PITTSBURGH, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers
today announced the appointment of veteran labor attorney Richard J. Brean as
the union's General Counsel.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080131/DC12982LOGO )
Brean, 60, of Pittsburgh, succeeds General Counsel Paul Whitehead, who
has accepted an appointment as a professor of practice in labor studies,
employment relations and law at Penn State University's main campus in State
Brean, previously Senior Associate General Counsel, will be responsible
for the legal affairs of the largest industrial union in North America.
"Rich Brean has clearly earned this leadership position,'" said USW
International President Leo W. Gerard, who announced the appointment.
In his new position, Brean will direct the labor movement's most
distinguished legal department, oversee the work of outside law firms and work
with management counterparts across a broad range of industries.
Over the years, Brean has helped to redirect a large part of the union's
legal resources from simply defending the union in court cases to
affirmatively asserting the union's rights under the National Labor Relations
He has pursued several notable unfair labor practice cases against
Ravenswood Aluminum, Bridgestone-Firestone Tire, and Southwire, among others,
where union members were restored to their jobs with good contracts after
being permanently replaced or locked out of their jobs.
"That work has been crucial to our winning contract settlements in some
of our biggest disputes over the past three decades," Gerard said.
Brean will be the union's eighth general counsel in 66 years. His
predecessors include Arthur Goldberg, a former Supreme Court Justice who was
Secretary of Labor under President John F. Kennedy; and the late Bernie
Kleiman, who served as General Counsel from 1965 through 1997 and was well
known for his commitment to excellence and fiery belief in workers' rights.
"It is an enormous honor to be selected," said Brean, who received a
Bachelor of Arts in History from Kenyon College, a Master in Public Affairs
and Urban Planning from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public
and International Affairs and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. "I hope
to be worthy of the people who were in this seat before me and live up to the
standards set by Bernie Kleiman and honor his memory."
Brean and Whitehead are both members of the Harvard Law School Class of
1978 and have been career-long friends and associates at the USW. They will
implement a transition plan for the legal department over the coming months.
Whitehead, 57, of Pittsburgh, grew up in Appleton, Wis. He graduated from
the University of Wisconsin with a B.S. degree in labor studies and an M.S.
degree in industrial relations. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School.
Whitehead has been with the USW for 28 years and its General Counsel
since 2001. His practice centered on labor, benefits, and bankruptcy law as
well as collective bargaining.
During his tenure as General Counsel, the department has devoted its
energies to a wide variety of issues including tariffs against unfair imports,
legal support for union organizing, international solidarity actions, pension
and health-care issues, and mergers, including the integration of the former
PACE union with the USW.
"It is a privilege to work for the Steelworkers," Whitehead said. "I came
to the union thinking I'd stay a relatively short time and then I got to know
its people and its challenges and I stayed for 28 years. As much as I've
wanted to teach, it's still hard to leave, and I'll do everything in my power
to support Rich and a great legal department."
CONTACT: Jim McKay of USW, +1-412-562-2441
For further information:
For further information: Jim McKay of USW, +1-412-562-2441 Web Site: