USW Affirms Devastating Consequences of Unfair Trade, Urges White House to Fight for American Workers, Communities
PITTSBURGH, Oct. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) today affirmed the disastrous effects that more than two decades of so-called "free" trade have had on American workers, their families and communities, as reported in documents leaked from the White House.
USW International President Leo W. Gerard called on the administration to put workers first in the ongoing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and to follow through on the Department of Commerce's Section 232 investigations into how steel and aluminum imports have damaged industries essential to national defense.
"In all of the major industrial sectors in which our union represents workers, the catastrophic social, economic and health consequences of unfair foreign trade hit our members first and hardest," Gerard said. "We have lost millions of family supporting, community sustaining manufacturing jobs in thousands of factories that have permanently closed, and the results are predictably devastating and well documented."
"It should be no secret that when good jobs disappear, crime rates, alcoholism, drug use, home foreclosures, divorces, suicides and depression increase, and families become less stable," he said. "Likewise, when people lose their health insurance, they become dependent on programs like Medicaid, Social Security disability, food stamps and other types of government assistance."
"Deindustrialization due to unfair trade means fewer families being able to afford the always-increasing cost of higher education and fewer opportunities for individuals to improve their standard of living," Gerard said. "Now more than ever, the White House needs to act with urgency to level the playing field for American workers, invest in our country's decaying infrastructure and create good, sustainable manufacturing jobs."
The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.
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