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Leo W. Gerard
Leo W. Gerard, is the International President of the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

He also is a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Committee and chairs the labor federation’s Public Policy Committee.

President Barack Obama appointed him to the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations. He serves as co-chairman of the BlueGreen Alliance and on the boards of Campaign for America’s Future and the Economic Policy Institute. He helped create the Washington-based public interest group, Alliance for American Manufacturing.

He is a member of the IndustriALL Global Labor federation and was instrumental in creating Workers Uniting, the first global union, with leaders of the UK-based manufacturing union Unite.

The USW (United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union). is the largest manufacturing union in North America, representing 1.2 million active and retired industrial and service sector workers in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Entries by Leo W. Gerard

Fast Tracking Democracy to Hell

(64) Comments | Posted April 20, 2015 | 8:09 AM

Free traders in Congress formally proposed last week that lawmakers relax, put their feet up and neglect the rigor of legislative review for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade scheme.

The TPP is a secret deal among 12 Pacific Rim nations that was covertly negotiated by unelected officials and corporate bosses....

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The High Cost of Fighting for $15

(18) Comments | Posted April 13, 2015 | 7:59 AM

This is no plea for pity for corporate kingpins like Walmart and McDonald’s inundated by workers’ demands for living wages.

Raises would, of course, cost these billion-dollar corporations something. More costly, though, is the price paid by minimum-wage workers who have not received a raise in six years.  Even more...

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Hoosier Hostility: Not the American Way

(736) Comments | Posted April 6, 2015 | 7:37 AM

After Indiana Republicans passed a license to discriminate law, a restaurant called Memories Pizza in the Hoosier town of Walkerton stepped up last week to make sure potential customers knew its religious rules: “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Certification of Heterosexuality, No Service.”

Indiana GOP Gov. Mike...

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Bad Trade

(27) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 7:50 AM

Sucker punched by massive, illegally subsidized imports, American steel producers laid off thousands of workers in bedrock communities from Ohio and Illinois to Texas and Alabama.

That’s in just the past three months.

The families of furloughed workers are struggling to pay mortgage bills. The communities, losing tax dollars, are...

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The GOP Has Money to Kill

(8) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 7:37 AM

Shock and awe describes the budgets issued last week by Republicans in the House and Senate. The shock is that the GOP never stops trying to destroy beloved programs like Medicare. Awe inspiring is their audacity in describing their killing plans as moral.

When the House released its budget last...

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The GOP's Big Squeeze

(198) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 8:50 AM

Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation last week to lower the wages of Wisconsin’s middle class workers. He wants pay cuts for hard working Wisconsinites.

It’s part of a pattern established by Wisconsin’s Republican governor and the Republicans who control the state legislature. Earlier, they slashed the paychecks of teachers...

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GOP's Blind Hate of Labor Union Members

(30) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 6:52 AM

To Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, America's labor union members are the same as murderous, beheading, caged-prisoner-immolating ISIS terrorists. Exactly the same. 

That's what he told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last week.  The governor said that because he destroyed public sector labor rights in Wisconsin after 100,000 union supporters protested in Madison...

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13 Million Illinois Citizens Named Bruce

(20) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 6:34 AM

The billionaire Republican Governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, injected himself into ceremonies in Chicago last week presided over by the city’s Democratic mayor and the nation’s Democratic president.

Rauner insisted on attending because he wrongheadedly thought the Democrats were honoring his idol, kingpin George Pullman, the guy who invented...

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Like a Bad Neighbor, Chevron Is There

(6) Comments | Posted February 15, 2015 | 12:54 PM

The federal agency that investigates refinery catastrophes released its final report late last month on the massive fire, volatile vapor release and toxic smoke plume at Chevron’s Richmond, Calif., refinery in 2012 that imperiled 19 workers and sickened 15,000 residents of surrounding communities.

The report says Chevron knew the...

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Demanding Respect for Worker Safety

(4) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 8:04 AM

In Anacortes, Wash., last week, approximately 200 Tesoro workers began picketing the oil refinery where an explosion incinerated seven of their co-workers five years earlier.

Butch Cleve walks that picket line, serving now as strike captain for the USW local union at Tesoro. On the day of the catastrophe in...

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Austerity for the Other Guy

(17) Comments | Posted February 2, 2015 | 7:08 AM

The people of Greece rebelled last week against the perverse notion that they should continue to endure biting austerity in a vain attempt to cure a condition that they are not solely responsible for creating.

Sounds familiar, right? It’s like American workers forced to suffer through a...

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Voodoo Trickle Down Be Damned

(11) Comments | Posted January 26, 2015 | 6:50 AM

Reaganomics, the plot to appease the rich and condemn the rest, got its comeuppance last week in President Obama’s State of the Union speech.

The president asked: “Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well?”

That’s the trickle down economy he’s talking about....

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Not So Fast, Congress

(15) Comments | Posted January 19, 2015 | 8:37 AM

Instead of the plodding turtle he's normally satirized as, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is all cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof about Trade Promotion Authority, better known as Fast Track.

He said as Congress convened this month that he wants to fast track Fast Track. He intends to ’git ’er done so...

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Put Working People First

(14) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 7:22 AM

The jobs report Friday set off cheering: a quarter million positions added in December; unemployment declining to 5.6 percent. This good news arrived amid a booming stock market and a third-quarter GDP report showing the strongest growth in 11 years.

It’s all so very jolly, except for...

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Ensuring the Uninsured Suffer

(206) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 6:27 AM

America just celebrated the season of giving with Hanukkah and Christmas presents, year-end charity donations and soup kitchen volunteering. It is a time when Americans demonstrate the generosity, caring and kindness that define them as a people.

Now, however, Americans may suffer the season of GOP taking. Republicans already insisted...

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Bargaining Power to the People

(3) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 6:58 AM

Earlier this month, in the sparsely populated Kentucky county that’s home to Bowling Green, officials voted to convert the place into a right-to-work (for less) sinkhole.

The county officials did it at the bidding of big corporations. They certainly didn’t do it for their Warren County constituents because employees in...

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Bad Trade

(13) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 8:08 AM

Under billions of tons of imports, the American dream is suffocating.

The American people have lost faith. They know that bad trade has bled factories, middle class jobs and wage increases from the country.

A report issued last week by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) details how bad trade...

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Moocher CEOs

(13) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 6:20 AM

Holiday bells are silent in the homes of America’s struggling working poor, even with gasoline prices at their lowest levels in years.

These are people derided as moochers because their starvation wages force them to accept food stamps to feed their children.

On the other side of town, inside gated...

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GOP on Wrong Side of History on Immigration

(177) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 6:22 AM

At the first Thanksgiving 383 years ago, Native Americans and Pilgrim immigrants gathered with mutual respect to share a bountiful harvest they’d produced together.

This Thanksgiving, though, there’s no respect or sharing in the homes of GOP nativists.

Suffering amnesia about their personal histories, nativist Republicans want to expel the...

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Question Before the Court: Can Corporations Betray Retirees?

(42) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 7:02 AM

At a chemical plant called Point Pleasant in a town named Apple Grove in a state John Denver labeled almost heaven, a man known as Freel Tackett helped negotiate three collective bargaining agreements that provided raises and decent benefits for workers and retirees.

Heaven ended in 2007 for Tackett...

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