USW Local 1299

Rapid Response

Did you know that the cause of the Great Recession was because the minimum wage was increased to $7.25 an hour in 2009? Even though the Great Recession started in 2007. Read more >>>

Hard-working fast food and retail workers like you deserve a raise. Fast food and retail is a $200 billion industry, and is projected to grow 12.3% by 2018 – more than twice as fast as the projected growth rate of the region’s workforce as a whole. Top executives are earning millions in raises, so why not the workers too? Read more >>>

Ludim and Gabriela Hernandez have raised their three daughters in the home in Southwest Detroit where they’ve lived for over a decade. Fannie Mae, the failed mortgage company taken over by the federal government, is now moving to evict them.

After the banks trashed the economy, Ludim Hernandez was laid off from his construction job and fell behind on his mortgage in 2012. The mortgage company failed to communicate with the unsuspecting family in Spanish, as the law requires, and the home was taken at Sheriff’s auction by Fannie Mae.

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Fast-food and other low-pay workers across the country risked their wretched livelihoods again last Thursday by briefly striking and demanding fat-cat CEOs supersize their pittance wages. Read more >>>


Steelworkers President Confronts MTA Excuses to Avoid Buying American
A LaborPress correspondent recently interviewed United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard

In the midst of all the discussion about welfare reform, it turns out that the major welfare beneficiary in our country is the Walton family of Wal-Mart fame. Read more >>>

Welcome to the summer issue of our online newsletter. Please enjoy, share and provide feedback at uswrr@usw.org. Read more >>>


ALEC is NOT OK!!

As we continue to deal with a barrage of state focused legislative battles, it is imperative that we understand exactly who is behind them. The answer? The American Legislative Exchange Council, or better known as ALEC.

Devil in Disguise

ALEC claims to be a "nonpartisan public-private partnership of America's state legislators, members of the private sector and the general public." According to their website, http://www.alec.org/, ALEC serves solely as a resource for its members; it does not lobby state legislatures. ALEC claims it provides a constructive forum for state legislators and private sector leaders to discuss and exchange practical state-level public policy issues. It also claims to develop model bills and resolutions on economic issues. ALEC contends that these bills and resolutions can be helpful resources for state legislators who have an interest in free markets, limited government and constitutional division of powers between the federal and state governments.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced unless Congress comes up with an up-to-date formula for deciding which states and localities still need federal monitoring.

On Saturday, thousands (including many members and retirees from USW 1299 – checkout Photo Album on our Website ) marched down Woodward in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the original Walk to Freedom/Freedom Walk led in Detroit by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On that day 50 years ago, in what is considered to be the original debut of his now-famous “I Have a Dream Speech,” King told tens of thousands of people that it was time for the government and society to get serious about providing opportunities and parity in employment, education, housing and the overall quality of life for persons of color.
 

But as Martin Luther King III pointed out when he addressed a crowd gathered before Saturday’s march, “I can say I’m excited to be here, but I can’t — nor should anyone — say they’ve achieved the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr.” (http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013306210132 )
 

Today, with one in three Detroit residents in poverty, an emergency manager displacing democracy, 47% of adults 16 and over functionally illiterate and deep challenges with education, the call to action issued by King in 1963 rings with the same sense of urgency. The anniversary of the march is about recognizing what’s been done and acknowledging the pressing work that lies before us.
 

Check out this "Freedom Walk Detroit" video (michiganradio).
 

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Rapid Response has been around for many years as a means to educate our members and quickly act to influence our elected representatives to support or oppose critical legislation affect Steelworkers and workers in general. It needs to be “upgraded” to meet today’s needs.
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Ms. Henderson has lived in her Detroit home for 36 years. She worked at Great Lakes Steel as a member of the Steelworkers union for 34 years, but after being diagnosed with cancer she was off work for three years. She returned to work in 2009, only to be laid off, and got behind on her property taxes. She now is retired on disability.

Ms. Henderson had a deal with the Wayne County Treasurer to pay $2,100 to prevent tax foreclosure. Through no fault of her own, her payment arrived three days late -- and the Treasurer had already sold her home to Metro Property Management for $7,000.
 

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More than 75 people marched through Southwest Detroit on Saturday,June 1, to support Gregorio Martinez’ fight to save his home from foreclosure and to defend him from any attempts to evict by Chase Bank. The marchers gathered at Patton Park and marched to the Chase Branch at Vernor and Springwells, setting up a spirited picket line in front of the entrance to the bank. They got strong support from neighbors who joined the march, as well as folks driving by or on the sidewalks.

Detroit Eviction Defense (http://detroitevictiondefense.org/) sponsored the action and community activists, autoworkers, steelworkers and others marched with us. Gregorio is a retired autoworker, has lived in his home for more than 15 years, and has been active in the community even longer.
 

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Angry neighbors, concerned citizens and community-support marched Saturday on the sidewalk in front of Metro Property Management, LLC, at 10641 Joy Road in Detroit, to protest the eviction of Urealdene Henderson.


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