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Unity Council
Brazil Minister of Labor
Picnic 07/23/05
Negotiation Beaumont, Texas
St. Paul, Minnesota
Wilton Iowa
2006 general election
Q & A

The Wife’s View

          Recently my husband received a letter from Gerdau Ameristeel signed by Gregg Bott.  It said question your Union Reps.   The Union has invited the family members to get involved.   So I took Mr. Botts advice and questioned the Union Representatives.  What I heard was shocking.   What I heard was the proposals the company was making for the workers.   My first thought was “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING”.   After 28 years working at the same Steel Mill my husband would lose seniority, job classes would be changed, insurance (well enough said on that), and forced overtime up to 16 hours a day without overtime pay for the extra 8 worked in that day.  Compared to the refineries in this area the Steel Mill is already below standard pay, the only way to make up for that IS overtime.  After a man works 16 hours a day, drives home 30 minutes in most cases, takes a bath, eats, sleeps then return to work the next day adding driving time that gives them five and one-half hours of sleep to possibly be forced over another 16 hours.   I question IS THIS SAFE?  Aren’t there celebrities who go to Third World Countries to protest this?

          After 28 years in the same Mill, I know most workers went without a pay raise for 9 years because the market was down, and to keep insurance premiums in check. The proposal from the Company is only the upper job classes get a pay raise, the lower job classes get a one time check.  Isn’t the cost of living going up for all of us?  The first months after this company took over the mill, the market was good.  From what we understand from other Union Presidents their Mills are running wide open making as much steel as they can stand.  Does this mean they are diverting the orders of the Beaumont Mill to them or is the market better than what they want us to believe?    When Gerdau Ameristeel took over they promised better working conditions, started cleaning up the Mill areas for better safety, and air quality.   Finally my husband felt, a company that actually cares about their workers.  That was a major misjudgment.  After the proposals I heard recently, I stand totally behind my husband and his Union. What most people do not realize is the workers have never walked out, they have worked without a contract many times while the Company and Union worked toward an agreement.  The workers did not walk out this time either. The Company LOCKED them out.

 Growing up in Port Arthur all my life, what I would like to see is the old time negotiations come back.   Locked in a hotel, meeting day in and day out until this thing is worked out.     Note:   I had no problem getting hold of Local 8586’s Union President.                      Janet Wallace

From : <>

Sent : Monday, March 14, 2005 5:49 PM

Hi. I’m a member of LOCAL9473 and was just visiting your web site. I hope you guys are able to resolve your contract soon.

Thank You

Carlos Lima


From : <>

Sent : Thursday, March 24, 2005 4:35 PM

Good luck to you guys , stay strong.

Mike Ruffley

LU President 9473

Perth Amboy, New Jersey


From: <>

Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 20:49:23 -0500

Hi. I'm a member of LOCAL9473 and was just visiting your web site. I hope you guys are able to resolve your contract soon.

Stand tough and be strong, we support you.

Thank You

Carlos Lima web master

From :

Sent : Saturday, April 9, 2005 6:59 PM

stay strong. 8586 you will get what you want. you have local 9473 support. united we stand divided we fall. stay united


From : Jay <>

Sent : Friday, April 22, 2005 7:57 AM

To all members and the negotiating team of Local 8586,

Just wanted to drop you guys an E-mail of support in your negotiations with Gerdau. We here in Perth Amboy have been monitoring your progress and are proud of how together you are during this time. Your success will help us tremendously since next year we get to sit down with this so called "caring" company. Gerdau is no different than any other steel company as they will try and deny wages and benefits to unionized employees if they can get away with it. Go get 'em! Again, good luck to you from Perth Amboy!

Jay Gregg

Financial Secretary

Local 9473

Perth Amboy, NJ


From : William Payne <>

Sent : Thursday, May 26, 2005 2:23 PM

to pete and the guys....

hold to your guns

behind you 100%

bill payne


From : <>

Sent : Monday, May 30, 2005 4:56 PM

My heart goes out to all there for standing their ground, You are the one's who built that place, and perpetuated it for the last 30 yrs, (the new owners, would not have nothin' to bitch about if you all hadn't gave your life to create that Steel Mill) .We all grew up there-learned skills there, raised family's while there,buried co-workers while there,laughed together- and cried together.I spent 24 yrs. there-and that will forever be an enormous part of my life.Stand strong-Stand together--Stand as one......That's what UNION'S about.............Huskey