United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/rss United Steelworkers Press Releases Feed 2021-11-19 09:20:02 -0600 AMPS en hourly 1 USW Welcomes U.S. House Passage of Build Back Better Act https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-welcomes-u-s-house-passage-of-build-back-better-act Fri, 19 Nov 2021 09:20:02 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-welcomes-u-s-house-passage-of-build-back-better-act Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway released the following statement today after the U.S. House passed the Build Back Better Act:

“The USW has long called for robust investment in both our nation’s physical and social infrastructures, and we applaud the significant progress the House passage of the Build Back Better Act represents.

“President Biden’s ambitious Build Back Better agenda presented a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in the future of the middle class while also making our nation more secure today.

“Building on the success of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, this bill now puts us on a path to also rebuild our nation’s human infrastructure. Initiatives like expanding early childhood education, investing in health care, ensuring workplace rights, providing paid family leave and facilitating industrial investments to help combat climate change will supply badly needed resources to workers and their families.

“We now call on the Senate to quickly finish the job by also passing the Build Back Better Act so that we can start making long overdue investments and truly start building our nation back better.”

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.

]]>
USW: New OMB Waiver Process Provides Needed Transparency https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-new-omb-waiver-process-provides-needed-transparency Wed, 17 Nov 2021 21:05:59 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-new-omb-waiver-process-provides-needed-transparency Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway released the following statement today after the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Made in America Office announced a new process for granting waivers to the Buy American Act: 

“The USW welcomes the Made in America Office’s new waiver process, which will offer much needed transparency and streamline requirements across the agencies.

“Manufacturing is the backbone of our economy, and workers and communities across the country depend on the good, family-sustaining jobs the sector provides. If we’re going to be spending tax-payer dollars, it’s essential that we support domestic industries first.

“While there may be instances when required materials are not available, by now making information about waivers public and consistent, the Made in America Office is helping to close loopholes and position domestic businesses to better connect with opportunities to fill these needs.

“As recent supply chain strains have clearly demonstrated, the costs and logistics of reliably importing products into the United States continues to grow. The new waiver process will be crucial as our nation begins to re-shore some of these goods and rebuild our domestic industries.

“The USW applauds the Biden administration’s continuing commitment to investing in domestic manufacturing. As we begin to make long needed upgrades to our nation’s infrastructure, its whole-of-government approach will help ensure that this monumental investment directly benefits our workers and jobs.”

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.

]]>
USW Local 8888 Reaches Tentative Agreement on New Contract with Huntington Ingalls Industries https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-local-8888-reaches-tentative-agreement-on-new-contract-with-huntington-ingalls-industries Mon, 15 Nov 2021 07:36:50 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-local-8888-reaches-tentative-agreement-on-new-contract-with-huntington-ingalls-industries Contact: Dwight Kirk, (202) 257-3966, dflat@mindspring.com

United Steelworkers Local 8888 has reached a tentative agreement with Huntington Ingalls Industries on a new collective bargaining agreement covering Huntington Ingalls Industries shipbuilders, a pact that would enhance wages, improve pensions, curb health care costs and bolster promotional opportunities in lower job categories.

The proposed agreement, which was finalized last night, covers 60 months. The current contract would have expired tonight at midnight. Local 8888 members got their first detailed report on the tentative agreement this afternoon at a members-only meeting at the Boo Williams Sports Complex in Hampton.

The Local 8888 bargaining committee strongly recommended ratification of the new pact. "The last two years have been like no others. The Worldwide Pandemic has changed all of our lives and required all of us to make significant adjustments and to reimagine our lives, including the way that we work. Through it all, the world’s greatest shipbuilders have delivered."

The union will hold a secret ballot vote for members-only to ratify or reject the proposed contract on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021.

USW Local 8888 represents more than 10,000 workers at the Newport News shipyard.

]]>
USW Local 7600 Announces Tentative Agreement with Kaiser Permanente https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-local-7600-announces-tentative-agreement-with-kaiser-permanente Sat, 13 Nov 2021 13:07:24 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-local-7600-announces-tentative-agreement-with-kaiser-permanente Contact: Chelsey Engel, cengel@usw.org, 412-212-8173

United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7600 today announced that the union reached a tentative national and local agreement with Kaiser Permanente alongside the other 20 locals who together make up the Alliance of Health Care Unions.

“The past 20 months of the pandemic have been tough, and we made deep, personal sacrifices so we could keep helping our patients and our communities,” said USW Local 7600 President Micheal Barnett. “We’ve more than earned a fair contract that reflects our contributions to Kaiser Permanente’s continuing success.”

Barnett said that the proposed contract represents important progress in narrowing the wage gap between Kaiser’s Inland Empire workforce and other area workers doing the same jobs, as well as beating back a proposed two-tier wage scale and making significant gains on staffing, racial justice, and more.

The Alliance Common Issues Committee (CIC) met today to approve the agreement. The next step is for the Delegates Conference to review and approve the agreement. Local leadership will then conduct membership information meetings and arrange ratification votes.

USW Local 7600 represents workers at 72 Kaiser Permanente locations in Southern California in a wide range of job classes, from respiratory care practitioners to surgical technicians, engineers, pharmacy technicians and assistants, licensed vocational nurses, dietary aides, environmental service workers, medical assistants, appointment clerks, phlebotomists, and more.

They are among the more than 50,000 members of the Alliance of Health Care Unions, who work in nearly every geographic area where Kaiser Permanente has a presence. 

“We began bargaining in April ready to negotiate in good faith for a fair contract, but management forced us to fight for it at every turn,” said USW Staff Representative Rosie Gonzalez. “I’m proud of our members’ unwavering strength and solidarity as we faced these challenges together and finally reached an agreement.”

USW Local 7600 also withdrew its notice of its intent to hold an unfair labor practice strike, which was set to begin Monday, Nov. 15.

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.

]]>
USW Applauds House Passage of Infrastructure Bill https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-applauds-house-passage-of-infrastructure-bill Sat, 06 Nov 2021 10:25:25 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-applauds-house-passage-of-infrastructure-bill Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@steelworkers.org 

(Pittsburgh) – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which would provide roughly $1 trillion for upgrading the nation’s critical infrastructure: 
 
“The USW applauds the U.S. House for passing this monumental bill, paving the way for a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.
 
“Robust investment, coupled with strong domestic procurement provisions, will help American workers, including hundreds of thousands of USW members, not only by making their communities safer but by promoting widespread job growth and economic opportunity.
 
“Our members stand ready to produce the essential building blocks of a modern infrastructure, as we begin making long-overdue upgrades to the nation’s roads, bridges, broadband, public transit, ports, power grids, and more. 
 
“Our elected leaders have long promised this kind of transformational infrastructure investment but ultimately failed to deliver. Now, thanks to President Biden’s vision and leadership, Congress has finally come together and passed bipartisan legislation that will directly benefit American workers and ensure a brighter future for generations to come. 
 
“We now look forward to working with the administration and our congressional leaders as they address needed investments in our nation’s social infrastructure, making the rest of the president’s Build Back Better agenda a reality.” 
 
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.
 
]]>
USW Local 7600 Intends to Strike Kaiser Over Unfair Labor Practices https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-local-7600-intends-to-strike-kaiser-over-unfair-labor-practices Thu, 04 Nov 2021 18:18:09 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-local-7600-intends-to-strike-kaiser-over-unfair-labor-practices Contact: Chelsey Engel, cengel@usw.org, (412) 212-8173

The United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7600 today said that the union has given Kaiser Permanente management a 10-day notice of its intent to strike over unfair labor practices beginning on Mon., Nov. 15, 2021.

The USW and Kaiser management, along with 20 other local unions who belong to the Alliance of Health Care Unions (AHCU), have been negotiating since this past spring over a labor agreement that will cover roughly 50,000 health care workers in nearly every geographic area where Kaiser Permanente has a presence.

“We are prepared to meet with management all day, every day if that’s what it will take to reach a fair agreement for these essential workers,” said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer and USW Vice President of Human Affairs Fred Redmond, who leads the union’s health care sector bargaining. “Our union will continue to bargain in good faith, and we strongly urge Kaiser to begin doing the same.” 

The multi-billion-dollar health care giant has persistently tried to force workers to accept provisions like a two-tier wage scale that will make it harder to recruit and retain qualified staff. It also refuses to address the vast wage disparities between its Inland Empire workforce and other area workers doing the same jobs.

At the same time, Kaiser Permanente management has engaged in serious unfair labor practices and violations of workers’ rights in an effort to undermine support for the union.

“Workers already gave so much of themselves, even prior to the pandemic, and Kaiser has yet to offer a proposal that reflects their hard work and sacrifice,” said Local 7600 President Michael Barnett. “We plan to stand in solidarity as a union until we make that happen.”

USW Local 7600 represents 7,400 workers across 72 Kaiser Permanente locations in Southern California. They work in a wide range of job classes, from respiratory care practitioners to surgical technicians, engineers to pharmacy technicians and assistants, licensed vocational nurses, dietary aides, environmental service workers, medical assistants, appointment clerks, phlebotomists, and more.

The United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) and the Oregon Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals joined the USW in filing their 10-day notices today, bringing the number of Kaiser Permanente workers signaling their intent to strike to more than 30,000.

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.

]]>
USW International Vice President Roxanne Brown to Serve on AFL-CIO Executive Council https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-international-vice-president-roxanne-brown-to-serve-on-afl-cio-executive-council Thu, 04 Nov 2021 09:34:18 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-international-vice-president-roxanne-brown-to-serve-on-afl-cio-executive-council Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@steelworkers.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement today congratulating USW International Vice President Roxanne Brown on her election to the AFL-CIO Executive Council:

“We are proud to announce that USW International Vice President Roxanne Brown will be joining the AFL-CIO Executive Council. Roxanne has a wealth of experience, and we welcome her passion and dedication to ensuring all workers have a seat at the table. 

“Roxanne has spent more than two decades in our Washington, D.C., legislative office, spearheading work on procurement, energy and environmental regulation. This includes heading our union’s atomic sector and participating in our upcoming oil bargaining.

“As we look to the future, Roxanne and her work will be a vital part of ensuring that our nation’s elected leaders, policies and regulatory agencies all serve workers’ best interests.

“On behalf of the entire USW, I want to congratulate Roxanne as she takes on this new role. Our movement needs leaders like her, and we know that she will continue to fight tirelessly on behalf of all working families.”

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.

]]>
USW Supports Interim Arrangement with EU on Section 232 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-supports-interim-arrangement-with-eu-on-section-232 Sat, 30 Oct 2021 14:07:04 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-supports-interim-arrangement-with-eu-on-section-232 Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement today in response to the announcement that the United States and European Union had reached an interim arrangement on Section 232 steel and aluminum relief measures:

Steel and aluminum are the backbone of our nation’s defense and critical infrastructure, but for too long, global overcapacity and targeted predatory practices have undermined domestic production and employment.

That’s why the USW backed the Section 232 relief measures the Department of Commerce initiated years ago and why our union now supports the interim arrangement between the United States and the European Union.

This new arrangement, which will maintain but modify Section 232 measures on steel and aluminum from the EU, will create a framework that will ensure U.S. domestic industries remain competitive and able to meet our security and infrastructure needs.

“It will also provide a much-needed opportunity to address the non-market predatory practices of China and other countries thathave distorted global markets, while also spurring a dialogueover climate concerns stemming from countries whose industries are far more carbon intensive than those in the United States and the EU.

Under this arrangement, the United States will allow a basic overall level of steel imports, which will measure less than those that came from the EU in 2017 and 2018. Above this level, imports will be subject to a 25 percent tariff. The deal creates certainty both for domestic producers of steel and users who are unable to find domestic supplies.

Through this arrangement, the Biden administration also closed a gaping loophole through which steel imports that are often carbon intensive and from countries still subject to the original 232 measures reach the United States

Right now, semi-finished steel items like slabs and other products from China, Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere are shipped into the EU, subjected to limited transformation and then qualified as being of EU origin.  

“Under the interim arrangement, steel imports from the EU must entirely be produced in the European Union, commonly known as melted-and-poured. This will help ensure European and U.S. steelworkers are not losing jobs to countries outside this agreement

“In aluminum, the Biden administration reached a parallel arrangement with the EU that ensures the U.S. has the capacity to meet its critical needs and allows for limited amounts of downstream products. 

As we look to the future of our industries and jobs, it will be vital to rein in global overcapacity, stemming largely from Chinese Communist Party’s state-led trade practices. Engagingwith our allies is a necessary step in this process, and this arrangement offers a path forward toward working together to address this larger concern

Combatting climate change will also require coordinating with our partners. Both the U.S. and European industries have demonstrated a commitment to reducing the carbon intensity of their products, and working together will ultimately provide results for workers and our environment.

“We appreciate Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and their respective staffs active consultation with the USW and domestic industry during the negotiating process. 

“Any trade agreement requires constant attention to implementation, monitoring and enforcement, and we applaud the administration’s efforts to actively work toward a long-term solution. We know that they will continue to be real partners in ensuring that this arrangement and all our trade agreements prioritize our nation’s safety and our members’ jobs.

“This arrangement shows President Biden’s strong commitment to the Steelworkers and 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.

]]>
Pitt Faculty Members Vote to Join Steelworkers Union https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/pitt-faculty-members-vote-to-join-steelworkers-union Tue, 19 Oct 2021 16:15:34 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/pitt-faculty-members-vote-to-join-steelworkers-union Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, 412-562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

University of Pittsburgh faculty members are looking forward to bargaining their first union contract with the school’s administration following the faculty’s successful vote to become members of the United Steelworkers (USW).

“This result has been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait,” said Tyler Bickford, an associate professor in the university’s English department. “It’s a good feeling to know that we as faculty members have finally achieved what all workers deserve – a voice in the decision-making process that affects our lives on the job.”

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board held a mail ballot election over the past several weeks for faculty members, following more than two years of delays as a result of legal challenges from the administration. Preliminary results today showed that more than 71 percent of the workers who voted cast votes to join the union.

 “Simply put, this will make Pitt a better institution,” said Bickford. “The result will be greater security for workers, better educational outcomes for students, and increased transparency across the university.”

The 3,300 workers at Pitt will become part of the 850,000-member USW, one of the largest labor unions in North America, which has its headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh. Adjunct instructors at Point Park University and Robert Morris University also are members of the USW.

“This vote was successful because these workers know that this decision will make the university a better place for the entire community,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “When academic workers have a seat at the table, it results in a better environment for teachers, for students, and for everyone who calls Pitt home.”

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.

]]>
Thirty-one thousand health care workers authorize strike at Kaiser Permanente https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/thirty-one-thousand-health-care-workers-authorize-strike-at-kaiser-permanente Tue, 12 Oct 2021 08:17:26 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/thirty-one-thousand-health-care-workers-authorize-strike-at-kaiser-permanente CONTACTS:

Jess Kamm Broomell, USW | jkamm@steelworkers.org | (412) 562-2444
Chelsey Engel, USW | cengel@steelworkers.org | (412) 212-8173
Jeff Rogers, UNAC/UHCP | jeff.rogers@unacuhcp.org | (909) 263-7230
Anjetta Thackeray, UNAC/UHCP | anjetta.thackeray@unacuhcp.org | (909) 455-5146

Note: Union officers and bargaining team members, nurses and other health care professionals are available for television, radio, and print interviews.

(Fontana, Calif.) -- The United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) and United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7600 announced today that 31,000 members who work at Southern California Kaiser Permanente locations have voted—by an overwhelming majority—to grant the unions the authority to call a strike.

“Health care workers are facing record levels of burnout after 20 months of the COVID pandemic,” said USW Local 7600 President Michael Barnett. “We urge Kaiser Permanente management to come to the table and bargain a fair contract that addresses chronic understaffing and safety issues rather than forcing workers into a labor dispute by insisting on dangerous cost-cutting measures.”

Together UNAC/UHCP and USW Local 7600 represent a combined 31,000 workers in a wide range of job classes from registered nurses, physical therapists, and pharmacists to licensed vocational nurses, appointment clerks, housekeeping attendants, medical assistants, customer service representatives, pharmacy assistants, phlebotomists, pharmacy technicians, membership service representatives, dietary aides and more.

They and other members of the Alliance of Health Care Unions serve Kaiser Permanente’s 12 million patients across 39 hospitals and more than 700 medical office buildings.

The Alliance has been at the bargaining table with health care giant Kaiser Permanente since April. The 21 union locals represent more than 50,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente medical centers and offices nationwide.

Among the top priorities for workers is ensuring a means to effectively fill open positions and maintain the safe-staffing levels necessary to protect patients and those who care for them. Instead, Kaiser Permanente management is pushing proposals that will exacerbate already critical staffing shortages, including slashing wages for new hires and depressing wages for current workers who are trying to keep up with rising costs for food, housing and other essentials.

“We’re concerned about the future of nursing and how we recruit and retain nurses and other health care workers who will serve our communities for years to come,” said Denise Duncan, RN, president of UNAC/UHCP. “We can no longer sit back and watch the employer continue to dismantle the progress we made in quality patient care and health plan membership growth.”

Duncan and Barnett both emphasized that Kaiser Permanente’s insistence on eroding standards of care and working conditions, despite the employer’s $44.5 billion in reserves, will impede efforts to advance health care access.

Both unions held strike authorization votes, which concluded on Oct. 10. The 3,400 members of the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (OFNHP), who work at Kaiser locations across the state, also announced the results of their strike vote today. As required, the employer would get a 10-day notice before workers take any further action.

Kaiser Permanente patients and the public can click here to sign the Alliance petition calling for the health care giant to invest in patient care and those who provide it.

NOTE: All Kaiser Permanente employees who agree to interviews are speaking NOT as representatives of Kaiser Permanente, but as patient advocates and representatives of UNAC/UHCP—protected concerted activity as defined by the National Labor Relations Act, the National Labor Relations Board, and U.S. courts

]]>
USW Applauds Biden Administration’s Vision on U.S.-China Trade Relations https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-applauds-biden-administrations-vision-on-u-s-china-trade-relations Mon, 04 Oct 2021 12:02:12 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-applauds-biden-administrations-vision-on-u-s-china-trade-relations Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement today after United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai delivered a speech outlining the Biden-Harris administration’s new approach to the U.S.-China trade relationship:

“The USW welcomes the Biden administration’s plan for addressing our nation’s trade relationship with China. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai made clear in her remarks today that we must have a steady approach to confronting the Chinese government’s predatory and protectionist policies rather than the often erratic and limited approach of the Trump administration.

“As we seek to address the structural problems posed by the Chinese Communist Party’s non-market and state-led trade practices, our focus must first be on ensuring China’s leaders fulfill the promises they’ve made, rather than rushing to extract new promises they are unlikely to keep.

“China’s leaders have yet to meet the commitments of the Trump administration’s Phase One trade deal, and Tai made it clear that enforcing this deal is her first priority. As such, the Biden administration will maintain the tariffs that China’s leaders accepted as part of this agreement and will not unilaterally disarm as China’s trade policies continue to undermine global markets and the jobs and livelihood of workers here in the United States.

“Tai also highlighted the devastating impact these policies continue to have on our steel industry and our workers. China built up enormous overcapacity that swamped world markets, undermining our national and economic security. Her focus on steel reflects the Biden administration’s recognition of how critical the sector and its workforce are to our nation.

“A sound plan for addressing our trade relationship with China will enable us to invest in America’s future and build back better. We welcome the vision expressed in Tai’s speech and look forward to working with the administration as it moves forward with this approach.”

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.

]]>
USW Local 7600 will seek strike authorization from 7,400 Kaiser Permanente workers https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-local-7600-will-seek-strike-authorization-from-7400-kaiser-permanente-workers Thu, 23 Sep 2021 07:24:38 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-local-7600-will-seek-strike-authorization-from-7400-kaiser-permanente-workers Contact: Chelsey Engel, cengel@steelworkers.org, 412-212-8173
 
(Fontana, Calif.) -- Members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7600 at Kaiser Permanente have scheduled a strike authorization vote to be held October 2-10, as negotiations continue over a new labor agreement that will enable them to continue providing high-quality care for the Inland Empire community. 
 
“With demands that would negatively impact worker safety and patient care, it’s clear that management is more concerned with pursuing its own agenda than it is about workers and patients,” said Local 7600 President Michael Barnett. “We urge Kaiser Permanente to come to the table and bargain with us for a fair contract rather than force workers into a labor dispute by insisting on dangerous cost-cutting measures that would make it impossible to maintain safe staffing levels.” 
 
Roughly 7,400 health care workers in USW Local 7600, in conjunction with the 20 other local unions who make up the Alliance of Health Care Unions (AHCU), have been bargaining with Kaiser Permanente since this past spring. Both the national and local agreements expire Sept. 30.
 
Kaiser Permanente’s most divisive demands include a two-tiered wage scale that would pay new hires significantly less for doing the same jobs as current workers, making it even more difficult to fill empty positions. 
 
The paltry wage increases that the company has proposed for current members of the union also do nothing to address the tremendous pay disparity between Inland Empire workers and their area counterparts.
 
As a result, members of USW Local 7600 plan to vote on whether to grant negotiators the authority to institute a strike if necessary. 
 
“We’re stretched thin, and after more than a year and a half of sacrifices throughout the pandemic, morale is starting to falter,” said Barnett. “We’ve pulled together to make sure that shifts are covered and our patients are well cared for, sometimes at the expense of our own health and security. But we need management to take safe staffing seriously, and we need them to prioritize our community as much as we do.”
 
The decision to hold the vote comes after the local decided to pause their labor-management partnership with Kaiser last Friday over similar concerns. The local is also pursuing multiple unfair labor practice charges after management threatened to withhold or cancel vacations and other earned time off until the contract is settled, as well as intimidated workers who wore union t-shirts to show their support for the bargaining committee. 
 
USW Local 7600 represents workers in more than 200 different job classes, including licensed vocational nurses, appointment clerks, housekeeping attendants, medical assistants, customer service representatives, pharmacy assistants, phlebotomists, pharmacy technicians, membership service representatives and dietary aides, across 72 Kaiser Permanente locations in Southern California.
 
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.
 
]]>
USW Putting Pause on Labor Management Partnership with Kaiser https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/putting-pause-on-labor-management-partnership-at-kaiser-pursues-plans-that-would-exacerbate-worker-shortage-imperil-community-care Fri, 17 Sep 2021 11:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/putting-pause-on-labor-management-partnership-at-kaiser-pursues-plans-that-would-exacerbate-worker-shortage-imperil-community-care Contact: Chelsey Engel, 412-212-8173, cengel@steelworkers.org

(Fontana, Calif.) -- Members of United Steelworkers Local 7600, which represents 7,400 workers across 72 Kaiser Permanente locations in Southern California, today announced that they would pause participation in their longstanding labor-management partnership. This comes after the health care giant repeatedly signaled that it is not taking the partnership seriously, jeopardizing the system’s ability to keep workers and patients safe. 

“We remain committed to working with management to improve working conditions and ensure that every patient that enters our doors has access to top quality care,” said USW Local 7600 President Michael Barnett. “But we can only do this if management makes an equal effort.” 

In recent months, top management rejected a joint recommendation on racial justice, refused to engage on concerns about safe staffing and leaned on the local to fill many holes in the schedule as workers grapple with the ongoing pandemic. On top of this, management proposed slashing wages for new hires, making it harder to recruit new workers even though staffing is already stretched thin. 

“We need a true partner,” said Barnett, “but it’s become clear that management is more concerned with advancing its own agenda than working collaboratively with us.”

While workers risked their lives during the pandemic, Kaiser Permanente management also went behind their backs and hired a consultant to study health system operations without the partnership’s consent or input. Worse, the consultant’s wildly inaccurate findings now influence many of the conglomerate’s bargaining positions.

More than 52,000 union members in the Alliance of Health Care Unions, which is composed of 21 local unions including USW Local 7600, have been bargaining nationally since April 2021. 

USW Local 7600, which represents workers in more than 200 different job classes, including licensed vocational nurses, appointment clerks, housekeeping attendants, medical assistants, customer service representatives, pharmacy assistants, phlebotomists, pharmacy technicians, membership service representatives, and dietary aides, began bargaining over local issues in May. 

Both the local and national agreements expire Sept. 30, 2021. The local said today that USW leaders and members are prepared to move forward with a membership vote to authorize a strike if needed. 

In its most recent proposal, Kaiser Permanente management laid out a two-tiered system that would pay new hires as much as 39 percent less than current employees for the same work. If implemented as written, the proposal would also pay some workers less than minimum wage. 

“We’re all making sacrifices during the pandemic, working long hours under grueling conditions because we care about our patients, but management is not approaching this situation in the same way,” said Barnett. “It’s past time for management to return to the purpose of the original partnership and once again prioritize the health and wellbeing of our community.”

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.

]]>
USW Praises Selection of Brad Crabtree for Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-praises-selection-of-brad-crabtree-for-office-of-fossil-energy-and-carbon-management Thu, 02 Sep 2021 15:09:00 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-praises-selection-of-brad-crabtree-for-office-of-fossil-energy-and-carbon-management Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Roxanne Brown issued the following statement today in response to the announcement that President Biden would nominate Brad Crabtree for Assistant Secretary for the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management:

“The Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management does crucial work for the Department of Energy, and the USW applauds the decision to nominate Brad Crabtree as its Assistant Secretary.

“We know Brad well through our mutual work with the Carbon Capture Coalition, a nonpartisan collaboration promoting the large-scale expansion of carbon reduction technologies that will ensure a sound future for industrial facilities and the millions of manufacturing and energy jobs associated with them.

“Brad understands as well as anyone how important it is to find broad stakeholder agreement – from labor to management to NGOs – on the crucial issues of energy and manufacturing. We know he will bring this same balance and dedication to his new role.”

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.

]]>
USW International Vice President Fred Redmond to Serve as AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-international-vice-president-fred-redmond-to-serve-as-afl-cio-secretary-treasurer Fri, 20 Aug 2021 10:02:49 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-international-vice-president-fred-redmond-to-serve-as-afl-cio-secretary-treasurer Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

USW International President Tom Conway issued the following statement today after the AFL-CIO Executive Council elected USW International Vice President Fred Redmond to serve as secretary-treasurer. The council today also elected former AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler as president of the AFL-CIO: 

“We are incredibly proud that the AFL-CIO Executive Council selected USW International Vice President Fred Redmond to serve as its secretary-treasurer alongside AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler.

“Fred is a decades-long union activist with a proven commitment to both negotiating good contracts and advancing civil and human rights, including through his recent work as chair of the AFL-CIO Task Force on Racial Justice. We know that he will bring the same passion and dedication to his new position. 

“Workers across our nation are facing unprecedented challenges, and we are deeply grateful to Fred for assuming this role, even as he continues his work with the USW. Rich Trumka’s passing reverberated throughout the labor movement, but despite our grief, I know Fred, like all of us, is committed to ensuring the AFL-CIO’s vital mission goes uninterrupted.”

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.

]]>
USW to Kick Off National Week of Action on Infrastructure https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-to-kick-off-national-week-of-action-on-infrastructure Thu, 12 Aug 2021 09:14:10 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-to-kick-off-national-week-of-action-on-infrastructure Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

USW members next week are launching a nationwide week of action as a part of their ongoing We Supply America campaign, calling for robust investments in the country’s infrastructure and highlighting the contributions USW members make, both in obvious and more inconspicuous industries. 

This will include a bus tour scheduled for stops at USW locals in six states between Aug. 16 and 20.

“We need a national infrastructure that keeps us safe, that is modern, that keeps our supply chains stocked with the materials we need, and that keeps the country moving in the right direction,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “As a union, we have the skilled work force to accomplish all these goals.”

Throughout its We Supply America campaign, the USW is calling on Congress to pass legislation to secure large-scale, long-term infrastructure investments that will create good, union jobs and rebuild communities. 

“This is about so much more than fixing roads and bridges,” said Conway. “We need an ambitious overhaul of our entire critical infrastructure from modern schools and health care facilities to state-of-the-art communications networks. Everything that USW members make and everything that we do contributes in some way to this vital project.”

In a series of events along the bus tour’s route, USW members and leaders will address how comprehensive infrastructure investment drawing on American-made materials will provide widespread economic opportunity, strengthen domestic supply chains and spur job growth in communities across the country. 

Along the way, they will be joined by like-minded allies, including Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, members of Congress and other elected leaders, company representatives, and environmental and manufacturing advocates, who share the union’s vision for swift, robust infrastructure investment that draws on the skills and determination of American workers.

In addition to the bus tour, USW members across the United States this week will be joining with their employers to send letters to the administration and elected officials, engaging in a postcard campaign that includes delivering thousands of cards to Senate offices, and calling their members of Congress in support of robust infrastructure investment. 

“Ultimately, every worker and every family in every U.S. state will benefit in some way from an infrastructure program,” said International Vice President Roxanne Brown, who oversees the union’s legislative and political efforts from Washington, D.C.

“Done right, a robust infrastructure investment will spur jobs and job growth in communities across the country and bring meaningful economic opportunity to people in all of our neighborhoods,” Brown said. “Congress just needs to make it a reality.”

The USW’s We Supply America bus tour will include events in Chesterton, Ind.; Newark, Ohio; Weirton, W. Va.; Danville, Va.; Wilmington, N.C.; and Pittsburgh.

Updates on the tour, including livestreams of the events, will be available on all USW networks: @Steelworkers on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, as well as at uswvoices.org/live.

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.

]]>
USW Welcomes Senate Passage of Infrastructure Bill, Calls for Continued Urgency https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-welcomes-senate-passage-of-infrastructure-bill-calls-for-continued-urgency Tue, 10 Aug 2021 11:47:43 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-welcomes-senate-passage-of-infrastructure-bill-calls-for-continued-urgency Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

(Pittsburgh) – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement today after the U.S. Senate passed its bipartisan bill that would provide roughly $1 trillion for upgrading the nation’s critical infrastructure:  

“The USW commends the bipartisan work of the U.S. Senate in passing a badly needed infrastructure bill. Our nation’s critical infrastructure is long past due for significant upgrades, and this bill is an important step toward both making our communities more secure and creating millions of good, family-sustaining jobs.

“USW members from across every corner of our union already provide the essential building blocks of a modern infrastructure, from the steel that goes into our bridges, to the pipes that carry our water, to the fiber optic glass that keeps us connected and much more. 

“A comprehensive infrastructure investment that draws on the goods and services American workers supply will promote widespread job growth and economic opportunity. USW members and their families will further benefit from this investment as their workplaces and communities become safer and more efficient.

“As this bill moves to the U.S. House, we cannot let the momentum falter. We urge Congress to continue working together in overhauling both our physical and social infrastructures until they finally meet our modern needs.”

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.

 

]]>
USW Mourns Loss of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-mourns-loss-of-afl-cio-president-richard-trumka Thu, 05 Aug 2021 12:47:18 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-mourns-loss-of-afl-cio-president-richard-trumka Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway issued the following statement today after receiving the unexpected, tragic news that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka passed away:

“The labor community suffered an immeasurable loss today with the passing of Rich Trumka, a true friend of our union and of workers everywhere.

“Since his early days as a mine worker, Rich never shied away from a fight, dedicating his life to advocating for justice and equality for working families the world over.

“Rich’s was always one of the loudest voices in calling for not only fair wages and working conditions but also for an economic system in which all workers have a seat at the table.   

“On behalf of the USW, I extend our most sincere and deepest condolences to the Trumka family. The members of our union, the labor movement and working families across the country will feel the sting of Rich’s loss. We will honor his legacy by continuing his fight.”

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.

]]>
USW, US Wind Announce Partnership to Transform Historic Sparrows Point Site https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-us-wind-announce-partnership-to-transform-historic-sparrows-point-site Tue, 03 Aug 2021 13:19:21 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-us-wind-announce-partnership-to-transform-historic-sparrows-point-site Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

The United Steelworkers union (USW) announced today that it will partner with US Wind as it transforms a portion of the former Sparrows Point steel mill into a manufacturing facility supporting the growth of offshore wind energy.

US Wind plans to use the site to make the monopile foundations needed for their offshore wind developments.

Through the agreement, the USW will work with the company to recruit and train local workers, ensuring the surrounding community shares in the benefits of this investment. The USW and US Wind will also mutually support workers’ rights to unionize and collectively bargain.

USW International President Tom Conway said that the USW and US Wind share a number of goals, including ensuring that the U.S. has strong domestic supply chains for emerging energy industries and creating high-quality manufacturing jobs. 

“The loss of the Sparrows Point steel mill, which once employed thousands of workers, was a huge blow to the Baltimore community and to U.S. manufacturing as a whole,” Conway said. “Now, we have a chance to create the jobs of the future right here on this historic site and ensure that they are good, union jobs that will again support families across this region.”

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.

]]>
USW Tech Workers Ratify Historic First Contract at HCL https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-tech-workers-ratify-historic-first-contract-at-hcl Thu, 29 Jul 2021 09:09:52 -0500 https://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2021/usw-tech-workers-ratify-historic-first-contract-at-hcl Contact: Tony Montana, 412-562-2592, tmontana@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that workers have ratified a first contract with Google contractor HCL America, Inc., covering about 65 employees who are based in Pittsburgh.

USW International President Tom Conway said that the three-year contract improves wages, job security and working conditions.

“After close to two years of hard work, patience and solidarity from our members at HCL, we are proud of what we achieved in this agreement,” Conway said. “More than ever, our struggle with HCL shows that all workers deserve the protections and benefits of a union contract.”

Members of the USW bargaining committee said that HCL‘s treatment of workers illustrates why unions are more important than ever and pointed out the consolidated complaint issued against the company by the National Labor Relations Board over unfair labor practices.

“After ignoring our concerns, HCL tried to prevent us from forming a union, and when it failed, the company dragged out the negotiating process while sending our jobs overseas in retaliation,” said Amanda Parks, a member of the bargaining committee who works for HCL. “Now, with a strong union and contract in place, we’re confident that our voices will be heard.”

“HCL can no longer use issues like wage rates, job descriptions or opportunities for advancement to divide workers,” said Renata Nelson, another member of the bargaining committee who works for HCL. “The company must understand that we deserve fair consideration for our contributions to its success and respect us as people with families and bills to pay.”

The ratified contract takes effect immediately, and will expire in three years.

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.

]]>