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One Percenters Stuff Their Pumpkin Pie Holes

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 11.23.2015 | Business
Leo W. Gerard

Working Americans haven't seen a real raise in 35 years. Meanwhile, every year, their health care costs rise. Their employers eliminate pensions. And their kids struggle with rising college tuition and debt. By contrast, on the other side of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the richest 1 percent are supersizing their feasts.

The Terrible Legacy of Unenforced Trade Laws

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 11.16.2015 | Business
Leo W. Gerard

Over the past several weeks, as Alcoa and Century cut aluminum production nationwide, James Markus, a 23-year-veteran aluminum worker, acutely felt the pain of those laid off.

Middle-Class Joe Expresses Middle-Class Angst

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 10.26.2015 | Politics
Leo W. Gerard

As Vice President Joe Biden announced his decision last week not to run for president, he talked about dreams denied, possibilities foreclosed. He wasn't speaking of his own aspirations, though.

More Free Stuff for Corporations

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 10.05.2015 | Politics
Leo W. Gerard

Republicans and the rich guys who imposed 35 years of stagnant wages on American workers now offer a prescription for easing this pain! More free stuff for corporations!

GOP: No Bootstraps For You, Baby!

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 09.21.2015 | Politics
Leo W. Gerard

In a GOP field filthy with candidates who kiss up to corporate bosses and systematically suppress workers' wages, Walker is a stand out. But the whole motley GOP crew is determined to do whatever it takes to deny workers and their children economic mobility.

On Labor Day: Corporations Deploy Anti-Worker Weapon

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 09.07.2015 | Business
Leo W. Gerard

Instead of picnicking, Steelworkers in six states will spend this Labor Day picketing the gates of a dozen Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI) specialty mills. These 2,200 Steelworkers are not on strike. They never even took a strike vote to threaten a walkout. ATI locked them out of their jobs.

Killing Uncle AL

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 08.31.2015 | Business
Leo W. Gerard

ATI is butchering that time-honored relationship. It has demanded tax abatements and special electrical rates and forced excessive overtime on weary workers. Its disdain for civic engagement is most clearly demonstrated by its decision to unlawfully lock its 2,200 skilled union workers out of their jobs on Aug. 15, despite the steelworkers' willingness to continue working.

China Protects its Workers; America Doesn't Bother

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 08.17.2015 | Business
Leo W. Gerard

Currency manipulation violates free market principals, but for China, doing it makes sense. This potent action by a major economic competitor raises the question of when the United States government is going to stop pretending currency manipulation doesn't exit.

Forced Trade

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 05.25.2015 | Politics
Leo W. Gerard

Senators who voted last week to Fast Track ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) call it a free trade deal, but really, it’s forced trade imposed on protesting American workers who have endured its damaging effects for decades.

The Words of Dead Workers

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 06.27.2015 | Business
Leo W. Gerard

To give voice to 35 workers killed on the job over the past 35 years at a massive refinery in Texas City, hundreds of surviving family members, co-workers and friends gathered there last month to erect white crosses marked with their names.

Fast Tracking Democracy to Hell

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 06.20.2015 | Politics
Leo W. Gerard

Concealing potentially job-killing trade schemes from the American public thwarts democracy. Rushing unpopular legislation through Congress before American citizens have an opportunity to review it and tell their elected representatives how they feel about it obstructs democracy.

Hoosier Hostility: Not the American Way

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 06.06.2015 | Politics
Leo W. Gerard

Like the USW, the United States is a union. It is a collection of diverse states and diverse people. Standing together, they are stronger.

Bad Trade

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 05.30.2015 | Business
Leo W. Gerard

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.

If Budgets Are 'Moral Documents,' At Least We Know Where the GOP Stands

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 05.23.2015 | Politics
Leo W. Gerard

When the House released its budget last Tuesday, Georgia Republican Rep. Rob Woodall said, "A budget is a moral document; it talks about where your values are." His chamber's spending plan shows that Republicans highly value war and place no value on health care for America's elderly, working poor and young adults.

The GOP's Big Squeeze

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 05.16.2015 | Politics
Leo W. Gerard

Every adult American, of course, has the right to work. What this legislation does is help corporations and state governments cut workers' pay. Its intent is regressive. Republicans want to return America to the days when robber barons controlled workers' lives completely.

GOP's Blind Hate of Labor Union Members

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 05.02.2015 | Politics
Leo W. Gerard

It has never been clear until now why Republicans so hated the idea of hard-working Americans banding together to negotiate to receive a more fair share of profits derived from the sweat of their brows. Walker's conflating ISIS terrorists with labor protestors while CPAC conference attendees cheered explains it all.

Like a Bad Neighbor, Chevron Is There

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 04.17.2015 | Business
Leo W. Gerard

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.

Demanding Respect for Worker Safety

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 04.11.2015 | Business
Leo W. Gerard

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.

Question Before the Court: Can Corporations Betray Retirees?

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 01.17.2015 | Business
Leo W. Gerard

M&G has stricken hundreds of families in this rural West Virginia region with fear. They're scared they won't be able to afford health insurance they believed they'd earned. A decision by the Supreme Court affirming the lower courts' rulings would relieve retirees like 78-year-old Tackett and restore justice in Point Pleasant.

Good People Don't Get Good Jobs

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 12.06.2014 | Business
Leo W. Gerard

This mounting army of workers worries incessantly and survives only because of government and family assistance. CEOs and corporations gorge themselves on profits made on the suffering of workers trapped in this life of frightening instability called the precariat.

Asian Steel Industry Eats America's Lunch

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 08.30.2014 | Business
Leo W. Gerard

In the depth of the recession, some foreign countries made a simple calculation. They'd subsidize their steel industries even though that violates international trade rules. It paid off by keeping their citizens employed, paid and fed.

An Alliance Forged in Patriotism

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 07.19.2014 | Business
Leo W. Gerard

The death of the American steel industry is fine with the likes of the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and the Cato Institute. They say Americans should thank foreign states that violate international trade laws by subsidizing their steel industries.

Dehumanizing the Poor for Fun and Profit

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 07.05.2014 | Politics
Leo W. Gerard

The average net worth of the 41 GOP senators who opposed the first minimum wage increase in half a decade is $6.26 million.

Lucky to Be Alive on Workers' Memorial Day

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 06.28.2014 | Business
Leo W. Gerard

Today, my union, the United Steelworkers, will toll a bell for each of the 33 Steelworkers killed on the job since last Workers' Memorial Day 12 months ago.

'Shut Up!' -- Really GOP?

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 05.10.2014 | Politics
Leo W. Gerard

The result of the Republican budget would be opportunity only for those who already have money. So, of course, the GOP had to try to kill a budget conceived under the proposition of opportunity for everyone.