Among the USW field volunteers in battleground states were Jessica Schiessl, 30, a Local 482 materials handler for a paper mill in Oshkosh, WI. She was door knocking and a poll watcher on Election Day. "The experience has changed my life," Schiessl said. "I've only got a few years work time, but I'm also fighting for the 20-year mill workers who don't want candidates who have a record of shipping jobs offshore."
Joe Sterling, 48, of Ohio USW Local 3610 at a maker of rollers for steel mills in Canton, led dozens of union volunteers while on union-paid leave from his job for the past five months to mobilize for candidate rallies, coordinate phone banks, and to distribute handbills at worksites starting at 5:30 am. "What kept me motivated was the threat by those severely conservative candidates who promised to shutdown workers' rights to a union."
In Nevada, Local 5282 Vice President John Martinez, 45, took a leave from his chlorine operator's job at Olin Clor-Alkali Corp., in Henderson, starting after Labor Day. "During the past week I had 25 union volunteers doing block walks and helping with GOTV for early voter participation that included my three sons wearing Steelworkers for Obama-Biden T-shirts."
A USW Local 710 paper worker Rodney Crow in Colorado, another battleground state, has been working fulltime on leave from his corrugator operator's job since June to recruit campaign volunteers among USW-represented plants in the Denver area for worksite flyers and neighborhood block walks. "I worked early morning until late night with hope we would re-elect President Obama and deliver votes for at least two Democratic congressional seats," he said.The USW is a North American union representing 850,000 workers in the manufacturing, energy and service sectors. For more: www.usw.org. Contact: Gary Hubbard, 202-778-4384; 202-256-8125; firstname.lastname@example.org Wayne Ranick, 412-562-2442; 412-901-8442; email@example.com SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)