I would like to remind our readers of the fact that congressman Bill Johnson is no friend to working people in the Ohio Valley. Being a former employee of Wheeling-Pitt Martins Ferry Plant, I am not sure our esteemed congressman even knows where Martins Ferry is let alone that steel is made in the Valley
Two drastic events have happened in the area on Congressman Johnson's watch that he seems totally oblivious too. Those being the bankruptcy and liquidation of RG Steel (the former Wheeling-Pitt in case he doesn't recognize the name) and the proposed shutdown of the Ormet Facilities due to high energy costs.
Prior to Congressman Johnson taking office, we had leaders in Washington who actually cared about what happened in the Valley. Charlie Wilson used to say he had a business here and was directly effected by what happened here. Our current political representative, Bill Johnson, has said NOTHING that addresses the situation here in the Valley. People are out of work and are running out of benefits and options. They must decide whether to pay for food or medical insurance. The Governor and our elected official in Washington do not seem to care about the Valley.
Our Democratic friends from Ohio along with the representatives from West Virginia in the State and Federal government have been supportive and have done what they could in securing Training Adjustment monies and some type of relief for our out of work members. I have yet to hear Congressman Johnson say anything about our situation nor has he tried to intervene in dispute with the EPA on the proposed Yorkville plant sale.
The next time the Congressman or his marketing people contact us we should ask them: "where have they been" and what are they doing to help lessen the burden of the workers, who through no fault of their own, are left unemployed and in need of assistance from our elected officials.
Vice President, USW
S.O.A.R. Chapter 23-9