USWA Past President
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George Becker was inaugurated as the sixth international president of the United Steelworkers of America on March 1, 1994. Since assuming the Steelworkers' presidency, he has restructured the union by reducing the number of U.S. districts to nine from eighteen. He has led the successful merger of the former United Rubber Workers into the USWA, and he has reached agreement with the presidents of the United Auto Workers and International Association of Machinists to unify into a new union by the year 2000. Becker has also played a leading role in the revitalization of the AFL­CIO. As a vice president on the federation's executive council, he was a strong supporter of John Sweeney for president, RichardTrumka for secretary­treasurer and Linda Chavez­Thompson for executive vice president in the leadership election of last October. Becker now serves as 1chair of the AFL­CIO Executive Council's Committee on Economic Policy.

He was elected USWA international vice president for administration in 1985 and re-elected in 1989. As vice president he chaired aluminum industry negotiations and led the 20 month global corporate campaign against Ravenswood Aluminum Co. in West Virginia, which achieved the historic firing of 1,300 permanent scab replacements and return to work of 1,600 locked­out USWA members.

Becker went to work at Granite City Steel in Granite City, IL., in 1944, and later worked at Dow Chemical's aluminum rolling mill in Madison, IL., where he became president of USWA Local 4804. He was appointed a USWA staff representative in Illinois in 1965 and transferred to the union's Pittsburgh headquarters in 1975 as a safety and health technician. As a safety specialist, Becker led the fight in the 1970's to establish health protections for workers exposed to lead, arsenic and other toxic substances. He later served as assistant to Lloyd McBride and Lynn Williams when they were USWA officers. Becker is an executive committee member of the International Metalworkers Federation (IMF) and chairman of
the world rubber council for the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM). He was appointed by President Clinton to the President's Export Council and received congressional confirmation
to the U.S. Trade and Environmental Policy Advisory Committee. Both positions afford him an opportunity to speak out strongly for worker rights