AURORA, OH — On the eve of a workers rally in Aurora, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) encouraged the more than 100 locked-out United Steelworkers (USW) to continue their fight for a fair and equitable contract with Rotek management. In his letter, Brown thanked members of USW Local 8565 for their efforts on behalf of workers across the state which has required sacrifice, both for themselves and for their families.

“We should all be proud of the commitment and sacrifice of the more than 100 locked-out Rotek workers,” Brown said. “Their message is simple: treat Ohio workers fairly, respect their rights, and they’ll work harder and produce better quality products than anyone, anywhere. That is why I continue to stand by their side and urge Rotek to negotiate with its employees and end this costly and unnecessary lockout.”

Brown is unable to attend the rally, but will be represented by his Northeast Ohio Regional Representative who will read and present the letter to the workers. Brown’s letter can be read in its entirety HERE.

Rotek locked out members of the USW after its workers overwhelmingly rejected a contract offer that would have immediately cut wages for all employees, and forced concessions to their health care and other benefits. Brown is concerned that the length of the lockout has already forced workers and their loved ones to experience economic hardship. Brown is also concerned that replacement workers do not have the experience and expertise to make high enough quality products for both the country’s renewable energy production, and most concerning, its military defense.

In August, Brown met with many of the more than 100 locked-out member of the USW to discuss their current negotiations with Rotek management. The meeting took place immediately outside of the Rotek facility in Aurora because the workers were not allowed inside. Among those who joined Brown was Bill Hyslop, the President of United Steelworkers Local 8565, other local USW representatives, and State Rep. Kathleen Clyde.

In July, Brown called on Rotek management to end its half year lockout of more than 100 members of the USW and offered his aid so that a fair and equitable agreement could be reached.

Rotek is a North American leader in the engineering, manufacturing, service, and support of large diameter slewing bearings and seamless forged rings which are used in parts that produce wind energy and military products.