Michael Smith worked for 13 years as a crane operator at Bethlehem Steel’s Sparrows Point, Md., plant. But in 2012 the plant—then owned by R.G. Steel—was forced to shut its doors after a series of flawed trade deals and U.S. policy decisions allowed cheap, subsidized foreign steel to flood the market. Smith was among 2,500 United Steelworkers members who lost their jobs.
In our regular weekly feature, we'll be taking a look at the winners and losers of the week in the struggle for the rights of working families. The winners will be the persons or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families, while the losers will be whoever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights.
Oil workers at three more refineries and a chemical plant joined the United Steelworkers’ (USW’s) unfair labor practice strike against the oil industry over the weekend. With workers and plant safety a major concern, USW President Leo W. Gerard said:
United Steelworkers (USW) members at BP refineries in Whiting, Ind., and Toledo, Ohio, joined the union’s unfair labor practice strike Sunday against the oil industry. The strike began Feb. 1, after the companies failed to address serious concerns regarding the health and safety of workers and their communities, according to the USW.
Some 3,800 members of the United Steelworkers (USW) are on strike at nine refineries operated by Shell, Marathon, Tesoro and LyondellBasell after Shell, the lead company in the National Oil Bargaining talks, “refused to provide us with a counteroffer and left the bargaining table,” says USW President Leo W. Gerard.
The United Steelworkers (USW) extended a warm welcome to Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, president and general secretary of the National Union of Mine, Metal and Steelworkers of Mexico (Los Mineros), as he visited Pittsburgh last week.
The U.S.–Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS–FTA) turns 2 years old Saturday and imports from Korea continue to flood into the United States, costing workers their jobs. Exports to Korea have failed to live up to the promises made when the agreement passed Congress, says United Steelworkers (USW) President Leo W. Gerard.