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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 21:20 EDT

Steelworkers Celebrate Obama Victory As First Step in Restoring American Dream

November 5, 2008

DETROIT, 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.”

In Michigan, the USW made major commitments to help Barack Obama be elected president. 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.

Dona Schock, a political captain from USW Local 1299, joined an army of volunteers in Michigan who talked to union voters about the economy and the need for health care reform, a renewable energy jobs program and the Employee Free Choice Act.

“I spoke from the heart,” said Schock, a USW member for 30 years. “I feel Barack Obama is going to be one of the great leaders of all time. With the amount of hope everyone has, I believe he will be able to bring this nation together.”

Paper mill worker Ronald E. White Jr., president of USW local 1008 in Three Rivers, Mich., said volunteers spread the word one by one to fellow union members that Senator Obama was the best candidate for working families.

“I was among hundreds of union members in Michigan who worked towards Senator Obama’s election,” White said. “I walked in a Steelworkers literature drop parade in Niles and knocked on doors in Kalamazoo. I talked to many people inside my local about voting for Obama.”

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: Gerald Dickey 412-562-2281

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United Steelworkers (USW)

CONTACT: Gerald Dickey of United Steelworkers, +1-412-562-2281

Web Site: http://www.usw.org/