Skilled trades workers at Chicago Bridge & Iron Join UAW

ROCKPORT, Indiana – Highly skilled maintenance workers at Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. (CB&I) rejected a vicious anti-union campaign and voted overwhelmingly to join the UAW in a National Labor Relations Board-supervised election held Aug. 12-13.

The skilled-trades workers, who are subcontractors at the AK Steel plant in southern Indiana, voted 87-35 to join the UAW. They will now concentrate on winning their first contract at CB&I. The workers maintain specialized machinery in the plant such as cranes and other equipment used to produce carbon and stainless steel for the auto industry.

“We’ve proven that working together does payoff. As we continue to work together we will see more results,” said Brandon Hall, a planner with 11 years at CB&I. “We would like to thank the UAW and Local 3044 for all the help and support. It was a tremendous amount of hard work and effort by all. It’s a great feeling to know that we are organized and we now have a voice in our work place.”

CB&I hired a notorious anti-union firms to spread lies about the UAW, but Rick Ditto, president of Local 3044, which represents, nearly 200 production workers at the steel plant, said his membership helped CB&I workers see through the untruths the law firm put on fliers it posted at the plant.

Region 2B Director, Ken Lortz

“We fought every step of the way with the anti-union stuff that was posted in our facility,” Ditto said. “CB&I painted the UAW as an evil monster,” Ditto said.
The positive relationship between AK Steel and the UAW-represented workforce was reflected in a letter that AK Steel issued at the request of UAW Region 2B Director Ken Lortz. It detailed how the union and the company were able to work together on a number of issues in the plant.

“We are proud to welcome CB&I workers to the UAW Region 2B family,”Lortz said. “They withstood tremendous pressure from their employer so they could have a voice in their workplace. We look forward to helping them win a first contract so that they may begin to bridge the gap that exists between themselves and others in the steel industry.”

For additional information, contact UAW Communications Director Sandra Davis, sdavis@uaw.net (313) 506-1571.