From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
:USW redirects here. USW or usw is also a German abbreviation for "und so weiter", meaning et cetera. The United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (United Steelworkers or USW) is the largest industrial labor union in North America, and claims over 1.2 million active and retired workers amongst its ranks. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the United Steelworkers represents workers in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The United Steelworkers represent workers in a diverse range of industries, including primary and fabricated metals, chemicals, glass, rubber, heavy-duty conveyor belting, tires, transportation, utilities, container industries, pharmaceuticals, call centres and health care.The United Steelworkers is currently affiliated with both the American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), as well as several international union federations.The current International President of the United Steelworkers is Leo Gerard, who has served as president since 2001.
Origins and History Early attempts to organize steelworkers encountered resistance, even violence. An example is the Homestead Strike. In 1889, after a strike at a mill in Homestead, Pennsylvania, the Carnegie Steel Company signed a contract with the workers. Three years later, however, the mill cut wages, triggering another strike. Management sent in 300 Pinkerton detectives to break the strike, resulting in a pitched battle on July 6, 1892, that left 10 dead and many wounded. Eventually, strikebreakers, backed by state militia, broke the strike, eliminating the early union from its mills.The USW was established May 22, 1942, by a convention of representatives from the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers and the Steel Workers Organizing Committee, after almost six years of divisive struggles to create a new union of steelworkers. The drive to create this union included such violent incidents as the infamous Memorial Day, 1937, when Chicago policemen supporting the rival American Federation of Labor (AFL) fired on workers outside a Republic Steel mill and killed 10 men.The founder and first president of the USW, Philip Murray, led the union through its first organizing drives and dangerous first decade, when the workers of USW went on strike several times to win concessions such as the right to bargain collectively with steel companies, higher wages, and paid vacations.
Growth of the Union The 46,000 members of the Aluminum Workers of America voted to merge with the budding steelworker union that was the USW in June, 1944. Eventually, eight more unions joined the USW as well: the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers (1967); the United Stone and Allied Product Workers of America (1971); District 50, the Allied and Technical Workers of America (1972); the Upholsterers International Union of North America (1985); the United Rubber, Cork, Linoleum & Plastic Workers of America (URW) (1995); the Aluminum, Brick and Glass Workers Union (ABG) (1996); the Canadian Division of the Transportation Communications International Union (1999); and the American Flint Glass Workers Union (AFGWU) (2003).In June, 2004, the USW announced a merger with the 55,000 member Industrial, Wood and Allied Workers of Canada (IWA Canada), a major Canadian forestry workers union. Then in 2005, it announced an even larger merger with the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE). The resulting new union adopted its current name after the PACE merger, and currently has 860,000 active members.In September 2006, the Independent Oil Workers Union of Aruba which represents refinery workers on the Caribbean island of Aruba, affiliated with the United Steelworkers, becoming the first USW union local outside of the U.S. and Canada.In early April 2007, the BBC announced that the United Kingdom's second-largest trade union, Amicus, was to begin discussions with the USW about a possible merger. If successful, it would create an international "super union" with more than 3 million members, more able to pressure multinational corporations and their managers. Also in April, 2007, the USW also merged with the Independent Steelworkers Union, adding 1,150 members at Arcelor-Mittal's Weirton, West Virginia steel mill.
Strategic Alliances In addition to mergers, the USW has also formed strategic alliances with several other unions as well as other groups. In April, 2005, the USW and the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) announced that they had formed a strategic alliance to take on the globalization of the culture industry and to address a range of common issues. In July, 2006, the USW announced a similar arrangement with the United Transportation Union (UTU), to address common issues in the transportation industry, including the globalization of the industry. In July, 2007, the USW inked yet another strategic alliance with the Canadian Region of the Communications Workers of America. Beyond its affiliations with other unions, in June, 2006, the USW announced the formation of a 'Blue-Green Alliance' with the Sierra Club, which is the largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. The goal of this new partnership is to pursue a joint public policy agenda reconciling workers' need for good jobs with all people's need for a cleaner environment and safer world.
The USW and the 2006 U.S. elections In April 2005, USW President Gerard announced that the newly-merged USW's top political objective for the 2006 United States House of Representatives elections would be the ouster of Representative Tom DeLay. DeLay subsequently announced in April, 2006, that he would not run for reelection.Prior to the 2006 election the USW stated that it would endorse other candidates whether Democratic or Republican, pursuant to the following principles: first, the well-being of its members, second, candidate's support for workers' right to collectively bargain contracts as the only way to ensure high wages, good health care and a safe retirement, and third, candidate's support for the government's role in helping all people reach their full potential.
This article is based on an article from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and is available under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.
In the Wikipedia there is a list with all authors of this article available.