Alliance brings labor, steel together on manufacturing issues

By Plant Engineering Staff April 26, 2007

Top labor and business leaders from the steel industry have formed a new association to address issues facing American manufacturing and to promote manufacturing as a strong career for today and tomorrow.

The Alliance for American Manufacturing is a labor-management partnership that includes the United Steelworkers union and several major steel companies including Mittal Steel and AK Steel. The focus, according to the organization, is to find “common sense solutions on issues ranging from health care and retirement security to enforcing and strengthening trade laws to hold China and other countries accountable for unfair trading practices.”

“The challenges we face — whether it’s a broken health care system or an unfair trading system — affect real people and real communities all across the country,” said Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers. “American workers in many ways are under attack; we’ve lost 3.2 million manufacturing jobs since 2000. Our alliance is coming together at a critical time when people are tired of one-sided fighting and are looking for a real commitment to finding common ground and ensuring a strong industrial economy.”

This innovative partnership between workers and the companies offers a unique opportunity to create policy recommendations that will help American workers and companies compete and succeed in the global marketplace.

“Because of who is at the table in this alliance, we have a unique and exciting opportunity to help raise the level of discussion on these issues, and constructively influence how America and its policymakers answer crucial questions on international trade policy and the economic security of not just our workers and companies, but our country as a whole,” said Scott N. Paul, AAM’s executive director.

See this week’s blog at from editor Bob Vavra on the formation of AAM and what it could mean for American manufacturing — and some of the other issues AAM needs to focus on.