Saturday, April 21, 2007

Steelworkers Summer 2007


What is Steelworkers’ Summer 2007?

Steelworkers’ Summer is an educational and training internship in which participants develop skills useful for union organizing by experiencing firsthand the kinds of struggles workers face while trying to win a voice at work. It is also designed to give participants an understanding and appreciation of the positive impact the union has had on their parents’ working lives.

Internships are open to young adults, 18 years of age or older. Selection preference is given to children of members of the United Steelworkers International Union.

Steelworkers’ Summer is committed to uniting students, workers, and community activists to bring about social justice through work place and community organizing.

What kinds of qualifications are needed to participate in Steelworkers’ Summer?

Applicants should have a strong commitment to social and economic justice, as well as openness to working with a broad cross section of people. This includes people of various races, ethnicities, religions and orientations. Participants need to be people-oriented, enthusiastic, energetic, flexible and willing to work long hours on an unpredictable schedule. A college degree is not required. Previous union experience is not necessary. Volunteerism or activism is a plus.

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

One Strong Voice


USW, Weirton Independent Union Sign Merger Agreement

In the Bible, Jeremiah 29, verse 11 offers a message of optimism: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Members of the former Independent Steelworkers Union say the message reflects how they feel now that they are members of the United Steelworkers. Leaders from the unions met Friday in Pittsburgh to sign a merger agreement.

The ISU and its 1,150 members at Arcelor-Mittal’s Weirton, W.Va., mill are now USW Local 2911, named for the Bible verse.

“When you read it, it’s hope for the future,” said Mark Glyptis, former president of the 56-year-old ISU and now president of the new USW local. “We certainly believe this gives (our members) hope.”

Glyptis said he and his members were elated about the merger, approved 913-89 by ISU members last month. It means workers can speak with one voice in bargaining with Mittal, the world’s largest steel company.

“It’s a historic day,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard, who noted the Weirton union’s strong record of battling for its members and the industry. “We’re proud of the history, the tenaciousness, the respect that people have for the ISU.”

Glyptis said members will benefit from greater financial, legal, mobilizing and lobbying strength, a message echoed by USW District 1 Director Dave McCall.

Joining forces “gives us more power, more energy,” McCall said.

U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat from West Virginia, spoke to the gathering by telephone from Washington, D.C., saying he believes the merger is good news for Weirton workers.

“They’re joining a very strong force in the labor movement,” Rockefeller said, promising his support.

“If I’m not in a fight for people producing steel, I feel like I’m neglecting life _ I’m part of you, you’re part of me,” he said to loud applause.

The decision to merge the ISU with the larger USW followed profound changes in the management of Weirton, which has gone from an employee-owned corporation to part of Arcelor-Mittal.

Gerard and Glyptis vowed to work hard on several issues, including having a say in the sale of Arcelor Mittal’s Sparrows Point, Md., plant where the USW represents some 2,100 production workers.

The ISU and the USW have worked together on the Stand Up for Steel Campaign, retiree health care and pension issues.

Hoisting their joined hands in the air after signing the merger agreement, Gerard and Glyptis promised to build on those efforts.

“We’re going to fight together,” Gerard said.

“Absolutely,” Glyptis said. “And we’re going to win.”

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

United Steelworkers POWERcast

Everyone that has internet access on their home computer should have the program iTunes installed. Everyone.
If you don’t have iTunes, you can download it free by going to http://www.apple.com/itunes/.
You can receive free automatic downloads of the Powercast through itunes.
Please do our union a big favor.
If you have iTunes, or once you have it downloaded and installed on your computer, search for Steelworkers POWERcast in the iTunes music store, subscribe to it, and post a favorable review.
If we would all do this, the POWERcast would be featured in the podcast section and would entice more people into accessing the POWERcast through iTunes.
If we can get it more prominently displayed, more people outside the union might listen.
While you’re at it, how about subscribing to the Steelworkers SOAR Podcast by going to http://web.mac.com/soar3