To the editor:
On Page 6A of Monday's Herald-Star, the headline read, "Congress looks at steel's future." It was the same old story with a new face, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., instead of Robert Byrd, of how Democratic representatives are fighting for steel jobs. It includes veteran Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., with his tired memorized rhetoric talks of the greatness of the steel industry and how he continues to work with investors of steel companies to bring industry to the area.
When Bill Clinton was running for president, he made a trip to Weirton promising to help the steelworkers and companies. The Stand Up for Steel campaign began shortly after. For those who don't remember, this is a condensed version of the steel crisis: First, the global economy was in bankruptcy. Second, foreign steel was dumped as re-payment. Third, U.S. steel companies went before Congress asking them to enforce their trade laws. From that point until Clinton's last day in office, Jan. 20, 2001, approximately 70 U.S. steel companies had either merged or closed operations.
Even with the inaction of Clinton to help the steel industry, the United Steelworkers leadership endorsed Al Gore for president in his 2000 campaign. This was an insult to the rank and file, and the use of union dues to add to the demise of the steel industry in the United States was criminal.
It was President George W. Bush who stood up for the American steelworkers, placing tariffs on foreign steel producing countries (Section 201), which he did on March 5, 2002, but the damage was already done.
It is said that the Democrats are for the working people, it is also said that actions speak louder than words.