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United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard To Retire

Evan Vucci
United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard is retiring.

The United Steelworkers announced Wednesday that its president, Leo Gerard, is retiring.

Gerard’s career with the steelworkers union has spanned 50 years. He began working in the mining industry in northern Ontario at age 18. He’s held a variety of positions within the union, becoming its president in 2001.

During his tenure, Gerard brought together labor unions and environmentalists as part of the BlueGreen Alliance, which advocates for policies surrounding clean jobs, clean infrastructure and fair trade.

Gerard also helped create Workers Uniting to advocate for workers’ rights on both sides of the Atlantic in a partnership between the United Steelworkers and Unite, which is the largest union in the United Kingdom and Ireland.


The United Steelworkers’ current vice president, Tom Conway, will replace Gerard as president. According to the union, Conway got his start in the steel industry in 1978 working for Bethlehem Steel and has recently led the union’s efforts to change trade policies.


Several other high-ranking officers within the United Steelworkers are retiring as well.


"The decision to announce these changes together will ensure that a capable and experiences group of trade union leaders will hit the ground running as a team," Gerard said in a statement. "It will also pave the way so that the union continues to be on solid footing and that the transition is seamless and serves the best interest of our membership."


The leadership changes will take effect by mid-July.