The United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued
the following statement on Monday, after U.S. Steel Corporation announced
plans to idle tube operations in Pennsylvania and Texas, which will lead to
an indefinite furlough for 265 workers.
“For months, our union has warned the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Trade
Representative, the public, and others that a flood of illegally subsidized
and unfairly traded oil country tubular goods (OCTG) poses a significant and
immediate threat to American steel companies and the jobs of our members.
“In addition, because of these imports and lax enforcement of existing trade
laws, the domestic steel industry has yet to see the promised and expected
benefits brought about by increased shale oil and gas energy production
throughout America’s industrial heartland.
“The USW demands an immediate investigation into how a trade partner such as
South Korea, which produces 100 percent of its steel tubular goods for
export because it has no domestic market, has managed to conduct business
here without regulation or any kind of fair tariff in place.
“For the workers and families in McKeesport, Pa. and Bellville, Texas, the
USW pledges to continue fighting for a fair and level playing field so that
American workers can get back to their rightful jobs as soon as possible.
“The USW will continue to be an outspoken advocate for workers who have paid
and continue to pay the price for unfair ‘free’ trade, which remains the
single most dangerous threat to the good, family-supporting,
community-sustaining jobs the USW strives to create and protect.”
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 workers in public sector and service occupations.