“If USW executives wanted to run honest open elections rather than a mockery of a closed balloting system where nominations are predicated on nepotism; if USW executives did not keep their own employees as casual workers (usu. ~ 5 years); if USW executives did not hamstring their own employees union such that nary a grievance is ever resolved; if USW executives actually promoted equitable, transparent, accountable business practices, Mr. Gerard indeed might be worthy of admiration. Alas, he is simply perpetuating corrupt, opaque, and inequitable practices.
There is a distinction made in my posting between the executive of USW (including the president) and the program officers who work tirelessly under ridiculous conditions to support their brothers and sisters. The majority of them are motivated, professional, and committed (why else work for such an employer?). It's indicative of what a tight reign that organisation is kept under that little is known of the actual working conditions of staff representatives, etc.
The dirty little secret of organised labour. Classic argument for the position that the ends never justifying the means.
My comments stand on the validity of Gerard's 'arguments'.
p.s. community service includes, among other things, working for unions. In my case, I've worked for unions for over 10 years. But not for USW.”
steelmill on Aug 14, 2009 at 22:10:53
“Well I worked in the USW for 24 years during 72-96,I know now the union is weaker,but still stronger than others.So you don't agree with what Gerard said in the above statements,were is he wrong.I didn't agree with some of the things that happened with the International and we had to fight to get things done.I do know I worked in other places since the mill closed,and all I can say we were treated better in that mill,than any place I worked since
The problems I have is the unions support people that stab them in the back,Like Clinton,unions for some reason are afraid to back third parties,or come out against them that sell them out,the trade laws are killing unions,the same for health care.We need a national health care system and better trade laws,I seen myself the worst things unions allowed were temps,when I was in the union,we didn't allow it,like the UAW.Another thing if you don't like the votes and contracts threaten to sue them.I did hear a few plants have had grievance problems,so did we,but not many,we MADE the reps do there job,if you don't like them,vote them out.I know what you're saying about the International,but what Gerard said in his statements are true,and you as a union man should know it”
“Hmm, last time I checked, Leo was Canadian, born and raised - so not quite sure who is this 'we' he's referring to.
And the last time I saw Leo, he had a bishop, for lordy's sake, blessing him at his installation ceremony as President of Steelworkers.
You read that right.
I stand for workers rights, long history of community service, but this guy? This guy is about perpetuating a little empire of power...too bad he just doesn't invest in fact checkers and good ghost writers. The arguments have holes you can drive a (union-built) truck through.”
Seems to me that Mr. Gerard has a long history of being in the labor movement, (international union usually means arguing for prevailing wages for your members, canadian, american.) As well as being college educated, his credentials seem pretty impeccable to me to be a voice for labor. why are you hating? How's community service standing up for workers rights? What arguments have holes that i can drive my UNION built truck through? tool.”