Steelworkers Union’s Right-Wing Faces Defeat as US Steel to Close Illegal Polluter – Teamsters Go to War with Machinists – IATSE Hopeful About Cutting Deal


Greetings from the Burgh, where asthma sufferers like me just got some really good news. 

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Following Lawsuit, US Steel to Close Chronic Polluter Coke Oven in Pittsburgh

Today, US Steel announced that it would close its Battery 15 located in its Clairton Coke Works. The closure is a defeat of ugly racist politics of the local Pittsburgh Steelworkers, which attempted to pit union jobs against our community’s demand for local air. (See my American Prospect story on how right-wing elements of the Steelworkers union opposed Summer Lee’s election)

The closure is part of a historic settlement to reduce illegal air emissions in Pittsburgh. US Steel also announced that they were taking steps to reduce their hydrogen sulfide emission by ⅓ . (See Payday’s 2019 story on how the Steelworkers helped to cover up illegal emissions that many in Pittsburgh sick)

“The closure of Battery 15, which had previously been temporarily idled, will permanently ratchet down emissions of harmful pollution such as sulfur compounds (linked to asthma and respiratory problems), benzene (linked to cancer), and fine particulates (linked to cardiovascular and other health problems). At the time of its closure, Battery 15 contained more than 10% of the remaining coke ovens at Clairton Works,” said PennEnviroment.

For more on the historic settlement, check out PennEnvironment. 

IATSE Hopeful About Cutting Deal 

With the July 31st  deadline on the contract between 60,000 IATSE members and the studios approaching, it appears that both the strike-weary studios and IATSE are close to reaching a deal. From Deadline: 

Deadline understands that wage increases and job security have been the main sticking points in talks, both of which have become higher priority for IATSE members in recent years.

Below-the-line crew were hit hard by pandemic-related shutdowns followed by the work stoppages last year. Now, with the contraction in production the industry is currently experiencing, many of those workers are still not seeing any relief.

“The real negotiation is no one wants a strike, but we can’t seem to get all the pieces together for an agreement that works for everyone,” the exec added.

While it’s not the update members may have wanted, Deadline understands that those in the room remain “hopeful” that the parties will strike a deal — at least before the contracts expire on July 31.

For more, check out Deadline. 

As ALU Affiliates with Teamsters, Teamsters End “No Raid” Pact with Machinists

Yesterday, the independent Amazon Labor Union announced that they were affiliating with the Teamsters as the Teamsters seeks to unionize Amazon warehouse. 

In a power move, the Teamsters then signaled that they were ending their “no raid” agreement with the Machinists, who are also seeking to unionize Amazon warehouses. 

“I informed the General President of the [IAM] that I was revoking any existing no-raid agreement and excluding the IAM and its local affiliates from the [Teamsters’] general ‘no-raid’ policy with respect to sister unions,” Teamster President Sean O’Brien wrote in an email to his executive board. 

For more, check out the great veteran labor reporter Dave Jamieson’s article at the HuffPost. 

Links to Great Movement Fights

Alright folks, that’s all for today. Keep sending ideas, story comments, and complaints to [email protected] 

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Love & Solidarity, 


About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]