Emil Ramirez

Emil Ramirez

Director District 11

Emil Ramirez was elected Director of USW District 11 in November 2013, taking office March 1, 2014. He was reelected in 2017 and 2021. District 11 serves more than 34,000 members in nine Midwestern states, six of them right-to-work states. 

Ramirez began his union career as a Pipefitter B in 1986 with USW Local 15162 at KPL/Gas Service’s Topeka, Kan., facility. As a member of Local 15162, he served in the capacities of shop steward, vice president and president. He remained local president until he was appointed to the International staff in 1995 by then-USW President George Becker.

Ramirez served as District 11 Coordinator for the Bridgestone-Firestone corporate campaign during the 1995 work stoppage at the USW-represented Firestone plants in the United States. He was assigned to the USW Kansas City office in January 1998 and held the position of Staff Representative until March 2004, when he was appointed as Sub-District Director and had the responsibility for offices in Independence and St. Louis, Mo.

From 1997 to 2007, Ramirez served as the District 11 Civil and Human Rights Coordinator. In 2006, Ramirez was appointed Assistant to the Director for District 11.

Ramirez has broad negotiating experience with bargaining assignments in the steel, mining, rubber, aluminum, salt, public employees, textile, brick and natural gas industries. He serves as Secretary of the USW’s Container Industry and Chair of the Cement Council. He is a member of the Kansas AFL-CIO executive board and currently serves as president of the Kansas State Industrial Union Council.

He leads the USW’s bargaining with Cleveland-Cliffs Mining, Ardagh Beverage, Rexam Beverage Can and ContiTech.  He was recently appointed Chairman of the Arconic Bargaining Committee. 

From Jan. 1, 2016, through Dec. 31, 2017, he represented labor on the Economic Advisory Council at the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City, Mo.   

The headquarters for District 11 is in Minneapolis.