PITTSBURGH – Members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 8-957 met virtually with members of Congress on March 10-11, calling on the elected officials to lend their support in the union’s effort to save the Morgantown pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.
The USW members work for Viatris, a company established on Nov. 16, 2020, when their former employer, Mylan, combined with Upjohn, a business spun off from Pfizer. Viatris then announced on Dec. 11 that it would permanently close the Morgantown facility on July 31, 2021 and lay off approximately 1,500 workers, including some 850 members of USW Local 8-957.
“Closing this facility will be devastating not only to the hard-working men and women who remain committed to making this company successful, but to our entire community,” said Joseph Gouzd, president of USW Local 8-957. “But even more than this, the plan to shutter this facility is a matter of national security that imperils our entire nation.
“As the pandemic made painfully clear, America must be able to supply its own needs. Our facility is one of the last remaining manufacturing sites of generic pharmaceuticals in this country. We cannot allow ourselves to become dependent on foreign supply chains for such a critical good.”
The USW members met with more than a dozen members of the U.S. House and Senate and their staff over the two-day virtual “fly-in.”
There is no word on which members of Congress union officials met with.