WASHINGTON, April 13, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Illinois delegation of Granite City steelworkers employed at United States Steel Corp., are going to be in the nation's capital on Apr. 12 to deliver 1,500 signed letters to U.S. Rep. Michael Bost (R-Illinois-12th) calling for stronger trade laws from members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1899, Local 50 and Local 68. The letters were collected at the mill gate during shift change last week and will be delivered Wednesday, 12:00 Noon, EDT (11:00 am, CDT) to his congressional office: Longworth House Office Building, Room 1440.
According to Daniel Simmons, President of USW Local 1899, who is leading the group, the letters are an appeal to Congressman Bost for his support to oppose a bill expected to be introduced this week for trade legislation called Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). Simmons said the bill, also known as "Fast Track," would give up the constitutional duty of Congress to represent their constituents to review and strengthen proposed trade agreements with amendments to protect American jobs.
"We can no longer be silent with the threat we face," Simmons said. "Last month U.S. Steel served notice on 2,080 steelworkers employed at our Granite City steel mill of an intent to idle operations as the result of market conditions and an illegal flood of steel imports from China, South Korea, Japan and other countries that unfairly subsidize products that now threaten to put us out of work."
The Local 1899 President says the threaten layoffs will affect the entire region. "In Illinois, 28,400 jobs are supported by the steel industry." He adds the signed letters by the Granite City steelworkers are asking the congressman to help protect their family-supportive jobs by:
- Support for new, stronger trade laws;
- Support trade agreements that provide the necessary tools to deter and penalize unfair trade;
- Support to stop countries from manipulating their currency;
- Support opposition to 'Fast Track' trade promotion authority that would be used to consider the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership which will further threaten American jobs.
Bost, who represents many of those employed at the Granite City steel mill, had met recently with Simmons and other steelworkers at the union hall to express his interest in addressing the steel jobs crisis. The USW Local 1899 steelworkers joining Simmons to deliver the signed letters are: Don Cathey, Randall Virgin and Terry Biggs. A copy of the letter is available HERE. Information on Fast Track is HERE.
The Granite City steelworkers will also be participating Wednesday in a Lobby Day rally on Capitol Hill with 600 USW members from across the nation at 11:00 am (EDT) in the Upper Senate Park. They will hear from other Members of Congress and Leo W. Gerard, USW International President.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)