Liveblog: Community activists join US Steel and Steelworkers at Lorain #SOSJobs rally
Following a rousing performance of the National Anthem by the Lorain High School Pep Band and a presentation of colors by Lorain High ROTC -- and an invocation by a former Steelworker, Pastor DJ Mayor, who called on God to "bend the hearts of the powerful" -- Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul fired up several hundred protesters assembled outside US Steel's Lorain Tubular Operations plant by chanting:
Enforce the laws, save our jobs!
You gotta do somethin' to stop the dumpin.
Many members in the crowd sported signs reading "Steel's Our Strength," "Save Our Steel Jobs," and "#SOS Jobs." Some workers in attendance were clad in their bright orange protective work gear and hard hats. Paul encouraged them to text STEEL (78335) to 91990 to join the activist network fighting for American jobs in this trade case.
Referring to the US Steel plant behind him, Paul told the crowd, "This plant helped build America," and built some of the "the best pipe in the world to make America secure." The workers now need our help, he told the crowd, to make the Commerce Department do its job. He said that the plant was not a reflection of the past but evidence of a stronger energy future for America, if our trade laws are enforced to sop the illegal dumping of pipe and tubular products now underway by America's overseas competitors.
America's steel producers of Oil Country Tubular Goods are currently facing an enormous threat from unfair foreign competition. If our government fails to enforce our trade laws, Paul made clear, it could have a crippling effect on the domestic industry and U.S. workers, as well as the nation's pursuit of energy independence. Following Paul, plant manager John Wilkinson reminded the crowd how significant the plant was to the Lorain community. Steelworkers Local 1104 President Dan Voorhees urged the crowd to "stand up, fight back to save our jobs."
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