Reaching out, from one USW to another

By Portia Williams - [email protected]

SOUTH SHORE, Ky. — After reading a news story featured online in The Daily Times regarding the current strike of the United Steel Workers Union (USW) #133 in South Shore. Jim Allen, president of USW #1299 of River Rouge, Michigan felt compelled to help the USW #133 families for Christmas.

USW #133 launched a strike in October of 2016 against Harbison Walker International on U.S. 23 in South Shore, where 110 members have been employed, which makes Christmas a challenge for the USW #133 members.

Jim Allen, president of the United Steel Workers Union #1299 of River Rouge said he learned of the strike of USW #133 from reading a news story on The Daily Times website.

“We had our annual children’s Christmas party this past weekend, and have probably about 100 toys, and some things that I would like to make a connection with the USW 133, so that we can bring down the items to their local hall or location,” Allen said. “Yes. I heard about it from The Portsmouth Daily Times online, and we decided to reach out help.”

Harry Craig Hunt, president of USW #133, said he is humbled by the concern of USW #1299, and other Local Unions that have reached out to them.

“Yes they will be coming down Saturday to deliver some toys, and some food actually. That is going to help us out a lot. We are working on putting toys together for the kids any way, and so this is going to give us some extra toys, and will help us build our food pantry for everybody. It is all such a tremendous help,” Hunt said. “I was wondering how this particular Union found out. Our district director’s name is Billy Thompson, and he sends out letters to our Steel Workers Locals in our district, which we are in District 8, which encompasses Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland, and I know that our director sent our letters to Locals in our District, asking if they had any extra funds to send to help us, and would be appreciated. Now we are getting stuff from Indiana, now Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina. We’re getting so many responses from so many other districts, that it just amazes me how people find out about it, and the fact that they are so giving. It is very humbling.”

In addition to the USW #1299 efforts, Hunt said there has been an outpouring of support from many others throughout the local community.

“We appreciate everything that everybody is doing,” Hunt said. “Our community has been great. We are getting donations from so many people, not just our brothers and sisters from other Steel Workers Union’s but from churches, businesses, individuals in the community, politicians, school teachers, just from everyone. It is amazing.”

USW #1299 will make the trip down on Dec. 17, to bring toys and food items on Dec.17.

By Portia Williams

[email protected]

Reach Portia Williams at 740-464-3862, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.

Reach Portia Williams at 740-464-3862, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.