Local 3657 Resolution on the Death of Antwon Rose Jr.

The members of USW Local 3657 unanimously passed the following resolution on Thursday, June 28:

RESOLUTION REGARDING THE MURDER OF ANTWON ROSE BY EAST PITTSBURGH POLICE

WHEREAS:

USW Local 3657 is committed to fighting to uphold civil rights. As our goals have always been to empower workers in their workplace, advance and promote equality in our union and communities, encourage political and legislative involvement, organize workers into unions and promote policies that support working families, we are saddened to have to address the death of Antwon Rose Jr., the unarmed child shot three times by an East Pittsburgh, PA, officer as he fled from a vehicle suspected in an earlier shooting. This can only be described as an egregious attack on civil rights.

WHEREAS:

Our democracy is suffering because segregation by race and class has again resulted in tragedy and reactions based on fear, splitting a community and the country at large. The labor movement has confronted the issues of racism and classism in America on many occasions and must do so now with this tragedy. We must stand in solidarity and be a voice for justice.

WHEREAS:

The lack of training of the officer involved, and history of improper reporting and behavior, played a role in this tragedy and we must recognize that. USW Local 3657 empathizes with those who take up the shield of a badge and its corresponding risks. However, USW Local 3657 cannot abide the demonization of our youth by those same authorities simply because they are of a different color, race, gender, ethnicity or background.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

That the members of the USW Local 3657 stand in solidarity with the family of Antwon Rose Jr. and all those children who have been slain in an environment of fear and hostility;

That USW Local 3657 urges all media to commit to fair and balanced coverage of such incidents and avoid sensationalizing and spreading false information, regardless of jurisdiction;

That USW Local 3657 urges elected officials and policy makers at all levels to work together in their communities to create an environment of justice for all, not just for the privileged few;

That USW Local 3657 remains committed to fighting for justice and equality and will continue working to break down the systems of racial segregation;

That USW Local 3657 remains committed to holding workshops for our members and the wider community on racial and socioeconomic injustice; and

That USW Local 3657 urges our members to contact elected officials to demand that officers be screened and trained, to avoid instances such as this, where an officer chooses to take the judge and jury roles upon themselves.

Respectfully submitted this 28th of June 2018 by the Civil Rights and Women of Steel Committees of USW Local 3657. Adopted unanimously.

Local 3657 Women of Steel Give Back

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A group of representatives from Local 3657’s Women of Steel (WOS) committee today handed out more than 200 “blessing bags” filled with toiletries to those in need.

The WOS committee coordinated the effort with the Red Door Program, a local charity affiliated with Saint Mary of Mercy Church in downtown Pittsburgh. The Red Door provides a bag lunch to more than 100 people each day, Monday through Saturday.

Many of the people who come for food also need help with personal care items, said Danielle Dindinger, a WOS member who helped distribute the blessing bags.

“The Red Door is just across the street from our office, and we see the people who come for meals every day,” said Dindinger. “We noticed a need, and we decided to help.”

The bags were filled with shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, wet wipes, and other toiletries.

The local, which represents USW staff at the International headquarters and in the field, had a bucket drop to raise money to buy supplies, and the WOS committee spent the past month assembling the bags.

Rachel Nunes, who chairs the local’s WOS committee, said that homelessness and its root cause, a lack of access to affordable housing, is a big concern for the group. They’ve done similar drives in the past and plan to continue the work in the future.

“We’re working to build a relationship with the Red Door and other organizations, so we can continue to support the work that they do,” said Nunes. “We need community connections based on trust and mutual respect. It’s all well and good to do one-off things, but what we really need to do is address the underlying issues.”

New Sheriff in Town

Congratulations to Robin Sowards who was chosen unanimously by the Grievance Committee to be the new Grievance Chair. As per our BY-Laws, Robin now has the unenviable task of joining the rest of the top 5 in collective bargaining talks. Our next session will be on June 19th and 20th and we will likely discuss Heath Care among other things. The remaining members of the committee include; Joan Hill, Carolyn Stokes, and Jenny VanSchyndel. If you are in the field and have an issue, please contact your steward and they will guide you through the process. A full list of stewards is available on the home page of our site. If you happen to be in one of the Districts that do not have a steward get in touch with me. If you see Robin in the halls feel free to congratulate him.

Josh Keirsey

President