AFL-CIO urges U.S. Steel top reconsider Mon Valley decision

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Rick Bloomingdale and Frank Snyder, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO president and secretary-treasurer, recently sent a letter to David B. Burritt, United States Steel Corp.’s president and CEO, disagreeing with the company’s decision to stop upgrades on Pittsburgh facilities.

U.S. Steel had committed to invest $1.5 billion in its Mon Valley Works south of Pittsburgh. Plans included constructing a new casting-and-rolling facility and cogeneration power plant.

The company announced on April 30 that it was canceling the upgrade plan and instead will permanently close three Clairton Coke Works batteries, one of the Mon Valley complex’s five plants, by early 2023. The plan change is part of a campaign to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050.

“We hope that you would reconsider this devastating decision and continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with a community who wants manufacturing, who needs manufacturing for another 100 years,” the letter said.

“Manufacturing is an integral part of all their work and key to a healthy economy. And American manufacturing is not just smart fiscally, it is a matter of national security. The pandemic made that clearer than ever before. There are those who have used the crisis of the past year as excuse to further erode what workers have built and achieved.”

The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO represents more than 700,00 members, including United Steelworkers.