We all love the library, and are ready to work together to make it even better.”

The United Library Workers began discussing unionization late last summer. They launched their official campaign with the United Steelworkers last month in hopes of gaining a voice when it comes to making decisions that affect the library, the people they serve, and their own working conditions.

“Respectful discussion, protecting one another’s privacy, working towards the greater good, and making well-informed decisions are our core values,” said Masilamani. “This is a big step towards making the library a more fair and equitable place, and I am proud to stand with my coworkers today.”

The committee also called on the library administration to respect workers’ right to organize, remain neutral, and refrain from spending public resources on anti-union activity.

The Teamsters and SEIU currently represent the Carnegie Library’s drivers and environmental service workers. This new organizing effort includes all 350 remaining eligible unrepresented staff who would join a growing number of white-collar Steelworkers in Allegheny County, from public defenders to professors.

The USW represents workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. 

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District 4 Director Names New Assistant https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/district-4-director-names-new-assistant Thu, 18 Jul 2019 13:53:20 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/district-4-director-names-new-assistant CONTACT:  R.J. Hufnagel, (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) District 4 Director Del Vitale, who took office on July 15, today named staff representative David M. Wasiura as the new assistant to the director.

Before becoming director on July 15, Vitale served as assistant to his predecessor, John Shinn, who this week left that post to become the union’s new International Secretary-Treasurer.

District 4 includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Puerto Rico.

Wasiura launched his USW career in 1996 when he followed in his father’s footsteps and began working at the American Brass facility in Buffalo, N.Y. Over the next 15 years, he served in various positions with Local 593, including as vice president and a member of the bargaining committee.

“As a fourth-generation Steelworker, I became involved to give back to my union for all it has provided to myself and my family,” Wasiura said. “As the district organizing coordinator, I have been able to give other workers the same opportunities that I had because of the union. I look forward to working with Director Vitale to grow and strengthen District 4 and fight for all working people.”

In 2004, Wasiura volunteered for the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign, working primarily in Northwestern Pennsylvania, knocking on doors and talking to union members about issues critical to working families.

In June 2010, Wasiura began working in USW’s political department in Pittsburgh, where he helped to coordinate the USW’s national field program to support pro-worker campaigns across the country.

In January 2013, he returned to District 4 to work with local unions in New Jersey and New England before returning to Buffalo as the district’s organizing coordinator.

“Dave is a hard working devoted unionist who will be an asset to District 4 and our members,” Vitale said.

Since returning to Buffalo, Wasiura has served as coordinator of the district’s Next Gen program and as a member of the Western New York Area Labor Federation Executive Board.

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

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USW Names New Chair of Union’s Rubber/Plastic Industry Council https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-names-new-chair-of-unions-rubberplastic-industry-council Wed, 17 Jul 2019 15:45:04 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-names-new-chair-of-unions-rubberplastic-industry-council CONTACT: R.J. Hufnagel, (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Thomas M. Conway today named longtime USW representative Kevin Johnsen to lead the union’s Rubber/Plastic Industry Council (R/PIC).

Johnsen replaces former R/PIC chair Stan Johnson, who retired on July 15 as the union’s secretary-treasurer.

Johnsen joined the union as a member of Local 915L in 1990 when he went to work as a maintenance electrician at Dunlop Tires in Huntsville, Ala. Within a year, he was elected as a shop steward and a member of the safety committee.

He was elected maintenance division chair in 1995 shortly after the merger between the USW and the United Rubber Workers. In addition to maintenance division chair, he served as Rapid Response coordinator and as a delegate to his area labor council.

In 2003, Johnsen was named a union staff representative in District 9, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina and the Virgin Islands. Since then, he has worked with members and locals throughout the district and has served as the coordinator of the USW’s collective bargaining agreement with Goodyear since 2006.

“USW rubber and plastics workers are the hardest-working and most productive in the industry,” Johnsen said. “They make products that are second-to-none. I look forward to continuing to work alongside them in my new role as we fight for better wages and benefits, safer working conditions, a stronger domestic industry, and for just and fair treatment for workers and families everywhere.”

The USW’s R/PIC includes tens of thousands of union members who make vehicle tires and inner tubes, hoses and belts, gaskets, packing and sealing devices, containers and other consumer and commercial products. They work for companies including Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Bridgestone, Cooper, ContiTech, Titan, Poly-Seal, Sumitomo Rubber and Uniroyal.

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

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USW Installs Thomas M. Conway as International President https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-installs-thomas-m-conway-as-international-president Mon, 15 Jul 2019 14:19:40 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-installs-thomas-m-conway-as-international-president CONTACT:  Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org    

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers union (USW) today installed Thomas M. Conway as its eighth international president to replace retiring International President Leo W. Gerard. 

“I’ve known Tom for 25 years. He’s earned my admiration, demonstrating a special toughness and a willingness to take on the most difficult jobs and negotiations,” Gerard said. “He has a strong vision and unique perspective about the future, and I know the union will flourish under his leadership.”

Conway began his career as a millwright at Bethlehem Steel in 1978. He has served many positions in the USW, most recently as the union’s international vice president (administration). 

Conway has also chaired many of the union’s major sector bargaining in steel, mining, aluminum, tire and rubber, oil, and other metals and manufacturing operations. 

For nearly a quarter century, Conway has been on the front lines in the union’s fight against unfair trade, demanding that the U.S. government enforce its trade laws to prevent unfairly traded, subsidized and dumped products from damaging domestic industries and destroying good jobs.

The union today also installed John Shinn as its new international secretary-treasurer, David McCall as its new international vice president (administration), Roxanne Brown as its new international vice president at large and Leeann Foster as a new international vice president.

“Our union’s leadership underwent historic change today, but our core values remain the same,” said Conway. “We will always fight on behalf of working people for social and economic justice.”

To see the full installation ceremony, click here

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

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USW Membership Ratifies Three-year Arconic Master Agreement https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-membership-ratifies-three-year-arconic-master-agreement Thu, 11 Jul 2019 19:41:15 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-membership-ratifies-three-year-arconic-master-agreement More information, contact: Tony Montana – 412-562-2592; tmontana@usw.org

 

PITTSBURGH– The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that members of local unions representing Arconic (NYSE: ARNC) employees voted to ratify a three-year master contract covering more than 3,000 hourly workers at the company’s facilities in Davenport, Iowa; Alcoa, Tenn.; Lafayette, Ind.; and Massena, N.Y.

The newly approved contract provides annual general wage increases, applicable to all union members, of 3.5% percent each year, resulting in a 10.5% improvement during its term. It maintains or improves existing benefits, such as supplemental unemployment and health care and retirement provisions for currently active employees. There is also a $1,750 ratification bonus.

USW International Vice President Tom Conway, who chairs the union committee, said that negotiations between the USW and Arconic ended in a completely different tone than they began – with the company demanding major economic and non-economic concessions that the union considered excessive and unnecessary.

“The strength of our union depends on the solidarity of the members,” Conway said. “When called upon, they stood together and demanded from management nothing less than the fair contracts that USW members have earned and deserve.”

Conway called the strike authorization granted by members of local unions participating in the negotiations a turning point for bargaining and credited local union leaders, volunteer activists and the USW negotiating committee’s hard work for resolving issues with management without a labor dispute and without unfairly burdening new hires or retirees.

“This is a great outcome not only for our members at Arconic, but also for workers throughout the aluminum industry and as well for the employer and its customers,” Conway said.

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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Community Members Deliver Petition to Carnegie Library, Demand They Respect Workers’ Union Campaign https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/community-members-deliver-petition-to-carnegie-library-demand-they-respect-workers-union-campaign Thu, 11 Jul 2019 12:27:27 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/community-members-deliver-petition-to-carnegie-library-demand-they-respect-workers-union-campaign Contact: Chelsey Engel, cengel@usw.org, 412-562-2446

(Pittsburgh)—A group of Pittsburgh community members delivered a petition to the Carnegie Library todayin support of the workers’ efforts to unionize with the United Steelworkers. 

The petition, delivered to the main Oakland branch and the East Liberty location, includes over 1,000 signatures calling upon the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to release a statement of neutrality towards the United Library Workers’ unionization efforts and act in good faith. 

"The staff at the library in my community are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful, and they should be able to collectively bargain for better working conditions without resistance or pressure from anti-union law firms," said Jessica Benham of Pittsburgh’s South Side Slopes, who participated in today’s action. "Because at the end of the day, these workers share the same goal as their employer—to serve the community and help improve people’s lives and access to resources.”

The Teamsters and SEIU currently represent the Carnegie Library’s drivers and environmental service workers. This new organizing effort includes all 350 remaining eligible unrepresented staff across 19 public branches and the library support center. The workers hope to gain a seat at the table when it comes to making decisions that affect their patrons as well as their own jobs.

“We need to be able to help make responsible decisions about the services and collections we provide,” said Rachel Masilamani, a part-time librarian at the Downtown and Business branch. “I believe a union will strengthen our voices and our position in serving our communities.”

The petition, launched after the official campaign announcement last month, calls for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to “not spend public resources on anti-union consultants or anything that could be construed as anti-union activity.” It also demands they maintain a neutral environment, free of harassment and intimidation, to refrain from holding mandatory captive audience meetings, and to respect the library workers’ right to form a union.

The USW represents workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.

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USW Oilworkers, Elected Officials to Discuss PES Refinery’s Future https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-oilworkers-elected-officials-to-discuss-pes-refinerys-future Mon, 01 Jul 2019 10:15:11 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-oilworkers-elected-officials-to-discuss-pes-refinerys-future More information, contact: Tony Montana - 412-562-2592 or tmontana@usw.org


PHILADELPHIA– The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that members and leaders of its Local 10-1 will meet with Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, dozens of state lawmakers and other elected officials at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, to discuss the future of the refinery, which was badly damaged during an early morning fire on Friday, June 21, 2019.

The union remains focused on preserving the jobs ofalmost 2,000 workers directly employed by PES and thousands more throughout the region whose employment depends on the refinery to some degree.

USW Local 10-1 President Ryan O’Callaghan, Rep. Scanlon, Deputy Mayor of Labor for the City of Philadelphia Richard Lazer and other speakers will address the immediate future of the facility and its workers, as well as options to resume production and the potential long-term consequences for the regional and national economy if the refinery is permanently shut down.

Attention Assignment/Editors: Speakers, Interviews & Photo Opportunities

WHO:  USW Local 10-1 President Ryan O’Callaghan, union workers, leaders and government officials, including Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, Deputy Mayor of Labor for the City of Philadelphia Richard Lazer and more than 20 state lawmakers

WHAT:  Meeting and news briefing about the future of the PES Refinery

WHEN: Tuesday, July 2, 2019, from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.

WHERE:  USW Local 10-1 – 26 W. Winona Ave., Norwood, Pa., 19074

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USW Condemns Cruel Treatment of Migrants https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-condemns-cruel-treatment-of-migrants Fri, 28 Jun 2019 12:52:15 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-condemns-cruel-treatment-of-migrants  Contact:Fred Redmond, (412) 562-2307

PITTSBURGH—The United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo Gerard released the following statement in response to the reporting from the Mexican border on the shocking conditions of our country’s migrant detention centers:

“The USW prides itself on the morality of our core values and its mission of being a collective voice for the voiceless. Therefore it is our duty, as a union that stands with workers and families everywhere, to condemn the cruel and inhumane treatment of migrant children in our nation’s overcrowded and unsanitary detention centers.

“Our global alliances with organizations and unions like Los Mineros in Mexico serve as a reminder of the common ties that bind nations together.  It is also important to remember that the plight of the people fleeing Mexico and Central America is partly a result of our own country’s failed trade policies that have wrecked their economies and their livelihoods.

“At the end of the day, this is not a partisan issue. This is about human decency. This is about recognizing that many of the people coming to our borders seeking asylum are workers. They are our members’ families. They are Americans in waiting. They deserve humane treatment and a real shot at becoming contributing citizens of our great country.

“The labor movement likes to say, ‘An injustice to one is an injustice to all,’ and we must stand firmly in that belief today.”

The USW represents workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. 

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USW, Arconic Announce Tentative Agreement https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-arconic-announce-tentative-agreement Fri, 28 Jun 2019 12:46:22 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-arconic-announce-tentative-agreement More information, contact: Tony Montana – (412) 562-2592 or tmontana@usw.org

PITTSBURGH– The United Steelworkers (USW) today announced that the union and its locals have reached a tentative agreement with Arconic (NYSE: ARNC) and said that members of its negotiating committee will be returning home in the coming days to set up informational meetings for the membership and making arrangements for ratification.

“This is a good outcome for our bargaining,” said USW International Vice President Tom Conway, who chaired negotiations with Arconic for the union. “We are proud of what we have accomplished thanks to the unity, strength and solidarity that the local union leaders, members and Contract Action Teams have built and demonstrated over the past months in bringing Arconic to the right place.”

The committee will be recommending to the membership that this agreement be ratified. The USW will not be discussing the details of the proposed new contract with the public until after members have had the opportunity to review it with their elected union representatives in the coming days and weeks.

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, Labor Organizations Call on Pa. Senate to Reject E-Verify https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-labor-organizations-call-on-pa-senate-to-reject-e-verify Wed, 26 Jun 2019 08:26:12 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-labor-organizations-call-on-pa-senate-to-reject-e-verify CONTACT: R.J. Hufnagel: (412) 562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

PITTSBURGH (June 25) – District 10 of the United Steelworkers (USW) union, which represents more than 40,000 USW members in Pennsylvania, along with other labor organizations, is calling on the Pennsylvania State Senate to reject legislation that would mandate construction industry employers use the federal E-Verify system to determine if their workers are eligible for employment.

The legislation, House Bill 1170, which passed the Pennsylvania House last week, would penalize companies that fail to subject employees to the E-Verify system, which both workers and employees have condemned as costly and riddled with errors.

“Passing this legislation would be a mistake that would hurt workers, companies and all Pennsylvanians,” said USW International Vice President Fred Redmond. “It could result in hundreds, perhaps thousands, of workers unfairly losing their jobs, and it would be another unnecessary expense, which would disproportionately harm small businesses.”

Requiring construction companies to use the system could also open them to legal risk if system blunders prompted them to wrongly fire workers. In addition, E-Verify creates privacy and security risks as the federal government compiles and maintains sensitive information on all workers.

“The system is not fool-proof – it is flawed. There is significant potential for error, which means that even folks with legal authorization to work could be erroneously denied employment and spend months trying to correct the problem,” said Bobby “Mac” McAuliffe, director of USW District 10. “The bill would also result in widespread misclassification of workers as independent contractors rather than employees, which would reduce wages and benefits and hurt our economy all across Pennsylvania.”

Joining the USW in opposing the bill were the Pittsburgh chapters of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), both of which are affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

“If passed into law, this bill would make working conditions even more exploitive and dangerous for immigrant workers in construction and will actually worsen the problem of misclassification of workers,” said Guillermo Perez, president of the Pittsburgh chapter of LCLAA. “This measure will be bad for the state economy, bad for small business, and bad for all workers in the construction sector.”

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

 

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USW Affirms Commitment to Operation of PES Refinery after Fire https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-affirms-commitment-to-operation-of-pes-refinery-after-fire Mon, 24 Jun 2019 07:53:32 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-affirms-commitment-to-operation-of-pes-refinery-after-fire CONTACT: Tony Montana, (412) 562-2592, tmontana@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the union has committed to work with investigators, government agencies and Philadelphia Energy Solutions, Inc. (PES) management to safely resume production after a fire late last week caused extensive damage to the oil refinery.

USW International Vice President Tom Conway said that although the fire created a spectacle that could be seen from miles away in the early morning hours of Friday, June 21, 2019, permanently closing the east coast’s largest oil refinery would have lasting, disastrous consequences for the entire country.

“Starting with almost 2,000 workers directly employed by PES and tens of thousands more whose employment depends on the refinery to some degree, closing the facility would have an immediate and deep impact on Philadelphia and the surrounding community,” Conway said. “Along the east coast and across the country, the cost of home heating oil, diesel, gasoline and other products will increase dramatically.”

USW Local 10-1 President Ryan O’Callaghan said that the union will assist in the ongoing investigation to ensure that production can resume without jeopardizing the safety of refinery workers, the surrounding community or the environment.

“Our highly skilled, expertly trained and experienced workforce prevented catastrophic injuries or fatalities last week,” O’Callaghan said. “We must look forward to repairing and operating this refinery safely and without negative environmental effects.”

“Without our production, the east coast of the U.S. would depend on Europe for its supply of refined products, which would compromise our economic and national security,” he said.

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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Mining Unions Call For a New MSHA Silica Standard https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/mining-unions-call-for-a-new-msha-silica-standard Wed, 19 Jun 2019 15:14:52 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/mining-unions-call-for-a-new-msha-silica-standard CONTACT: Phil Smith, UMWA (703) 291-2400; Mike Wright, USW (412) 562-2580

Cecil Roberts, President of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), and Leo W. Gerard, President of the United Steelworkers (USW) union, today called for a new standard to protect miners from silica dust. The request came in a letter to David Zatezalo, the head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

Silica is believed responsible for a large rise in cases of black lung disease among coal miners in central Appalachia. In the past, the primary cause of black lung was thought to be coal dust, but as coal seams become deeper and thinner, miners are cutting through more waste rock, much of which is high in silica.

Silica is many times more dangerous to miners’ lungs than coal dust, and ordinary diagnostic techniques cannot distinguish between the two causes of respiratory disease. The epidemic of black lung has been widely reported in the scientific literature and the press, including major stories on National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting’s Frontline

In addition, silica causes both lung cancer and silicosis, another deadly dust disease, which has not been eliminated in metal and mineral mines. OSHA set a new silica standard in 2016, cutting the permissible exposure limit in half, but MSHA has yet to follow suit. 

“Black lung afflicts thousands of coal miners,” Roberts said. “We know what causes it, we know how to prevent it, yet miners are still getting it. MSHA took action in 2016 to reduce respirable coal dust. Now it must act to reduce silica exposure, and quickly.”

“All miners need this standard, surface and underground, no matter what they’re mining,” said Gerard. “This Administration says they love miners. Let’s see if they mean it.”  

The UMWA represents 105,000 active and retired miners, clean coal technicians, manufacturing workers, health care workers, public service workers and corrections officers in the United States and Canada.

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

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USW Applauds PLRB Decision on Pitt Faculty https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-applauds-plrb-decision-on-pitt-faculty Wed, 19 Jun 2019 11:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2019/usw-applauds-plrb-decision-on-pitt-faculty CONTACT: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers (USW) applauded today’s decision by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB), agreeing with the union that the administration-provided list of University of Pittsburgh faculty in a potential bargaining unit warrants further review. 
 
Faculty organizers in April appealed a PLRB decision to reject their petition to form a union, citing potential irregularities with the list the university administration gave the labor board.
 
Today’s decision supports this claim, directing a hearing to examine the list and ordering the administration to provide the USW with the names of potential bargaining unit members they gave the PLRB.
 
“This decision is not surprising,” said Tyler McAndrew, a visiting lecturer in the English department. “Deliberately inflating the number of people in a potential bargaining unit is a common union avoidance tactic. It’s important that this list sees the light of day, so that Pitt faculty are able to exercise their right to vote on unionization without outside interference.”
 
Pitt faculty began exploring unionization in 2012 with the hope that a union would be a democratizing force on campus. They also have concerns about pay, job security and the faculty’s shrinking role in university governance. 
 
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. 

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