Jerry Green

“The union is definitely needed in all industries throughout this nation and worldwide, and a prime example is what's happening right now in China where they have the slave labor over there working for eight cents an hour. Their living environment over there is through a poverty level. You couldn’t even live as a street person over here in New York City or Philadelphia. If it wasn’t for this union, we wouldn’t have the benefits we have to this day. You wouldn’t have the thirty-year retirements. You wouldn’t have the rule 65 retirements. You wouldn’t have the surviving spouse benefits. You wouldn’t have medical coverage after retirement. You would not have severance pay. You wouldn’t have the unemployment laws that you have where our people were able to collect. You wouldn’t have sub pay which people were able to collect for two years. All those people things that union fought hard for over the years. My forefathers fought, and those are benefits that these people that are retiring now that worked at Bethlehem Steel should be thankful and gracious that they had men like that. That fought for our workers' rights.

Its sad every time that I have to drive into the plant, because being the union president, we do still service the Lehigh Heavy Forge. I look and the memories come back for me as I drive through there and I see all the buildings that were torn down, and the loss of jobs. And I just think back and recall the many men that were there in and out the gate. Hundreds of men at a time. All those paychecks lost for those individuals. Its very sad. Lots of ghosts. One of the things that I miss about Bethlehem Steel, and it will always probably be in my mind forever is that whenever on Broad Street when you would look out and you would see the blast furnaces going, you could see the flames and you could smell the steel company, you know, and it was every day. I miss the dirt being on the cars because I knew that there was thousands of jobs that went with that. So it was certainly something that’s gone by. It’s always in my mind. I miss it terribly.”