June 12, 2013
By Stephanie West
Pittsburgh, Penn. – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard recently wrote to Fernando Ferrer, Acting Chairman, and Thomas F. Prendergast, Interim Executive Director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), questioning its decision to use 15,000 tons of steel, all sourced from China, to rebuild the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
In the letter, Mr. Gerard points out American workers produce the highest-quality, safest steel at the most environmentally responsible plants in the world. At a time when millions of industrial workers are unemployed, laid off or working reduced hours, the USW questions why the MTA is electing to haul steel halfway around the world from a Chinese State Owned Entity (SOE) that has never before manufactured this particular product.
Arguments of supposed cost-savings do not take into account the environmental price of shipping steel from hundreds of thousands of miles versus 100 miles, nor the cost to our fragile economic recovery and the loss of American jobs.
It also does not account the potential life-cycle costs of using Chinese products that, all too often, have proven to be of substandard quality. Using substandard products that might ultimately jeopardize safety or result in costly repairs is a short-sighted approach.
Read President Gerard’s letter in its entirety at: http://assets.usw.org/
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. For more information:http://www.usw.