The Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO joins with the rest of the Labor Movement in mourning the loss United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway, which was announced on September 25.
A 45-year member of the union, Brother Conway was elected in 2019 to succeed Leo Gerard as USW International President.
Conway started in USW Local 6787 in 1978, working at the Burns Harbor Works (Indiana) of Bethlehem Steel as millwright in the coke plant. After four years in the Air Force, he served as griever for plant-wide maintenance and was a member of the local’s safety and contracting-out committees.
He joined the international union’s staff in 1987, ultimately being elected USW International Vice President in 2005.
During his tenure, he fought to not only save USW jobs but also create new ones in a variety of professions, and advocated for fair trade laws. The 71-year-old was known for his ability to fight for good contracts in steel, aluminum, oil and other industries.
“From his earliest time making steel to his steady hand leading us through the darkest days of the pandemic, Tom followed two simple guiding principles: the dignity of work and the power of working people,” recalled David R. McCall, the union’s International Vice President of Administration. “Tom was never afraid of a fight, and thanks to his ingenuity and determination, generations of workers can enjoy better jobs and brighter futures.”
The USW has been an MTD affiliate since 1960.