ATI strikers ‘hang tough’ after 9 weeks on picket line

By Malcolm Jarrett
June 7, 2021
Militant/Tony Lane

PITTSBURGH — Some 1,300 steelworkers union members at nine Allegheny Technologies Inc. plants in five states have been on strike since March 30. A federal mediator was called in after ATI bosses refused to bargain in good faith. Whenever Militant  worker-correspondents have visited the picket lines to show solidarity and cover the strike, we’ve found workers determined to win back gains lost in a bitter seven-month lockout in 2015-16. An example of this is the strikers we met outside ATI’s Vandergrift mill near here.

“We are hanging tough, we know what this fight is about. We are remaining unified and will through this whole thing,” Weston Patcyk, who has worked six years in Vandergrift, told us May 13. “This fight is about solidarity. We have given concession after concession, no more.” When we arrived and introduced ourselves, Patcyk and a fellow striker shouted out, “I know that paper supports our strike!” They pointed to a weeks-old copy of the Militant  that had been passed around in the strike tent. They got the latest Militant  and In Defense of the US Working Class by SWP leader Mary-Alice Waters. Several other strikers got copies of the paper, and one for the strike tent.

At the picket line in Washington, south of Pittsburgh, 30 strikers and their supporters gathered for a show of solidarity May 22, above. Strikers and others spoke, addressing the importance of the fight and their determination to last “One Day Longer” than the ATI bosses.