Spreading the Word: The American Prospect Features Save Our Steel Jobs Campaign

Posted by elizabethbb on 07/03/2014

The fight to Save Our Steel Jobs continues to gain momentum. The American Prospect published a lengthy feature piece on its website Thursday looking at how the dumping of foreign steel into the U.S. market is impacting Birmingham, Ala., and its surrounding community. More than 1,000 people joined the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) in nearby Fairfield, Ala., last month to rally in support of steel jobs, urging the U.S. Department of Commerce to take action to create a level playing field for U.S. steel producers.

Written by AAM's own Jeff Bonior, the article notes that steel has created a way of life in the Birmingham region — and if the middle class jobs generated by the steel industry were to disappear, Birmingham and its residents would be in trouble.

Bonior interviewed several steelworkers impacted by the case. Among them was Zach Little, whose job provides for his wife and four children, including daughter Bailey, who is confined to a wheelchair because of a neurological problem. As Little told Bonior:

'When I hired in, I didn’t know exactly what the benefits were, but it’s good pay, good health benefits,' he said. 'The health benefit in itself almost makes it worthwhile. We just wanted to help out here today as much as we could as a family. And the little ones enjoy it. Seeing Bailey, it would be hard for my wife to work. But I have a good-enough job where she doesn’t have to work. My wife’s there for all the kids.'

It wasn’t always that easy for Little, who bounced around working in the factories of different industries for several years. So after a career of job insecurity, he’s grateful for his past ten years at U.S. Steel. 'It doesn’t even compare,' he said. 'This is the best placed I’ve ever worked, ever will work, probably. Yeah, it’s not even close.'

The entire piece is definitely worth a read, so be sure to check it out.

Commerce is scheduled to make its ruling by July 10. You can help workers like Zach by telling your elected officials that you are counting on them to stick up for workers.

Photo by Ike Gittlen via Flickr.

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