On October 13th, the United Steelworkers (USW) International Executive Board appointed District 11 Director Emil Ramirez as the union’s new International Vice President (Administration). The position was most recently held by David McCall, who is now serving as USW International President, following the death of his predecessor, Tom Conway, on Sept. 25.
“Tom’s tireless work on behalf of USW members ensured our union had a strong base on which to build,” said McCall. “From organizing new workers into our union, to bargaining more leading-edge contracts, to working with pro-worker officials to create good-paying union jobs, we now have a number of exciting opportunities on the horizon. I look forward to partnering with Emil as we capitalize on this momentum.”
Ramirez served as USW District 11 Director since 2014, representing workers in nine Midwestern states.
He currently leads the USW’s bargaining with Cleveland-Cliffs Mining, Ardagh Beverage, Rexam Beverage Can and ContiTech and serves as chair of the USW’s Cement Council and Arconic Bargaining Committee, as well as secretary of the union’s Container Industry Conference.
Ramirez began his union career as a Pipefitter B in 1986 with USW Local 15162 at KPL/Gas Service’s Topeka, Kan., facility. He served in a number of leadership roles, including local union president, until he was appointed to the USW staff in 1995.
“The USW represents a diverse group of workers in a broad range of industries, from mining and metals to health care and higher education,” said Ramirez. “Our union’s strength has always stemmed from our unity, our ability to work together to ensure safer workplaces and a better standard of living for all working families. As our union continues to grow and evolve, I’m honored to serve as one of its vice presidents so together we can maintain this strength through solidarity.”
The USW International Executive Board also swore in Cathy Drummond as the new District 11 Director. Drummond comes out of USW Local 9460 at what is now Essentia Health in Hibbing, Minn. She served as assistant to the district director since 2019 and holds the distinction of being the first woman to become a USW District Director.
“This move should surprise no one in our area’s union community,” said Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO President Duke Dujakovich. “Emil Ramirez has been a principled and fervent union leader in our region and will do wonders in this new role. The Kansas City AFL- CIO is proud of him and wishes him the best!”