HARRISBURG, Pa., May 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- This week, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO issued a letter to United States Steel Corporation's President and CEO David B. Burritt criticizing its decision to end the promised $1.5 billion upgrade to its Pittsburgh facilities. State Federation President Rick Bloomingdale and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder call for U.S. Steel to reconsider and reinvest in Pennsylvania.
"Dear David B. Burritt:
Like countless others, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO remains shocked, disappointed, and bewildered with U.S. Steel's decision to abruptly end the promised $1.5 billion-dollar upgrade to your Pittsburgh facilities. Over the years we have diligently and cooperatively worked with your government affairs team and the Pennsylvania Steel Alliance to encourage new manufacturing in the Commonwealth and beyond.
Our 700,00 union members, including the proud United Steelworkers have been supportive of joint efforts that both empower workers but also enhance manufacturing competitiveness as well as all other industries in the region. Often your team has reached out to us, and together we have found solutions to the array of complex problems our companies and workers face.
The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO represents men and women from all employment sectors – private, public, and building trade professionals. Manufacturing is an integral part of all their work, and key to a healthy economy. And American manufacturing is not just smart fiscally, it is a matter of national security. The pandemic made that clearer than ever before. There are those who have used the crisis of the past year as excuse to further erode what workers have built and achieved. We aim to use it as a learning experience to grow and build back better.
We are accustomed to taking adversity and challenges and creating opportunities with willing partners. America has an unprecedented opportunity to again be the manufacturing envy of the world. Our region boasts the world's most talented, driven, effective labor force who power our homes and feed our families. They raise skyscrapers, transport goods to market, heal the sick, and manufacture products that are done with skill, pride, precision, and unwavering loyalty.
Your letter mentions standing 'shoulder to shoulder.' We hope that you would reconsider this devasting decision and continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with a community who wants manufacturing, who needs manufacturing for another 100 years. We can do it smarter, safer, and more efficient than any other country in the world. But we cannot do it alone. We need a willing partner.
You also made an analogy about being on the ten-yard line. We adamantly disagree, as we believe we were crossing midfield with the goal line in sight. If this is a two-minute warning, we cannot afford to fumble the ball. We have the players, the coach, the talent, and we are not looking for the team to move.
Let's stay here and play to win. Let's fight together to protect our workers and their workplaces, and the precious revenue that will be brought into our surrounding communities.
We were, and we are the backbone of our economy. To be sure, the USW speaks for those members employed at U.S. Steel. As a labor Federation, we speak for those ancillary members impacted by pulling out of the investment. The legacy of steelmaking and manufacturing must remain in the Pittsburgh region. We stand ready to offer our assistance in keeping the project on track. Please let us know if you are interested.
Rick Bloomingdale, President Frank Snyder, Secretary-Treasurer"