Usw update-monday

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Usw update-monday

  1. 1. Day 1 CONVENTION COVERAGE USW CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION 2011 International President Leo W. Gerard Ignites Delegates to Stand  Up,  Fight  Back By  Barbara  White  Stack USW  CommunicationsI nternational  President  Leo  W.  Gerard  opened  the  2011   USW  Convention  by  acknowledging  past  leaders,  recog-­ for  our  pursuit  of  universal  health  care,  for  the  preservation  of   nizing  the  work  of  our  union  forefathers  and  calling  current   our  pensions,  for  our  families,  our  countries.the  middle  class. our  members.”  “The  union  movement  and  our  allies  need  to  mount  a  major   Gerard  noted  that  by  sticking  together  and  standing  strong,  assault  for  workers,”  Gerard  told  the  3,000  delegates  and  inter-­ Steelworkers  have  achieved  awesome  advancements  in  bargain-­national  guests  assembled  at  the  MGM  conference  center  in  Las   ing  in  these  dire  times,  including  winning  successorship  and  Vegas  Monday.    This,  he  said,  is  the  response  to  the  assaults  on   coordinated  bargaining  in  paper  and  substantial  wage  increases  workers  that  have  occurred  relentlessly  in  the  past  three  years.   at  Potash  Corp.  in  Saskatchewan.  The  union  preserved  retiree   -­ Steelworkers  also,  he  noted,  have  pursued  and  won  important  delegates.    The  delegates  responded  to  this  kind  of  sentiment   trade  cases  protecting  56,000  member  jobs  over  the  past  three  with  applause  20  times  and  with  three  standing  ovations.   years.   Steelworkers  have  shown  they  can  win  when  they  stand  scabs  taking  their  jobs,  Gerard  said.  They  must  stand  up  and   their  rights.  and  restoration  of  global  leadership  in  manufacturing.   and  added:Gerard  told  the  crowd,  invoking  the  theme  of  the  2011  conven-­ brothers,  be  strong. Gerard  walked  the  crowd  through  the  tragic  events  of  the  past  three  years.  Unregulated,  reckless  gambling  on  Wall  Street  crashed  the  U.S.  economy,  which  knocked  down  the  world  economy.  Unemployment    skyrocketed.  Housing  values  de-­numbers  of  foreclosures  continue  to  take  homes  from  working  people.  Wages  stagnated  and  income  inequality  rose  to  pre-­Great  Depression  levels  in  the  United  States  and  Canada. Instead  of  aiding  suffering  working  people,  politicians  demanded  austerity  and  immediately-­balanced  budgets.  They  fought  health  care  reform,  opposed  extension  of  unemployment  Security  and  Medicare,  Gerard  noted.  At  the  same  time,  he  said,  politicians  refused  to  balance  budgets  by  taxing  the  rich  and  ending  corporate  loopholes  and  subsidies. Politicians  are  not  working  for  working  people  anymore,  he  their  campaigns  with  cash.”     Workers  cannot  depend  on  politicians,  he  said.  They  must  signer  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence:   “It  does  not  take  a  majority  to  prevail,  but  rather  an  irate,  minds  of  men.”
  2. 2. Convention  Approves  Stand  Up,  Fight  BackBy  Barbara  White  Stack  and  Jim  McKay from  want  and  fear  and  that  requires  employment.  .  .housing,  USW  Communications medical  care,  education  and  the  ability  to  retire  with  dignity.”D Invoking  the  words  of  Tommy  Douglas,  former  leader  of   elegates  on  Monday  unanimously  -­-­  and  vehemently   -­-­  adopted  a  resolution  echoing  the  theme  of  the   not  too  late  to  build  a  better  world,”  the  resolution  calls  on   2011  USW  International  Convention,  Stand  Up,   Steelworkers  to: Fight  Back. social  programs  that  support  those  families  hardest  hit   by  the  recession  and  full  employment  policies.   and  collective  bargaining.  effort.” Delegates  lined  up  at  the  microphones  on  the  convention   the  United  States  and  Canada  to  revitalize  economies   -­ and  for  policies  to  redevelop  a  strong  manufacturing  worker  action  is  essential  for  economic  and  social  equity,  then   base.  workers. “Every  worker  should  have  a  job  where  they  have  dignity   public  services.  president  of  the  Goodyear  local  in  Gadsden,  Ala. Denise  Edwards,  a  representative  of  the  Steelworker  Orga-­ rights  of  all  workers  and  the  environment  are  protected  will  work  to  enact  the  resolution:   and  trade  is  fair  and  balanced.   “Our  SOAR  members  in  Pennsylvania  have  gotten  on  the  bus  at  4  a.m.  to  join  our  brothers  and  sisters  on  the  picket  lines   Delegates  support  Stand  Up  Fight  Back  Resolution.retirees  just  want  to  know  what    time  the  bus  is  leaving.”United  States  have  resulted  in  a  dramatic  rise  in  inequality  and  unchecked  corporate  power  which  in  the  fall  of  2008  caused  the  worst  recession  since  the  Great  Depression,  the  resolution  says.  “This  philosophy  of  deregulation,  de-­unionization,  race-­to-­liberalism  has  shifted  power,  income  and  wealth  from  workers  to  corporations  and  left  us  with  severe  structural  imbalances   -­ened  the  gulf  that  divides  the  bargaining  power  of  workers  and  employers.” If  our  countries  are  to  have  economies  that  work  for  work-­achieve  it.  It  explains,  “In  order  to  have  real  freedom,  in  order  Sen.  Reid  Promises  to  Protect  JobsBy Jim McKayUSW Communications debt  ceiling,  has  promised  to  turn  his  attention  to  Main  Street  N and  creating  jobs. evada  Sen.  Harry  Reid,  the  majority  leader  in  the   -­ U.S.  Senate,  on  Monday  welcomed  the  USW  del-­ egates  attending  the  2011  Convention  to  his  state   with  you  as  we  seek  to  protect  jobs.” “The  USW  is  part  of  the  foundation  that  makes  our  econo-­ Gerard  said  the  majority  leader  has  pledged  to  support  Wayne  my  work,”  Reid  said  in  a  videotaped  welcome  that  was  played   Holland,  Steelworker  staff  representative  for  Utah  and  North-­for  the  delegates  in  the  opening  session  of  the  Convention.   ern  Nevada,  in  his  bid  to  become  vice  chairman  of  the  National   Democratic  Party.  Holland  is  current  chairman  of  the  Utah  be  strong  without  unions  like  the  Steelworkers.” Democratic  Party.
  3. 3. Pelosi  Demands  Job  Creation;Halting  China’s  Currency  ManipulationBy  Barbara  White  Stack ating  prosperity  for  all  Americans,  which  will  increase  demand  USW  Communications and  as  a  result,  increase  jobs.  N By  contrast,  she  said,  Republicans  are  pushing  an  anti-­ ancy  Pelosi,  minority  leader  of  the  U.S.  House,  an-­ worker  agenda  in  Washington  and  in  states  coast  to  coast,   nounced  at  the  2011  USW  Constitutional  Conven-­ including  attacks  on  unionized  teachers  and  public  workers  in   tion  opening  session  Monday  that  before  Repub-­ Wisconsin,  Indiana  and  Ohio.   Republicans  in  Congress,  she  noted,  are  actually  trying  to   help  corporations  ship  jobs  overseas  by  passing  an  Outsourc-­ In  a  speech  greeted  repeatedly  by  applause,  Pelosi  also  pointed  out  the  key  differences  between  GOP  and  Democratic   of  Wrongs.  politicians  –  Republicans  are  job  killers  and  Democrats  sup-­ In  addition,  she  said,  the  GOP,  at  the  behest  of  corporations,  port  workers.   is  trying  to  gut  the  National  Labor  Relations  Board,  attempting   And  Pelosi  thanked  Steelworkers  for  their  help  in  getting   to  punish  workers  for  exercising  their  right  to  organize  and  de-­health  care  reform  passed  and  for  support  of  clean  energy  leg-­islation  that  will  create  jobs  and  improve  the  environment.   Administration  (FAA)  funding  process  to  strip  airline  workers   Democrats  have  already  held  up  the  proposed  trade  deals   of  the  right  to  organize  the  way  other  workers  do.  by  demanding  renewal  of  Trade  Adjustment  Assistance  (TAA)  for  workers  displaced  by  imports.  Now,    Pelosi  suggested  that   to  get  our  economy  back  on  track,  to  create  jobs,  and  to  Make   It  in  America.  Let  us  always  stand  up  for  a  strong  middle  class  currency,  which  causes  its  exports  to  the  United  States  to  be   –  the  backbone  of  American  prosperity.”expensive.  This  works  to  suppress  U.S.  exports  to  goods.  And  that  kills  U.S.  industry  and  jobs.   The  Steelworkers,  the  Alliance  for  American  Manufacturing  and  Democrats  have  insisted  that  the  United  States  formally  name  China  as  a  currency  ma-­nipulator  and  consider  the  manipulation  as  a  factor  when  the  amount  of  import  duties  is  determined.   In  addition,  Pelosi  detailed  the  Democratic  agen-­da  to  create  jobs.  For  Steelworkers,  among  the  most  important  of  those  programs  is  “Make  It  in  America.”  This  effort,  launched  by  U.S.  Rep.  Steny  Hoyer,  (D-­Md.),  means,  Pelosi  said,  “keeping  American  jobs  on  our  shores.”  Make  it  in  America,  Pelosi  said,  means  putting  people  to  work  building  roads,  bridges,  and  rail  lines  and  developing  clean,  green  technology.make  it  in  America,”  the  minority  leader  said.     Democrats  also  want  the  newly-­created  Joint  on  Jobs,  Pelosi  said.  All  of  its  conversations  should  focus  on  economic  growth  and  job  creation  to  reduce   -­Verizon  Greed  Provokes  StrikeT he  Communication  Workers  of  America  asked   paid  medical  plan. Convention  delegates  to  support  a  strike  by  45,000   employees  of  Verizon  Communications  Inc. Jim  Weitkamp,  vice  president  of  CWA  District  9,   “This  is  a  corporation  that  was  built  on  union  labor,”  Weit-­said  the  strike  began  on  Aug.  7  after  the  company  at  the  last   kamp  said.  “They  seek  to  gut  our  contract  and  erase  gains  that  minute  put  100  regressive  contract  proposals  on  the  table     date  back  as  far  as  1943.”including  eliminating  pensions  and  destroying  the  employer-­ For  more  information,  go  the  CWA  website,  cwa-­union.org.
  4. 4. Past  Presidents  Honored By Jim McKay USW CommunicationsT under  his  wing  as  he  advanced  through  his  union  career.  “I   Convention  honored  past  leaders  including  President   Emeritus  Lynn  Williams,  who  was  on  the  stage,  and   Gerard  added. retired  PACE  President  Boyd  Young. Those  honored  by  the  resolution  include  Philip  Murray  (1942-­1952),  the  founder  of  the  Steelworkers  Organizing  (1983-­1994)  and  George  Becker  (1994-­2001). Also  honored  were  past  presidents  of  unions  that  merged  with  the  USW:    Ken  Coss,  former  president  of  the  United  Rub-­ In  remarks  preceding  the  resolution  vote,  International  who  was  concerned  more  about  his  members  than  himself. Gerard  called  Williams  a  lifelong  mentor  who  took  him     President  Emeritus  Lynn  R.  WilliamsIncome  Inequality  Unsustainable By Jim McKay USW CommunicationsI ncome  inequality  has  worsened  over  the  last  decade  with   a  small  group  of  people  take  all  the  rewards.” wealth  while  the  rest  of  us  work  longer  and  harder,   Governments  as  they  exist  today  are  not  going  to  change   struggle  to  hold  onto  our  jobs  and  go  into  debt  to  keep  up. the  situation,  she  said.  Neither  is  business,  particularly  the   multinational  corporations  that  are  propelling  the  growth  in  economist  with  the  Canadian  Centre  for  Policy  Alternatives,   income  inequality,  nor  can  public  interest  groups  because  they  told  the  Convention  Monday  afternoon. have  no  power. That  leaves  labor  unions  to  take  up  the  charge,  particularly   the  USW,  which  Yalnizyan  called  the  most  powerful  group  of  and  the  rest  of  us.” workers  on  the  surface  of  the  planet. CEO  pay  has  risen  enormously  in  both  the  United  States  and  Canada  when  average  wages  in  both  countries  have  dropped  even  though  two  household  incomes  is  the  norm. done  it  before  and  we  can  do  it  again,”  Yalnizyan  said.  “And  if   -­“A  third  of  all  income  gains  in  the  last  decade  went  to  the  top   ers.” A er passage of a resolution supporting engagement and mentoring of young workers, Canadian rapper Michael O’Brien performs “One Day Longer” with young workers surrounding him on stage and convention delegates partici- pating in the audience. USW International President, far le , introduced the resolution noting that USW President Emeritus Lynn R. Williams “took me under his wing when I was a young person. Without him, I would never have made it to the sta .”

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