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1/12/2005

Steelworkers, PACE Vote to Merge

Pittsburgh/Nashville – The International Executive Boards of the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) and the Paper, Allied Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE) have voted unanimously to merge. Merger of the two unions will create the largest and most powerful industrial union in North America, with over 850,000 active members in over 8,000 bargaining units in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

The newly merged union will be the dominant union in North America in metals, paper and forestry products, tire and rubber, mining, glass, chemicals, energy and other basic resource industries. It also will have a very strong presence in equipment and machinery, stone, clay and concrete, other manufacturing, transportation, utilities and the service sector.

The combined union will have over 1.25 million active and retired members to advocate for worker-friendly legislation and candidates. Together, PACE and the USWA will be a major political force in key battleground states and provinces in the U.S. and Canada.

"By joining forces with the USWA," said PACE President Boyd Young, "PACE members will have greater bargaining power, because this merger creates a larger union presence in our core industries and gives us more leverage at the bargaining table. Once merged, our union will immediately be a major presence in North America’s core industrial sectors and that strength of diversity will both protect and promote our bargaining agendas."

"PACE members will have access to a $150 million defense fund so that we can take on employers who make unreasonable demands at the bargaining table," said Young. "Furthermore, with an organizing budget of over $30 million per year, we will have the ability to strategically organize workers in our core industries."

"Our unions share a commitment to innovative bargaining strategies that protect our members in many ways while maintaining and building the productive capacity of the companies they work in," said USWA International President Leo W. Gerard.

"We’re also pledged to using our successes with our joint Rapid Response and political programs to challenge anti-worker forces bent on undermining the futures of our active and retired members," said Gerard.

The new union will be called the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union. PACE and USWA members will vote on the proposed merger at concurrent conventions to be held in April.

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