Steelworkers President Leo Gerard Retires, Capping Iconic Career

By the time Leo Gerard stepped down as International President of the United Steelworkers after 18 years, on July 15, he had created one of the great legacies in the  American labor movement in the past 50 years.

Leo had global vision and a common touch.

History will remember him as a tenacious fighter in any arena – in negotiations, on the picket line, in politics, on the international stage. He navigated the Steelworkers through the treacherous waters of globalization, protecting jobs and building coalitions.

According to the Pittsburgh Gazette, “He created the Strategic Campaigns Department to forge partnerships with workers in countries including Australia, South Africa, Mexico and Brazil. He also formed a labor-environmental coalition – BlueGreen Alliance --  which he called “probably his proudest accomplishment.”

Leo was always warmly welcomed by Local 8888 members whenever he visited Newport News. He spoke at numerous rallies, always bringing words of solidarity and insight, always pledging to have back of shipbuilders and their families. He showed that he valued the strength and diversity Local 8888 brought to the Steelworkers.

The members, staff, officers and retires of Local 8888 wish President Gerard a wonderful retirement, and we thank you for your steady leadership.