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It’s going to be. I know a lot of things in the community-wide effort .
A community-wide effort at meaning bringing in resources from from other groups or from FEMA or what.
A little bit of both. We get a lot of resources in their community , but we’re going to have to tap those resources and look at them out by groups such as remember .
Have you been in any kind of touch with students from the system. Since this the hurricane struck .
You our our principles are reaching out trying to make contact with the students to check on them. Part of the problem is you know 44 schools , but 20th was principally evacuate so I’ve got to get them back into town as well to start making those contacts .
One of your high schools is being used as a as a shelter. Can you tell us what’s happening there . How many people are there .
Yeah , I’ve got when the storm broke 5 of our schools open up the shelters they’d consolidated those down one main shelter , which has about 600 people were also running a second shelter that’s been staffed by the hospital the handle a medical over as well. So we don’t know when those folks will go back . It could be some time next week , it may be able to longer and that will also impact when we can , you can get back in the school .
Right. And have you , Ben . By the way to that high school to see what’s going on .
Yeah I check on the high school every day is welcome at Chelsea.
What’s it like.
I mean you’ve got 2 games that are there are it’s Boulevard folks on top. It can’t be good for the , for the folks who were there , but there’s a lot of Community resources there I can’t management of emergency talks we wish that the boys medical . So I think those foods want to get back to their homes , and in some normalcy , but it’s going to it’s going to take a awhile .
Tim markedly. Thank you very much . To mark the superintendent of New Hanover County schools in North Carolina . Nice to speak with you , and good luck .
Thank you very much. We appreciate your support .
Well , now a stand-off in the steel industry that could lead to one of the largest strikes in years steel workers are in contract negotiations with 2 of the country’s largest steel producers us steel and Arcelor Mittal , the old contract expired at the start of September , and the workers have now authorized a strike against both companies workers say they are not benefiting from the industries , rising profits brought on partly by the president‘s 25% tariff on steel imports Leo Gerard is the president of the United Steelworkers International he joins us from Pittsburgh. Welcome . Glad to be with you , so around 16,000 workers . us steel and 15,000 it Arcelor Mittal have authorized strikes when do you think strikes will happen or will they .
Well , look at that depends on the progress , or lack of progress we make negotiations. Our members are frustrated and angry at most of those made 2 major companies that our facilities and our Union has played a very , very , very key role for the last 20 years of struggling every day to help the steel industry survive . We went through a period in the 2003 roughly where there were 40 bankruptcies in the last collective agreement at both Arcelor and us steel our members took 3 years with no wage increase or benefit improvements because the company was again teetering now they’re gonna make $2 billion roughly at the us steel and substantially the same kind of amount that Arsenal are middle and they come asking for concessions they they play hide the pea they give us a wage increase but then tell us they’re gonna take where incentive programs . They want a 6-year agreement . When we don’t know what the industry will be doing 6 months 6 years from now . This kind of off in the distance , and we’re not going to settle for a 6-year deal .
Well , us steel is offering a 6-year deal that would give a raise of 4% in the first year and 3% every year after that it will. Is that not good enough , you think .
Look at its it’s an illusion that they’re offering that kind of number , but at the same time converting our healthcare program to a high deductible program and that would cost their members , almost double what they’re costing now for health care so they give a deal with one hand and take it away with the other end. You know it’s an insult that they think that we’re not smart enough to figure that out , that’s where members are so angry .
If you’re workers strike could that hurt some of the progress. The industry has been making do you think .
Look at. I’m not gonna let me make it real clear , we’re not gonna take the responsibility for a labor dispute . We didn’t come here with with a greedy approach we came here with an approach to have a fair contract and continue our struggle together , to make sure the industry survives . We were prepared to bargain that they make capital improvements we know lots of our facilities need capital improvements and so we want to talk about that , that we’re not looking for a strike . We’d like to get a settlement but if they push us over the cliff then there get what they got . And we will fight it out .
The reason that they are doing are one of the big reasons that they’re doing so well right now is because of the tariffs , which you supported a president Trump’s steel tariffs do you think that those tariffs have been good policy overall or just for you.
Well , look at , I think it , the gain in half : information is correct half is not correct. The industry started to turn around before the Trump tariffs . In fact , the industry was starting to turn around in the last year or so as a result , the work that we had done on productivity , the work that we had done bad to our bad trade with trade cases we’ve had a number of countries that were cheaters and that started to have an impact and there is no doubt that the percentage by a president . Trump has added some help to that , but they were on their way to making money . Before that , and so what what is troubling is that not only the tariff increase , but they’re also going to get a huge benefit from the tax changes down to 21% and while they’re doing that they want to shift the tax burden for health care and to our members . I mean again that’s a tied the P and they think we can’t figure out what we have .
So from what I’m hearing from you. It sounds like you probably are going to go on strike .
Well , look at I know men don’t make any assumptions is up to the company. I’ll repeat to you and the 2 listeners they’re gonna make over $2 billion this year in the last 3 years they made no profit but they pay themselves $50 million in bonuses . The top 5 officers . Well , we took no wage increase no benefit improvements . Now we’re coming to the bargaining table and saying a couple a simple things leave our healthcare alone . Let’s talk about capital improvements that we need to make unless bargaining fair wage increase for the Times .
Mr. Gerard one more question : How long do you think that the tariffs are going to remain in place on steel.
I haven’t got a clue. There’s been all kinds of comments by all kinds of folks on both sides of the issue , and I know this . The United Steelworkers of America have taken on the challenge of confronting unfair trade and filed trade cases against countries the cheat , South Korea , China , Indonesia , India , Malaysia . A lot of countries that actually don’t play by the trade rules that we already think are weak . But even with those we can trade rules we’ve won many many trade cases and we’ve done that together with the industry and we’re going to continue to do a terror for no tariff .
That’s Leo Gerard , who is president of the United Steelworkers International. Thank you for joining us .
I’m glad to be with you. Thank you for we’d be on .
And you’re listening to here and now.
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