Gerard, Leo W.


Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW), was elected in October to his second four-year term since first taking office in 2001 after the retirement of former president George Becker.

It's Not Safe Out There

By Leo Gerard

United Steelworkers

Anthony Tenny told Clearwater Paper several times that he was concerned about working in excessive red cedar dust at its Lewiston, Idaho, sawmill. But nothing changed. So he reported his fears to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Within a month of OSHA inspecting the plant, Clearwater fired Mr. Tenny ­– despite his six-year tenure, supervisors’ praise and promotions. Five days after Clearwater sacked Mr. Tenny, another worker, John Bergen III, a 10-year Clearwater veteran, died after inadvertently stepping into a gaping opening in the floor of the adjacent paper products plant.

Congressional Republicans Violate Their Oath of Office

By Leo Gerard

Like "Git 'er done," Americans should be yelling at Republicans in Congress: "Do yer job!" That's because Republicans are shirking their sworn duty by both shutting down the government and threatening to default on its bills.

Before taking office, each member of Congress swears a simple, straightforward oath. It leaves little room for misinterpretation. They vow to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and to "faithfully discharge the duties of the office."

Obamacare Choice: Navigation or Conflagration

By Leo Gerard

United Steelworkers

So many challenging choices for young people today! And it’s not just between Vine and Instagram. More importantly, it’s between burn-baby-burn and health insurance security.

FreedomWorks, a Tea Party don’t-think tank, is urging young adults to be rebels with a self-destructive cause. “Stick it to the man,” FreedomWorks urges young people. It tells them to do so by filming themselves burning homemade “Obamacare” cards and “Vining” the video explaining why they are Obamacare refuseniks as flames lick their fingertips.

Robin Hood Tax: Economic Justice

By Leo Gerard

Robin Hood popped up all across America last week. A bunch of green-suited Merry Men protested in front of Wall Street bank branches in 15 cities.

Another felt-hatted group demonstrated in Washington D.C. during J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon's testimony about why his bank shouldn’t submit to regulation even after flushing $2 billion down the toilet. The biggest band of Robin Hoods appeared on dollar bills -- a pointy hat drawn on George's head and the words “Robin Hood tax” written below.

Killing Democracy One Vote at a Time

By Leo Gerard
United Steelworkers

Corporations, 1 percenters and Republicans want to take America back. And by that they mean all the way to the 1780s when wealthy white men controlled the nation.

Because only they could vote.

In the intervening 230 or so years, America became increasingly democratic, eventually awarding the vote to white landless males; Quakers, Jews and Catholics; black men; women; Native Americans, and 18-year-olds.

Republicans: Against It Before They Were For It

By Leo Gerard
United Steelworkers

First, Republicans opposed extending the payroll tax cut that put an extra $20 a week in the pockets of 160 million working Americans.

Next, they supported it. If the cost were offset the way they wanted. Even though Republicans previously had said that tax cuts never need be offset.

After that, they opposed a stopgap measure extending the break by two months. Even though the cost was offset.

Ultimately, they approved the 60-day extension.

Antidote for Stupidity of Shipping Tax-Dollar-Financed Jobs Overseas

By Leo Gerard
The United Steelworkers (USW)

Amid prolonged, painfully high unemployment, ABC News Anchor Diane Sawyer for the past year tirelessly advocated a simple solution – buy American-made products. She clearly explained the reasoning: every American dollar spent on an American-made product helps create an American job.

Defying Sawyer’s admonition to search for “Made in America” tags, California set a record for using government money to create jobs in China. The Golden State awarded a contract for the new Bay Bridge that created 3,000 jobs in China for five years – a period during which the state’s unemployment rate persisted at two percentage points above the nation’s already high average.

The 99% Seek a Just Economy, Not Just an Economy

By Leo Gerard
United Steelworkers

Republicans jammed together a mess of old, failed and vague schemes and called it a jobs bill. Sen. John McCain conceded the reason for the rehash: “Part of it is in response to the president saying we don’t have a proposal.”

They still don’t. This despite the fact that they promised voters during their campaign to take control of the U.S. House one year ago that they’d create jobs. That they’d focus on jobs. That nothing was more important to them than jobs.