United Steelworkers union chief Tom Conway dies at 71

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Revealed Sep 25, 2023 06:07PM ET
Updated Sep 25, 2023 10:01PM ET


United Steelworkers union chief Tom Conway dies at 71
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Thomas Conway, United Steelworkers International president, in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., August 8, 2022. REUTERS/Erwin Seba/File Photo


(Reuters) -Thomas Conway, international president of the United Steelworkers (USW) union that represents 850,000 North American steel, paper, correctly being, education and oil workers, has died at the age of 71, the USW stated on Monday.

Conway joined the union in 1978 at a Bethlehem Steel plant in northwestern Indiana and luxuriate in turn into its prime negotiator and later president in 2019.

The son of a union member and a U.S. Air Pressure extinct, Conway immersed himself in operational tiny print, funds and economics when he entered negotiations, stated Michael Wright, a retired USW legit who modified into once thinking about contract talks with Conway.

“Any firm that had long past up towards Tom in negotiations knew they’d no longer salvage away with any B.S.,” stated Wright. “He modified into once a fair negotiator, however he additionally knew that a lawful contract modified into once greater than wages and advantages. A lawful union did a lot extra for its participants and society in classic than valid negotiate contracts.”

Most currently, Conway modified into once outspoken within the union’s enhance of Cleveland Cliffs’ relate to aquire rival U.S. Steel. Steel rejected the Ohio-basically based firm’s proposal final month, calling it “unreasonable.”

Conway died after falling in unpleasant health earlier this one year. The Pittsburgh-basically based union’s govt board is on narrative of of meet later this week to title a successor, stated USW spokesperson Jess Kamm Broomell.

U.S. President Joe Biden called Conway “an unparalleled champion” and “great friend”, describing him as a confidante and someone who would, in most cases, downside him to “stop better.”

“He put apart every ounce of his vitality and intellect toward making sure American workers obtained the only real conceivable deal, every time,” stated Biden, who will join autoworkers hanging towards the Astronomical Three automakers on the picket line in Michigan on Tuesday.

“No one out-labored him. No one out-bargained him. And while he modified into once deeply kind and generous, he additionally by no intention backed down from a battle,” Biden stated.

The 6-foot-broad (183 cm) Conway modified into once a chain-smoker with a reputation as a bulldog at some point of contract talks.

U.S. Exchange Representative Katherine Tai stated she consulted closely with Conway and benefitted from his “outlandish, thoughtful and informed perspective” while creating the administration’s “inclusive, worker-centered switch agenda” in 2021.

Conway advocated for authorities to place in force anti-dumping approved guidelines and forestall subsidized products from negative domestic industries and stem a decline in union membership by pushing into appealing vitality, electric autos and retail industries.

In 2017, he informed a union convention that workers might well well simply aloof be willing to behave on their requires.

“Be willing for it, for the rationale that fights will device whether or no longer we elect them or no longer. However when the fights stop device, we are in a position to get these fights,” Conway stated.

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