By Joe Chambers and Scott Godshaw

          Local 7-232 was first organized as Local 232 of the United Auto Workers in 1937. This organizing was done by a group of billing machine operators and supervisors. This was a conservative union that was fairly timid in the early years.

          There had been prior attempts to organize a union at Briggs & Stratton as early as 1918. Earlier in the 1930's there were unsuccessful attempts to organize a union at Briggs by the IWW, Machinists, and UAW. The Machinists had made some headway, but the company fired employees showing support for the union and there was some resistance since the Machinists were a skilled craft union organizing a largely unskilled shop.

          Briggs and Stratton recognized the Union after almost all of the 1,300 workers signed up with the union. The first agreement contained a 20% wage increase, (half of which replaced a former bonus), a grievance procedure and limited recognition of seniority rights. A one-week vacation came soon thereafter. At that time the UAW had a policy stating that there should be no signed contracts, only written policies. This was because the labor movement was enjoying considerable success in a very fluid labor relations environment at that time.

          The relationship with the company remained good from 1938 until 1944. There were however many shortcomings to this arrangement and few benefits by today's standards. There was no union shop agreement, weak seniority protections and different wages for men and women. The contract that ran from September 12, 1942 until July 1, 1944 had starting rates of 48¢ per hour for women and 55¢ per hour for men. In 1944 women made up 46% of the workforce at Briggs and Stratton.

          When that contract expired, the union made substantial demands including dues check-off and union security, a better grievance procedure, plant wide seniority for layoffs, equal pay for equal work and full pay for stewards for time spent handling grievances. Negotiations broke down and the matter was appealed to the War Labor Board. The War Board directed the company to grant the union shop agreement, dues check-off, full pay for time lost in grievance handling, and an additional week off for those with five years seniority. The company refused to do so, arguing the WLB had no legal jurisdiction. Additionally the company had a policy of not revealing the rates of pay for various jobs to the union. The union felt the company used this practice to reward "stooges" without the knowledge of the union by placing them on high paying jobs.

          Beginning in November of 1945 the union adopted a policy of sporadic work stoppages and walkouts. These walkouts were without warning and could last from a few hours to a few days. Members would leave the shop and go directly to a meeting at Jefferson Hall to hear about the progress or lack of progress in negotiations. By April of 1946, the company had offered a 13.5% wage increase but failed to address the other issues. This did not end the short strikes. In May of 1946, the company appealed to the WERB, which ruled that the strikes were in violation of the state's Employment Peace Act and ordered it to stop. The State Supreme Court upheld that ruling. The U.S. Supreme Court also upheld that ruling.

          Limited progress was made in some areas offset by growing conflict in other areas. Wages were increased and the company implemented a pension plan without consulting the union. The union negotiated an insurance plan that was described by the union as one of the best insurance plans in the country.

          However, the company still adamantly opposed the union security agreement and refused to make time study data and other rate data available to the union. The union filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB and no agreement was reached.

          On January 15, 1950, 1900 members of Local 232 left the plant for a strike that lasted 15 weeks. This was a difficult strike in which the company hired replacement workers and some workers did cross the picket line. By mid-February, the companies claimed over 900 people were working in the plant.

          On April 26th, the union abruptly ended the strike and returned to work. Stories vary on why that happened. One version says the union did it to prevent the company being taken over by outsiders. Some said this was putting more pressure on the company since they refused to remove the scabs, but did not lock out any of the strikers. Whatever the reason for the return, the result was successful for the union. In July 1950, members voted 4 to 1 in favor of the union shop in an election held by the NLRB. On August 1, 1950 the company signed a five-year agreement that granted all of the union's demands.

          The wounds from that strike remained for decades. Briggs refused to lock out the former strikers and they also refused to remove the scabs. This created a very hostile environment that resulted in many scabs eventually leaving. However many scabs remained in the workforce. The long life of the wound was demonstrated by the "scabs of the 50 strike" being pointed out to workers more than 35 years later as the last of them approached retirement.

          After the 1950 strike, labor relations were good at Briggs and Stratton. The company grew and prospered dramatically. The union was able to gain a share of this prosperity for the employees.

In 1974 there was a strike of 28 days. This strike came as a surprise to both the company and the union's leadership that felt they had done their best. The strike was, caused by workers demands for voluntary overtime, a better pension with early retirement after 30 years of service, and cost of living protections for wages. In the end the union won a contract that gave the workers all that they demanded.

          The bargaining posture of both sides became more guarded after that strike. More militant members challenged the union's leadership. The company found growth more difficult because their market had matured.

          In 1983, Briggs jumped on the "concession bandwagon" with much of corporate America. The company approached negotiations feeling that a strike was an acceptable cost for the concessions they were demanding and did not put forth an offer that anyone believed the union would accept.

This resulted in a strike that lasted 13 weeks. In the end the union returned to work with a divided leadership and an inferior contract that contained many of the concessions the company had demanded. Many gains were lost and concessions made that have never been recovered.

This strike led to a completion in the change in leadership in the Union, replacing a group that had been in power since the early 60's with a group that had been challenging for control of the local since the mid 70's.

The strike of 1983 also led to a change in attitude on the part of management toward the Milwaukee workforce and community. The management was deeply offended that the striking union members had remained solid longer than they had anticipated. This made the cost of the strike unacceptable even though the company had prevailed on most issues. Management then began to move operations out of Milwaukee, vowing to never be held hostage to a union again.

In 1983, Briggs and Stratton had its small engine production entirely located in the Milwaukee area. Employment in the plants had peaked in 1981 at over 11,000. Briggs also made almost all components for its engines, purchasing raw materials and making the components in-house. Now Briggs & Stratton has five plants in southern states, and joint ventures in Japan, China, India and Missouri. Briggs & Stratton also now purchases many components that used to be produced in the Milwaukee plants.

Briggs has also eliminated what it considered to be non-core business. In 1995 they spun off the lock division to become what is now Strattec Security Corp. They have sold two foundries in West Allis, one represented by Local 7-232 and one represented by the Molders Union.

Through the 1990's the relationship has remained adversarial and complicated. Thousands of jobs were lost to new plants in the South. Difficult negotiations and job actions resulted in a prolonged lawsuit against the Local Union and International Union. This lawsuit and its effects dominated the relationship for most of the decade. This lawsuit led to the current contract being negotiated and approved during a trusteeship during which the International Union ran the affairs of the local union and negotiated a contract similar to one that had been rejected by the membership.

Many Names of our Local Union.

The UAW had received its original charter from the AFL in 1935 to organize the auto industry on a industrial basis. The charter was the first issued to an American union to organize on an industrial basis rather than by craft. At the first convention, in August of 1935, William Green, then president of the AFL, appointed Francis Dillon, an AFL representative, president and Homer Martin as vice-president of the UAW. This was done over the objections of 250 delegates from auto industry workers who sought the open election of officers.

          Homer Martin sought support for the open election of officers from the already organized plants. The AFL finally agreed and Martin was elected president at the convention in April 1936. Martin was an outstanding organizer. When he became president the union had approximately 24,000 members. By October of 1937 the membership had grown to 400,000.

          In 1936 John L. Lewis, president of the United Mine Workers formed the Committee for Industrial Workers. Most of the industrial unions within the AFL immediately joined the CIO. In September of that year, the AFL suspended all of the unions associated with the CIO. The efforts to resolve the differences between the AFL and CIO failed, and the CIO formally broke with the AFL.

          A split was also growing at that time within the UAW. One side led by Homer Martin leading a direction that centralized power in the president of the International, opposed unauthorized strikes and worked to purge communist from the union. The other side that included most of the Detroit area local unions, promoted militant leadership and tactics, promoted greater democracy in the union by having equal votes for all board members and inclusion of all workers.

          Local 232 and at least 11 other small and medium sized locals including workers at Harley Davidson and Globe Union sided with Homer Martin in the side of the union that became the UAW AFL. The other portion of the UAW was much more successful in getting support in the larger plants including the major auto producing plants. That faction went on to become the UAW CIO.

The two sides were unable to resolve their differences and in 1939 the split became final. From 1937 to 1956, our union was Local 232 of the UAW-AFL.

          In December of 1955 when the AFL and CIO merged, the UAW CIO kept the UAW name. The UAW-AFL became the Allied Industrial Workers in 1956. Our Union then became Local 232 of the AIW.

          In 1993, the Allied Industrial Workers International Union merged to become part of the United Paperworkers International Union. Local unions from the former AIW had 7000 added to the local number, so our union became Local 7232 of the UPIU.

          In January of 1999, the United Paperworkers International Union (UPIU) merged with the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union. The new union is now named the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union. (PACE)

Former AIW locals no longer kept their 7 designation, however local unions had a digit added to the front of the local number to represent the region they will be in after PACE finishes consolidating regions. We are in what will become Region 7 when the consolidation is complete. So, we are now PACE Local 7-232.

The 21st Century

At Strattec, we are in our third contract since the spin-off, including the one negotiated at the time of spin off. We are facing negotiation for the next contract in early 2001.

At Briggs, the membership is now about 2,000. Management claims to be committed to remaining in Milwaukee and some work has returned from the Southern plants, but we continue to lose jobs due to the engines being made in Milwaukee being replaced by OHV engines made in the South.

It remains uncertain whether we can get enough jobs in Milwaukee to replace the ones we will lose. There is little optimism that we will ever get the jobs we have already lost back and great trepidation and uncertainty about the future of what remains of Briggs & Stratton in Milwaukee.

        In 2001, at both Strattec and Briggs & Stratton, the Local was involved in negotiations. The Strattec contract was set to expire on June 1, 2001 while at Briggs, the negotiations were for a contract that would succeed the current collective bargaining agreement that would have expired on August 1, 2002 . At Strattec, the members had overwhelmingly rejected the company’s “best offer” 385 to 4 on May 20, 2001 . At that point, a motion was made and passed to take a strike authorization vote. This vote gave the Bargaining Committee the right to authorize a strike if needed. This vote was 382 to 6. The company’s proposal included unacceptable language changes and a totally inferior economic package. On June 6, 2001 , another ratification vote was taken. The Bargaining Committee, after some movement from the company recommended the contract. Explanation was given that if the proposal was turned down, the members would be on strike that evening as of 12:01a.m. In a close vote, the proposal was rejected by a count of 235 to 202. The strike was on. Members stood firm and on June 20, a Federal Mediator set up a meeting that the company agreed to attend. This meeting led to another ratification vote and a final proposal was approved on June 22, 2001 , thus ending the 16 day strike. The vote was 270 to 116.

At Briggs, on July 8, 2001 , a successor contract was ratified by a vote of 732 to 241. The most significant change in this contract was the elimination of piecework to take place in August of 2004. This did, however, carry a $43 million price tag for the company, as members with 1979 seniority or greater will receive a $21,000 pension bonus payment upon retirement.

It is now 2005 and we are in negotiations with Strattec, whose contract expires June 26, 2005. We have approximately 290 active employees at Strattec.

At Briggs, there were not any letters sent for an early opener contract extension. The current contract, however,  does not expire until August 1, 2006. We now have less than 1000 active members at Briggs.

Information for this history taken from History of Allied Industrial Workers Local 232, by Joe Broderick, from the history of the Allied Industrial Workers in various formats, and the experience of the author, Joe Chambers, who has been an officer of the Local since 1981.


The seeds of this great union were planted in the late 1800s by our fathers and mothers, our grandparents, our great-grandparents and so on. They were seeds of commitment, solidarity and a common interest to fight for better conditions for working men and women everywhere. Through wars and recessions, good times and bad times, we established our family roots: better wages, job security, reasonable hours and safer working conditions. Thanks to the strength and activism of our members, our branches reached out to lead movements to stop child labor, provide aid to injured workers, fight for retirees, stand up for civil and human rights and so much more.  Today, we are a strong union, bold and proud. We continue to believe in better, and together, we are still standing up and fighting back for everyone. Review highlights of our proud history through the decades in the timeline below.


October 1935

The Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) established its own organizing committee for paperworkers.

June 17, 1936

Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) forms.

March 7, 1937

Union signs first contract, with Carnegie-Illinois Steel, for $5 a day wage and benefits.

May 1937

"Little Steel" strike, called to organize workers at Bethlehem, Jones & Laughlin, National and other companies, results in police riots, attacks on workers by company guards and other hardship for steelworkers, yet ultimately leads to successful organization of these companies and confirms validity of the National Labor Relations Act.


May 22, 1942

Delegates to SWOC convention in Cleveland create United Steelworkers of America and elect Philip Murray, chairman of SWOC, as first USWA President and approve geographic districts 1- 39.

June 30, 1942

Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel & Tin Workers merges with USWA.

June 30, 1944

Aluminum Workers of America merges with USWA.

February 13, 1945

USWA holds first secret-ballot referendum for international officers, dis­trict directors, and national director for Canada. Murray elected USWA president.

October 2, 1946

Steelworkers in Hamilton, Ontario, win historic strike for union recognition at Steel Company of Canada (now Stelco), using solidarity, organization, and political and com­munity support to overcome more than 1,000 company scabs and firmly establish the USWA as the predominant union in Hamilton.

October 31, 1949

USWA wins first company-funded pension plan for workers in contract with Bethlehem Steel.


November 9, 1952

Philip Murray dies of a heart attack.

November 15, 1952

David J. McDonald, International Secretary-Treasurer, is appointed to succeed Murray.

In 1955

The United Gas, Coke & Chemical Workers of America and chemical workers from District 50 form the modern Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union (OCAW.)

July 1, 1956

Start off our-week "Big Steel Strike."

In 1957

The CIO Paperworkers merged with the Papermakers to form the United Papermakers and Paperworkers (UPP).


The long struggle to establish the Steelworkers as the union for miners at the Noranda-owned Gaspe Copper Mine in Murdochville, Quebec. The mine and smelter were closed by 2002, effectively turning Murdochville into a ghost town.

July 15, 1959

Start of record 1l6-day steel industry strike.


July 31, 1961

Steelworkers join other trade unionists to help create New Democratic Party (NDP) in Canada.

July 1, 1962

NDP government in Saskatchewan enacts Medical Insurance Act, the beginning of universal health care in Canada.

February 9, 1965

I.W. Abel elected USWA President.

June 30, 1967

International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers merges with USWA.


December 20, 1970

Occupational Safety and Health Act, lobbied for by USWA, becomes law.

January 1, 1971

United Stone and Allied Products Workers of America merges with USWA.

In 1972

The United Papermakers and Paperworkers (UPP) merged with the Pulp and Sulphite Workers to form the United Paperworkers International Union (UPIU.)

September 17, 1972

District 50, Allied and Technical Workers, merges with USWA.

Labor Day, 1974

USWA-promoted Employee Retiree Income Security Act (ERISA) becomes law.

February 8, 1977

Lloyd McBride elected USWA President.


November 17, 1983

Lynn R. Williams elected temporary acting president following death of Lloyd McBride.

March 29, 1984

Lynn R. Williams elected USWA President, the first Canadian to head an international AFL-CIO union.

October 31, 1985

Upholsterers International Union merges with USWA.


In 1991

74 locals of the Independent Workers of North America (IWNA), representing 7,500 members, voted to affiliate with the United Paperworkers International Union (UPIU.)

June 1992

Restructuring of Algoma Steel creates the largest employee-owned company in Canada, saving 6,000 jobs and the community of Sault Ste. Marie, and leading to the modernization of a company that continues to employ thousands of Steelworkers and serves as the economic anchor of its community.

November 23, 1993

George Becker elected as sixth International President.

January 1994

The United Paperworkers International Union (UPIU) merged with the Allied Industrial Workers (AIW)

June 1, 1995

In a sweeping restructuring approved by the International Executive Board in April, the 18 American districts are consolidated into 9 districts.

July 1, 1995

In a special United Rubber Workers' convention, delegates vote to merge their 98,000-member union with the USWA.

November 4, 1996

Capping a worldwide struggle that lasted two years, three months and 24 days after United Rubber Workers struck Bridgestone/Firestone, the union wins a settlement covering 6,000 members at seven B/F plants.

December 17, 1996

Delegates representing 40,000 members of the Aluminum, Brick & Glass Workers vote to merge with USWA.

April 1998

Canadian Steelworkers, backed by 40 labour and human rights groups, file first-ever complaint under NAFTA's labour side agreement, supporting the attempt by an independent Mexican steelworkers union to organize a brake manufacturing plant near Mexico City.

September 10, 1998

"Stand Up for Steel" coalition of domestic steel companies and the USWA launches nationwide public awareness campaign about the dangers of massive illegal steel imports triggered by the Asian financial crisis.

January 1999

United Paperworkers International Union (UPIU) and  Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union (OCAW) came together and approved the merger to become the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE.)

November 28, 1999

Massive Steelworker participation in the "Battle of Seattle" helps to establish labor-environmental alliance against "globalization in the hands of multinational CEOs," which President George Becker says is "destroying millions of industrial jobs, degrading the environment, and undermining our basic rights as workers and citizens."


January 11, 2000

More than 4,000 administrative and technical support staff at the University of Toronto ratifies their first collective agreement as members of United Steelworkers Local 1998, expanding the benefits of Steelworker representation to workers in higher education with the largest single organizing victory in years.

February 1, 2000

Charter issued to Local 1976, a 5,000-member national local, following the merger of the Canadian section of the former Transportation Communications Union with the USWA.

February 28, 2001

George Becker retires. International Executive Board appoints Leo W. Gerard the union's seventh International President. Jim English appointed Secretary-Treasurer.


February 12, 2002

Local 4120 is chartered at the University of Guelph, bringing the number of university employees represented by the Steelworkers to more than 5,000.

June 3, 2003

Delegates representing the 12,000 members of the American Flint Glass Workers Union vote by an overwhelming 80 percent to merge with the USWA.

November 2003

After a decade-long campaign led by Steelworkers in Canada, the Westray Bill is finally passed into law, changing Canada's Criminal Code to make corporations, their directors and executives criminally accountable for putting workers' lives at risk.

April 23, 2004

Lawrence McBrearty retires. International Executive Board appoints Ken Neumann the union's National Director for Canada.

August 31, 2004

Workers at Armstrong World Industries in Macon, Ga., vote overwhelm­ingly to merge their Directly Affiliated Local Union with the USWA.

September 1, 2004

Members of the Industrial, Wood and Allied Workers (IWA Canada) vote to merge their 50,000-member organization with the USWA, creating the largest private­ sector union in Canada.

November 26, 2004

After a year-long campaign to win Steelworker representation, 3,000 former members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees on Canadian National Railway are certified as Steelworkers by the Canada Industrial Relations Board.

February 7, 2005

The USWA signs a strategic alliance with the Australian Workers' Union (AWU) to develop joint strategies, including "cross-national bargaining and organizing support" and "coordination of bargaining across national borders."

February 11, 2005

The USWA and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union of Australia (CFMEU) form a strategic alliance and "commit to building power by increasing communication, collaboration and coordination across our national borders," responding to corporate globalization with global solidarity.

March 1, 2005

Andrew "Lefty" Palm retires. International Executive Board appoints Thomas M. Conway the union's International Vice President (Administration).

April 2005

The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) signs a strategic alliance with the Steelworkers. The alliance is aimed at taking on the global­ization of the culture industry and to address a range of common issues.

April 13, 2005

The USW signs strategic alliances with the National Union of Mining, Steel and Allied Workers of the Republic of Mexico (SNTMMSRM) and with CNM-CUT, the largest metalworkers' union in Brazil, to strengthen the close working relations between the unions and increase communication, collaboration and coordination across national bor­ders.

April 14, 2005

The USWA and the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers (PACE) International Union merge to form the largest industrial union in North America, the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (USW). With more than 850,000 active members in over 8,000 bargaining units in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, the combined union is the dominant union in paper, forestry products, steel, aluminum, tire and rubber, mining, glass, chemicals, petroleum and other basic resource industries.

May 24, 2005

Canadian Steelworker Carol Landry is elected as one of eight women on the-executive committee of the International Metalworkers' Federation, joining International President Leo W. Gerard as one of two Canadians on the 25-member executive board.

August 1, 2005

International Executive Board appoints Richard "Dick" LaCosse International Vice President with responsibility for national paper industry bargaining, follow­ing the July 31 retirement of former PACE President Boyd Young, who is named USW President Emeritus.

August 9, 2005

USW and Amicus, the largest manufacturing union in the UK with over one million members in the private and public sectors, including: steel and other metals; ener­gy; paper; chemicals and pharmaceuticals; shipbuilding; health care and transportation form a strategic alliance to increase solidarity and communication between the two unions, develop cross-national networks of unions with common employers and support cross-national orga­nizing and bargaining.

September 1, 2005

John Sellers retires. International Executive Board appoints Ron Hoover as Executive Vice President of the USW Rubber/Plastics Industry Conference (R/PIC).

November 22, 2005

The slate of candidates for international office headed by President Leo W. Gerard wins election without opposition. It is the first time in the union's 63-year his­tory that the entire International Executive Board is elected by consensus.

May 26, 2006

Members of the National Pharmacists Association (NPhA), representing approximately 1,100 registered pharmacists at Walgreens retail pharmacies in the Chicago area, as well as many other parts of northern Illinois and Northwestern Indiana, have voted overwhelmingly to affiliate with the United Steelworkers (USW).

June 7, 2006

The United Steelworkers (USW) and the Sierra Club announced the formation of a strategic alliance to pursue a joint public policy agenda under the banner of Good Jobs, A Clean Environment, and A Safer World.

February 4, 2007

Former President George Becker, a second-generation steelworker who became the sixth international president of the United Steelworkers (USW), died Saturday at his home in Gibsonia, Pa. He was 78.

April 13, 2007

USW International President, Leo W. Gerard and Mark Glyptis, former president of the Independent Steelworkers Union, signed a merger agreement for 1,150 members of the new USW Local 2911.

April 18, 2007

The United Steelworkers (USW), Amicus and the Transportation & General Workers Union (T&GWU) of the United Kingdom, today announced a formal process to prepare the ground for the creation of the first Trans-Atlantic trade union.

July 17, 2007

The United Steelworkers (USW) and the Canadian Region of the Communications Workers of America  (CWA)  have signed a Strategic Alliance to work together on issues of common interest in Canada and globally. The CWA/SCA Canada Region represents about 9,000 workers in every aspect of media across Canada, including newspapers, broadcasting, news agencies and online media.  Other members are in social work, interpretation services and light industry.

December 17, 2007

Québec's largest private sector union, the United Steelworkers (FTQ), is now under the leadership of Daniel Roy and his assistant, Guy Farrell. The new Director declared that the United Steelworkers (FTQ) will be involved in all actions intended to halt the shift to the right that is evident around the world.

December 20, 2007

In accordance with the constitution of the United Steelworkers, the USW’s International Executive Board has by unanimous vote named District 2 Director Jon Geenen the union’s international vice president with responsibility for national paper industry bargaining.

March 11, 2008

United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond is one of four new members of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, a key decision-making body of the 10.5 million member labor federation. Redmond, 53, and three others were elected to the Executive Council on March 4.

March 25, 2008

Four of America’s largest unions have announced a political, electoral and legislative alliance pledged to “renew core American values:  dignity, decency and fair treatment in the workplace.”

April 25, 2008

Members of the United Steelworkers Union (USW) overwhelmingly approved by 77 percent a new four-year master economic and security agreement with International Paper (IP) covering 32 converting facilities that take paper and make it into paperboard, cardboard and other paper products.

May 9, 2008

Over 2,000 members of the United Steelworkers Union (USW) voted by a 4 to 1 margin to accept a four-year umbrella agreement with Domtar that covers 4,000 members at 10 Domtar facilities.

June 28, 2008

The United Steelworkers (USW) top international officers, executive board and 3,500 elected local union leaders from North America’s steel, paper, rubber and tire, mining, oil and service sector workplaces will meet for an International Convention, Jun. 30-Jul. 3 at the Paris-Bally’s Conference Center in Las Vegas to create the first global union.

July 2, 2008

Carol Landry, a union activist and seasoned contract negotiator who joined the USW in 1987 at Canada’s largest copper mine, was appointed International Vice President (First Woman to the Executive Board) by unanimous vote of the 27-member IEB during the USW’s 2008 Constitutional Convention.

September 10, 2008

The United Steelworkers today announced the appointment of veteran labor attorney Richard J. Brean as the union’s General Counsel. Brean, 60, of Pittsburgh, succeeds General Counsel Paul Whitehead.

October 30, 2008

The United Steelworkers (USW) joined Appleton Papers in applauding today’s U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) final determination to impose both anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on unfairly traded imports of lightweight thermal paper (LWTP) from China and Germany.

February 4, 2009

Some 4,000 workers from all over the U.S. joined together on Capitol Hill today to deliver more than 1.5 million petitions to Congress urging the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.

July 8, 2009

Trade union and parliamentary leaders from 13 countries are visiting Mexico this week to support the National Union of Mine and Metal Workers, which has been under attack by the Mexican government and the Grupo Mexico mining company.


December 10, 2014

On this day in Pittsburgh, the United Steelworkers (USW) and the National Executive Council of the Telecommunications Workers Union (TWU) signed a historic merger joining the two unions.

June 25, 2010

A new 4-year labor agreement between the United Steelworkers (USW) union and Alcoa covering some 6,000 workers at 11 U.S. locations.

September 9, 2010

The United Steelworkers filed a comprehensive trade case under Section 301 of the trade law identifying a broad array of Chinese policies and practices that threaten the future of America’s alternative and renewable energy sector.

September 17, 2010

United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard accepted an appointment by President Barack Obama to the President's Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations.

December 13, 2010

United Steelworkers reported that a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel found in favor of the United States, a challenge by China on imposition of import duties on passenger and light truck tires.

August 12, 2011

Over 3,000 elected United Steelworkers local union leaders from across North America met with top international officers and executive board members for an International Convention Aug. 15 - 18, at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

August 22, 2011

United Steelworkers mourn the loss of a treasured friend and great Canadian, but they are comforted by Jack Layton's incredible legacy - of unbridled hope and optimism for a brighter future for our country.

November 18, 2011

United Steelworker members at oil facilities nationwide overwhelmingly ratified the National Oil Bargaining (NOB) policy after delegates to the September oil bargaining conference adopted it.

January 30, 2012

The World Trade Organization (WTO), in clear and unequivocal language, stated that China’s decision to limit the export of key raw materials violates the commitments China made when it joined the WTO.

February 02, 2012

Fred Redmond, USW International Vice President (Human Affairs), has been elected to the Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

May 07, 2012

The United Steelworkers (USW) is saddened to announce the death last Friday of former International Vice President Leon Lynch, who retired in 2006.

December 13, 2012

Nancy Lessin, a longtime United Steelworkers activist on behalf of worker health and safety, was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis to a seat on the 12-member federal Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC)

April 25, 2013

The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that International Vice President Fred Redmond will be honored to accept the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) Dr. Annie B. Martin Labor Leader Award at its annual Northeast Region Civil Rights Advocacy Training Institute

September 27, 2013

President Barack Obama has announced the appointment of United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard and 18 others to the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) Steering Committee “2.0.”

December 6, 2013

The United Steelworkers' (USW) 1.2 million active and retired members join the citizens of South Africa and people across the world in mourning the loss of a great leader and humanitarian, Nelson Mandela.

March 26, 2014

The United Steelworkers hailed today’s ruling from National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 13 Director Peter Sung Ohr declaring that Northwestern University football players fit the legal definition of employees and thus are eligible to form a union.

May 5, 2014

Retired USW President Lynn Williams, the son of a Canadian mill-town minister who led the United Steelworkers as its international president during a turbulent decade of steel industry consolidation, died May 5 at age 89 in Toronto, Canada.

Information on USW History taken from https://www.usw.org/union/history