The Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) was established in 1985 to provide retirees with an organization to enable them to continue to act collectively on issues of concern to working families, both active and retired, and as a means to continue to interact socially with co-workers.
SOAR currently has a membership of approximately 70,000 in the U.S. and Canada. This membership is made up of retired members and their spouses.
The Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) is dedicated to providing a vehicle for retirees and their spouses to remain active and involved in the union and in their communities; through community groups, and labor bodies as well as their own Chapter activities.
SOAR serves as a source for activists to participate in legislative and political activities related to issues of concern to retired workers, as well as active workers. Some of their activities include rallies in support of striking workers, rallies in D.C. and at state capitals, and working on campaigns for labor friendly candidates.
The organization is not affiliated with any political party, but works to support candidates based on the issues that they support.
Executive Board. SOAR has an Executive Board made up of a President, C.L. “Connie” Entrekin; a Vice-President, Harry Hynd; a Vice-President (West) Albert Becco; a Secretary-Treasurer, Charlie Averill; and an elected representative from each of the USW’s 13 districts in North America.
Jack Munro, former President of the IWA, has been appointed to the Board to help build SOAR within the former IWA membership. Bill Gibbons has been appointed to the Board to help build SOAR within the former PACE membership.
Coordinators. Each District also has Coordinators who are appointed by the District Directors.
Chapters. Dues paying members belong to SOAR Chapters. These Chapters can be made up of members exclusively from one local union or may be made up of all USW retirees in the geographic area. These Chapters are autonomous and elect their own leadership.
Director. Jim Centner is currently the Director of SOAR, appointed by the International President.
Dues to belong to a SOAR Chapter are $12.00 peryear for retired members, $3.00 per year for surviving spouses and widowers. The dues are split between the Chapter (30%), a District Fund (30%) which is used to finance conventions, bus trips, etc., and SOAR International (40%) to fund the staffing and materials of the office.
Help Grow SOAR
Since 2009, SOAR has recruited more than 8,000 new members. Local union involvement and support has been crucial to this increase in members.
Here is a link to SOAR informational materials and enrollment information. Contact the International SOAR office at 866 208-4420 for information on how to start a SOAR Chapter.