November 5, 2008

Steelworker Activists Help Secure Victory for Obama

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Steelworkers (USW) members nationwide enthusiastically watched last night's polling results and celebrated victories in key battleground states where the USW mounted unprecedented grassroots efforts. Steelworkers and other working families look to an Obama presidency to help American working families by getting the economy back on track.

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"When you feel the brunt of the downturn in the economy and wake up wondering if your job is being shipped overseas or whether you can still afford health care, you want change," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "Our members worked like hell to make sure change happened."

All over Pennsylvania, the USW made major commitments to help Barack Obama win the presidency. USW members worked the phones, leafleted work sites and canvassed neighbors to educate voters on issues and the need to go to the polls on Election Day.

Ron Oliver, vice president of Local 3199 in Erie, passed out leaflets at over 15 plant gates, made over 500 phone calls and walked door to door to meet union members during the election campaign.

"I did it because I love networking with my brothers and sisters on issues that pertain to our way of life," Oliver said. "The issues - jobs, healthcare and pensions - were the main focus. People care about the issues."

Keli Vereb, a USW release staff member, spent countless hours educating union members about what the election meant to them and their families. She said most were grateful to talk about the issues with other union members who understood their concerns.

"Once you work on a political project and realize that everything comes back to politics you can't walk away," Vereb said.

The USW political campaign had more than 500 people working full-time in 31 states, mobilizing members and working families. More than 10,000 Steelworkers volunteered their time to ensure Barack Obama's victory. The strategy included calling and speaking to more than 100,000 union members in key battlegrounds states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina between Labor Day and the Election. Nearly 5 million pieces of persuasive literature were mailed from USW international, district and local union offices.

"It is essential that the new president work with Congress to restore the American dream for all of our citizens and for us, once again, to establish our society as a shiny beacon to the rest of the world," said Gerard. "Steelworkers families will continue to fight the good fights."

CONTACT: Jim McKay 412-562-2441

Photo: Archive: Photo Desk [email protected]

United Steelworkers (USW)

CONTACT: Jim McKay of United Steelworkers (USW), +1-412-562-2441

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