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National Grid is jeopardizing the safety of our communities by locking out 1,100 of its most experienced employees who are critical to ensuring safe and quality gas work in Massachusetts.

August 20, 2016

Historical details describing labor activity that are responsible for building a middle class in the U.S. are largely forgotten, or conveniently ommitted in nearly all American schools, including events that took place in our very backyards.

NIU labor history scholar, Ph.D., Rosemary Fuerer, a renowned labor historian and author brought a treasure trove of valued labor information to her Labor History presentation before USW members at the Labor Temple yesterday in Granite City. Ill.

March 12, 2018
Many guests were greeted with a warm welcome from another packed house during the Granite City and Southern Illinois SOAR Chapter 7-34-2 March meeting yesterday.

After 27 months of the USS/Granite City Works being idle, the recent announcement by corporate to restart iron and steelmaking gave reason for a toast among the Chapter E-board and USW Local 50 President Craig Mckey. Craig expressed his appreciation for SOAR offering so much assistance during the entire length of long-term layoff steelworkers while giving a report on the restart, including the USS Director of Operations assurance that GCW would be provided all the resources for a successful start-up.

March 5, 2018

A personal battle is motivating this steel veteran to defend the industry. Doug May might have left the factory floor when he retired in February 2016, but he didn’t stop fighting for his fellow steelworkers. In fact, he might just have gotten started.

May, who worked 43 years at the steel mill in Granite City, Ill., opted to become an active advocate for his fellow steelworkers, including via the organization SOAR (Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees). And right now, May’s energy is focused on generating support for strong and comprehensive action on steel and aluminum imports, which have devastated communities like Granite City over the past several years.

Kaitlin Koenig (in the photo with SOAR President Jeff Rains) recipient of one of our 2017 SOAR Scholarships attended our January monthly meeting and received the 2nd installment of her $3,000 scholarship award. 
Kaitlin plans to work with the hearing impaired once completing her major in sign language for the deaf. 


Turning a generational belief on its head that the young don’t often work in unison with seasoned retirees that they have never met, new freshmen students from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville combined their Service Experience with the Granite City, Illinois SOAR Chapter in a laborious but fruitful  community effort.

Congressman John Shimkus

So local nine-term Congressman, John Shimkus-R  15th Collinsville, Illinois is home for an extended weekend in observance of the Martin Luther King holiday, hoping, I’m sure, for a little peace and privacy.


We all experience the good feelings of joy that come with the Christmas season. The spontaneous wishes expressed to friends and strangers alike to have a happy Christmas as we smile and walk away. We experience the joyful, personal rewards during the season that become second nature when you hear the clanging of the bell outside the stores, knowing that those in need will be offered a little extra help as people stop and drop money into the ringer’s bucket.

Sarah Smith for Circuit JudgeWhile the annual holiday gift drive was something President Rains’ chapter financed and organized, support has also come from Associate Judge Sarah Smith. According to Rains, Smith has at times offered to pay for the postage and shipment of the supplies and has gone out of her way to help get them in the hands of our men and women overseas.  Sarah also serves as a Lt. Colonel in the Illinois National Guard  and supplied the names of the troops in Afghanistan who will soon be enjoying the boxes loaded with those hard to get treats that were donated by SOAR members for Christmas.