Buy American Would Have Saved These Jobs

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New Yorkers like me need your help.

I am a miner at American Rock Salt near Rochester, the largest operating salt mine in the United States. My colleagues and I work underground, where we help extract the salt that is used for de-icing, helping to keep roads safe for millions of Americans during the cold winter months.

I am so proud of what I do — especially since American Rock Salt is the largest producing salt mine in America. And unlike our competitors, all of the salt we sell comes from the United States.

But our livelihoods are at risk. American Rock Salt recently lost a contract with Erie County for a year’s worth of de-icing salt to a company from Canada, despite the fact that we were ready to do the work at a competitive price. Sadly, 12 of my colleagues lost their jobs as a result.

Now you and I have the chance to stand up for those 12 miners.

Right now, New York legislators are considering a proposal to ensure any government purchase over $100,000 abides by Buy American preferences.

It’s really just commonsense. Whenever possible, taxpayer spending like this should be used to support local jobs and invest right back into the local economy. Why send our tax dollars abroad when companies like mine are ready to do the work right here in New York, and at a fair price?

Please join me in telling state legislators to pass Buy American, and stand up for miners and other American workers like me.


Shane Chiappone
American Rock Salt
United Steelworkers Local 763


About cnyteacher

News and notes on education, labor, politics and the arts from CNY teacher Greg McCrea.
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